Yearly Archives: 2010

This month at the Java User Group meeting some groups of the University presented their research. First I considered to talk about JAVA on mobile phones (e.g. the tutorials we do with teachers on JAVA ME or JAVA on Android) but then decided to talk more about the ubicomp vision and about how I think computing will change and is already changing the world My talk “Ubiquitous Computing and Beyond – Mobile Communication changed the world – what else do we need?” was aimed at opening a discussion what will be the challenge after mobile computing is becoming… Continue reading

The current issue interactions (http://interactions.acm.org) features some interesting articles – at least scanning through it and reading some of them prolonged my breakfast today considerably 😉

The cover story gives an already in its title a very interesting definition of tangible interaction (Tangible Interaction = Form + Computing) [1]. Their view is very much from a design perspective, but provides a good introduction to the topic.

The article by Jay Chaeyong Yi on a success story from Korea is a very good case study of how to apply UI research [2]. It shows (1) a comprehensive example of… Continue reading

Given the technologies around us I sometimes wonder how close we are to a vision of ubiquitous computing. In this month IEEE Computer Invisible Computing column I had the pleasure to ask this question and share my view on it.

The short answer is: many technologies are ubiquitous but there is a lot more to come. In particular we see that many technologies (public displays, people centric sensing, and personal memory devices) are just around the corner and that they may have a large impact on how we perceive computing. For the long answer have a look at my article:… Continue reading

Having a professional interest in advertising I really liked the link my colleague Bruno Müller-Clostermann sent to me. I obviously had to try it with my picture

My hero movie: http://en.tackfilm.se/?id=1265980862962RA40The example of the personalized video shows that it is intriguing and that it is potentially viral – but I am not sure if it is effective (or did you get what the advert is for?).

In general the concept to make someone a part of an advert is very powerful. At Mensch&Computer 2008 we published a paper that explores this idea in the context of public displays [1].… Continue reading

After several tries we finally managed to travel to Dortmund (half an hour on the S-Train) to visit Gernot A. Fink‘s group at the Technical University Dortmund. Bastian Pfleging did with this group his master thesis before he joined us. The research focus of the group is on signal processing and computer vision. They also follow an experimental approach – building systems that work (which we saw in the demos). In their lab space they have setup a building (basically a house inside a house – impressive!).

I have learned about a new location technology based on passive infrared… Continue reading

At the moment there is an interesting discussion in Germany: should the state buy data (leaked out of a Swiss bank) that give details on people who have not paid their taxes in Germany. I will not add to the political discussion on that as there have been many arguments – some interesting and others funny. I am only amused about a small party that is very much against it. But one has to be fair – this is after all an indicator that democracy works 😉 parties represent the interests of their voters…

I think on a more general… Continue reading

We have a number of student projects that look at novel applications and novel application platforms on mobile phones. As Michael Rohs from T-Labs is also teaching a course on mobile HCI we thought it would be a good opportunity to meet and discuss some application ideas.

I gave a talk in Michael’s lecture discussing the concept of user interfaces beyond the desktop, context as enabling technology, and future applications in mobile, wearable and ubiquitous computing. We had an interesting discussion – and in the end it always comes down to privacy and impact on society. I see this… Continue reading

Robustness and durability are typical qualities that we aim for when building interactive prototypes and systems. Tanja and Axel explored what user experience we can create when we deliberately design something in a way that is ephemeral (=not lasting, there is a good German word “vergänglich”). Ephemeral User Interfaces are user interface elements and technologies that are designed to be engaging but fragile [1]. In the prototype that we showed at TEI 2010 in Cambridge the user can interact with soap bubbles to control a computer. Axel has some additional photos on his web page.

There is a short… Continue reading

In the AmbiViz project we investigate how context information (explicitly or implicitly collected) can be provided to the user. The aim is that the display of context is meaningful to the user but at the same time abstract and privacy preserving. For context collection we integrated the IYOUIT platform as well as an application that runs as an app in facebook. Examples of abstract presentations are implemented for the Nabaztag and for digital picture frames. More details will be available soon in a WIP paper at Percom 2010. Currently we run a longer term study and are already curious… Continue reading

Kati Mäkitalo-Siegl, Jan Zottmann, Frederic Kaplan and Frank Fischer organized a workshop that resulted in the book: Classroom of the Future. The book gives a very good overview and is in my view very well suited to run a seminar

We have one chapter in the book that talks about teaching beyond the classroom and outside a typical classroom using pervasive computing technologies [1]. Our chapter includes some of the work on tangible interaction we did in Munich, e.g. [2] and earlier experience where we did a school garden blog (in German only http://www.hcilab.org/albrecht/flachs-web/).

Details about the book and… Continue reading

I thought I have seen all possible multi-touch installations 😉 but here is a new one: Ubice installation.

Jonna and her group at NRC in Finland have built a multi-touch wall made from ice (frozen water – they seem to have plenty of it up there).

Even though it is on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbtrI6GjBsk) we still hope to see a paper on this project – do the user study before it melts 😉

The Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2010 conference is this year in Germany in November 2010: http://www.its2010.org/

Since a wireless charger (RCA Airnergy) was announces at CES that harvests energy from wifi signals that are around the topic is everywhere in the (tech) news. It is an exciting prospective to imagine mobile devices that will recharge themselves from the environment they are in. However I am not sure how well harvesting energy from RF will worked in regular environments – not saturated with radio signals.

The topic is really exciting – and in the end people probably do not care much if the energy is harvested from their movement, from light, temperature or RF – as… Continue reading

We wrote an article on the automotive user interface conference that took place in Essen in September 2009. In the current issue of the IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine this paper is published and gives an overview of the conference [1]. We hope our article highlights the key ideas that were presented at the conference.

Abstract. Cars offer an interesting but challenging microcosm for pervasive computing research and, in particular, for interaction with pervasive computing systems. Increasingly, researchers are looking at interactive applications in the car and investigating human-car interaction from a computer science-rather than an ergonomics or mechanical engineering-perspective. This… Continue reading

From the 4th to the 8th of January we (Nigel Davies, Antonio Krüger, Marc Langheinrich, Martin Strohbach, and I) organized a Seminar on Pervasive Display Networks in Dagstuhl. The timining was less not perfect but we go a really good team together.

Working on the topic we identify an interesting set of dimensions to classify public display, collected a large set of scenarios, and compiled a bibliography as well as a reading list. As soon as the material is publicly available I will post it.

The first time I have been to Dagstuhl was in September 2001 (the seminar… Continue reading