Bryan started his keynote talk the automotive user interface conference (auto-ui.org) in Salzburg with reminding us that having controversial discussions about the HMI in the car is not new. Quoting a newspaper article from the 1930s on the introduction of the radio in the car and its impact on the driver he picked an interesting example, that can be seen as the root of many issues we have now with infotainment systems in the car.

The central question he raised is: how to create user interface that fit human users? He made an important point: humans are not “designed”… Continue reading

Next week is the early registration deadline for the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI 2009) and the poster call is still open.

This year the deadline for submitting papers to TEI 2010 is much earlier than in previous years! It is the 10th of August (and was already extended)…

Why would I write a post about a power plug? Perhaps in some years this may be so common that we do not know when the first appeared 😉 And here is my reference point for Essen, Germany.There is a German news article about these chargeing points – there are 22 in Essen and they started sometime back in Berlin (where they plan to have 500 by the end of the year).

It looks very much like an ordinary power plug and I have not figured out how it really works – e.g. How to pay? How to reserve that… Continue reading

I came across this study in computer bild – you should not cite it as it in a scientific paper as “computer bild” – is consumer paper telling people mainly which computers to buy and how to use obvious features in software 😉

Nevertheless it is interesting and gave me some ideas what navigations systems are good for and it is another example that user needs on an abstract level (e.g. as in Maslows hierarchy of needs) could be interesting to inform designs.

If you do not read German here are the results in short:

Our group was involved in 3 papers that are published at Pervasive 2009 in Nara.

The first contribution is a study on public display that was presented by Jörg Müller from Münster. The paper explores display blindness that can be observed in the real world (similarly to banner blindness) and concludes that the extent to which people look at displays is very much correlated to the users expectation of the content of a display in a certain location [1].

The second short paper is a survey on car advertising and has been conducted in the context of the master thesis… Continue reading

We got a new USB GPS tracker(from Mobile Action, GT100) and had to try it out on the trip to Korea. It worked very well compared to the other devices we had so far. It got the bus trip in Düsseldorf airport right and the entire flight from Amsterdam to Seoul. Tracking worked well in the taxi from the Airport to the hotel. While walking in downtown Seoul it still performed OK (given the urban canyons) with some outliers.

It did not get any signal while we were on the Fokker-50 from Düsseldorf to… Continue reading

On the way into town we got a really good price for the taxi (just make a mental note never to negotiate something with Florian and Alireza at the same time 😉 It seems taxi driving is sort of boring – he too watched television while driving (like the taxi driver some weeks ago in Amsterdam). I think we should seriously think more about entertainment for micro breaks because I still think it is for a good reason not allowed to watch TV while driving.

Seoul is an amazing place. There are many digital signs and electronic adverts. Walking back… Continue reading

In my talk at ISUVR2008 I referred to an example where an insurance is monitor driving behavior and makes a tariff according to this. Some people asked me for more details andreferences, here they are…

My example was based on the pilot announced from the German insurance WGV. They planned to run a pilot with 1500 people using a GPS based monitoring devices. The box is mounted in the car and compares the current speed with the allowed speed limit and warns to reduce speed (if over the limit). If the driver is more than 12 times per year over… Continue reading

Wolfgang just sent me another picture (taken by a colleague of him) with more information in the head-up display. It shows a speed of 180 km/h and I wonder who took the picture. Usually only the driver can see such a display 😉

For assistance, information and entertainment systems in cars (an I assume we could consider taking photos an entertainment task) there are guidelines [1, 2, 3] – an overview presentation in German can be found in [4]. Students in the Pervasive Computing class have to look at them and design a new information/assistance system that is context aware… Continue reading

Wolfgang visited us for 3 days and we talked a lot about context-awareness in the automotive domain. Given the sensors included in the cars and some recent ideas on context-fusion it seems feasible that in the near future context-aware assistance and information systems will get new functionality. Since finishing my PhD dissertation [1] there has been a move towards two directions: context predication and communities as source for context. One example of a community based approach is http://www.iyouit.eu which evolved out of ContextWatcher /IST-Mobilife.

In his lecture he showed many examples how pervasive computing happens in the car… Continue reading

People take mobile devices into their cars and the amount of information people have on those devices is huge – just consider the number of songs on an MP3-Player, the address database in a navigation system and eventually the mobile web. In our work we looked at ways to design and implement search interfaces that are usable while driving [1]. For the paper we compared a categorized search and a free search. The was another paper in the session looking at practice of GPS use by Leshed et al. which was really interesting and can inform future navigation or context-aware… Continue reading

Today I met with Matthias Kranz in Munich. Besides discussing his thesis I got to see his new car (a prius) – quite impressive and interesting interfaces. Later I met with Wolfang Spießl who started recently his PhD in cooperation with BMW – again seeing an interesting and impressive (test)car.

It is really curious to see that there is a lot of interest in the hobbyist communities on car interfaces and protocols. In the June/2007 issues of Elektor (http://www.elektor.de/) was an article on a OBD-2-analyser, in a recent issue of the EAM (http://www.eam-magazin.de/) was a similar… Continue reading

In Frankfurt there was today an expert meeting on RFID and ubicomp organized by the Fraunhofer ISI. The purpose was a discussion about the impact of RFID technologies. The organizers will use our input to inform the creation of a document of technology assessment for the German parliament. The majority of the participants came from companies developing RFID technology or system.In the first part of my talk “RFID and Beyond” I highlighted results from two workshops where I was a co-organizer: PTA2006 and Pertec2007 held at the Pervasive and Percom conferences. The results were also published in 2 papers… Continue reading

It is often discussed whether or not the user interface in the car matters or not. The basic argument is that cars are emotional and hence the driving experience matters and everything else is secondary.

However it seems the user interface becomes more and more part of the experience. On Saturday night I travelled via Munich to Innsbruck – and had again some time on in the lounge at the railway station. In a article on the new VW concept car UP it was interesting to see that about 15% of the text (about 20 lines text of the whole… Continue reading

At the German HCI conference (Mensch und Computer) I organized together with Paul Holleis and Klaus Bengler (BMW Group) a workshop on automotive user interfaces. We were surprised how many people work and research in this area in Germany and Austria.

The 9 talks showed a wide range of research results and questions ranging from activity recognition, search interfaces, cultural issues to research methods. Dagmar Kern presented our work on a new method for interviewing drivers at the gas station. Stefan Graf from BMW groups had an interesting demo on object oriented interaction and in-car text input.… Continue reading

While waiting in Stuttgart in the lounge of the railway station I picked up a paper called “Auto-Bild” (the selection of magazines is really poor 😉 and I found an interesting news item in it.

KIA has done a survey (with over 2000 people) in the UK on decision making in the car. It appears that people use the time in the car to discuss major issues in their lives and that they make significant decisions during long journeys. I have not found the original survey from KIA but there are several pages that discuss the results, e.g. gizmag.… Continue reading