At the Museum of the Weird in Austin Lars Erik Holmquist hosted a book launch party for his book: Grounded Innovation: Strategies for Creating Digital Products. The book uses a good number of research examples to highlight the challenges and approaches for digital products. The book has to parts: Methods and Materials and shows how both play together in the design of digital products. There is a preview for the book at Amazon.

Over 10 years back I worked together with Lars Erik on the European Project Smart-Its (http://www.smart-its.org/), where we created sensor augmented artifacts. The book… 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

The central role of ICT becomes very visible when it does not work. Sometimes for the good as I was late arriving at Düsseldorf airport but the Airberlin check-in system was down for a few minutes – just enough that I was still in time 🙂

In the evening I met Prof. Lorenz Hilty, who gave a talk in the afternoon at ETH Zurich. I missed the talk but after the interesting and though provoking dinner conversation I decided I should finally really read his book [1] – perhaps over Christmas. Meeting with Friedemann Mattern and Hans Gellersen was… Continue reading

Tom Seder and I openend the conference and welcomed our keynote speaker.

I was very excited that Gert Volker Hildebrand accepted to be the keynote speaker for the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI 2009). He is with BMW Group in Munich and is the director of design for MINI. The topic of his talks was: “MINI Design: From the Original to the Original. The path from Center Speedo to Center Globe”. When I first came across the UI concept I wanted to meet the person – and a keynote is always one… Continue reading

If you study computer science in Germany you get a fair bit of math to do – especially in the first year. It is not liked by all students… Nevertheless I have a reading recommendation that has to do with mathematics. I came across the book some month ago in a railway station bookshop – and I immediately liked it 😉

Der Mathematikverführer by Christoph Drösser. Sample Chapter (in German). Solutions to the stories in the book. Link to the page at Amazon.

The concept of the book is funny (at least I think so) as… Continue reading

In the afternoon I gave a talk at NEC labs in Heidelberg on ubiquitous display networks. Over the last year we developed and number of ideas and prototypes of interactive public display systems. We run a lab class (Fallstudien) on pervasive computing technologies and advertising together with colleagues from marketing. In another class (Projektseminar) we investigated how to facilitate interaction between interactive surfaces (e.g. multi touch table) and mobile devices. One of the prototypes will be shown as poster at mobile HCI 2009 in Bonn. In some thesis projects we introduced the notion of mobile… Continue reading

Enrico Rukzio (my first PhD from Munich, now lecturer in Lancaster) visited our Lab. He was make a small tour of Germany (Münster, Essen, Oldenburg). In the user interface engineering class Enrico showed some on his current work on mobile interaction, in particular mobile projectors and NFC tags. After the presentation we wondered how long it will take till kids on the train will play with mobile projections 😉

We showed Enrico a demo of eye-tracking for active customization of browser adverts. In our setup we use the Tobii X120. For tracking of people in the room we still have… Continue reading

As one issue this morning we came across issues related to privacy. In particular it seems that social network analysis based on behavior in the real world (e.g. the reality mining project [1]) is creating serious interest beyond the technology people. Beyond measuring the frequency of encounters qualifying the way people interact (dominance, emotion, …) will reveal even more about social networks… 

In our discussion I made a reference to a book: “The Transparent Society” by David Brin. Even Though it is now nearly 10 years since it was first published I still think it is an interesting starting… Continue reading

Today I was at CDTM in Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/) to give a lecture to introduce Pervasive Computing. It was a great pleasure that I was invited again after last year’s visit. We discussed no less than how new computing technologies are going to change our lives and how we as developers are going to shape parts of the future. As everyone is aware there are significant challenges ahead – one is personal travel and I invited students to join our summer factory (basically setting up a company / team to create a news mobility platform). If you are interested,… Continue reading

The week before Easter is the traditional time for the meeting of the GI group university professors (GIBU). GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) is similar to the ACM, but on a national level. Due to other time constrains I was only able to be there for two days. We see that political aspects play more and more a role in our daily work life – if we like it or not it becomes essential to express our views with regard to computer science in Germany from a university perspective.

Besides this Dagstuhl (and in particular the wine cellar)… Continue reading

The proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Tangible and embedded interaction are online in the ACM digital library. Still not in the search index and with a few corrections to do…

Hiroshi Ishii contributed a paper on “Tangible bits: beyond pixels” – the first paper in the proceedings [1] and a great overview and introduction to the topic. If you are a student to start on tangible interaction or if you have students that start this paper is a mandatory reading!

[1] Ishii, H. 2008. Tangible bits: beyond pixels. In Proceedings of the 2nd international Conference on… Continue reading

At the Fraunhofer retreat in Westerburg we had very interesting discussions on research and research strategies in computer science. The span of excellent research in computer science is enormous ranging from theoretical work (e.g. math style proofs), to engineering type work (e.g. systems), to experimental and empirical work (e.g. studies). This makes it really challenging to find a common notion of “excellent research”. This reminds me of an interesting book which I started to read (recommended to me at the retreat): In Search of Excellence: Lessons from Americas Best Run Companies by Robert H Waterman et al. – so far… Continue reading