At the automotive user interface conference in Salzburg we presented some of our research. Salzburg is a really nice place and Manfred and his team did a great job organizing the conference!

Based on the Bachelor Thesis of Stefan Schneegaß and some follow-up work we published a full paper [1] that describes a KLM-Model for the car and a prototyping tools that makes use of the model. In the model we look at the specific needs in the car, model rotary controllers, and cater for the limited attention while driving. The prototyping tool provides means to quickly estimate interaction times.… 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

On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon I ran practical workshops on creating novel user interfaces complementing the tutorial on Wednesday morning. The aim of the practical was to motivate people to more fundamentally question user interface decisions that we make in our research projects.

On a very simple level an input user interface can be seen as a sensor, a transfer function or mapping, and an action in the system that is controlled. To motivate that this I showed two simple javascript programs that allowed to play with the mapping of the mouse to a movement of a button on the… Continue reading

What is a simple and cheap way to get from Saarbrücken to Linz? It’s not really obvious, but going via Stansted/Cambridge makes sense – especially when there is the conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (www.tei-conf.org) and Raynair offers 10€ flight (not sure about sustainability though). Sustainability, from a different perspective was also at the center of the Monday Keynote by Tom Igeo which I missed.

Nicolas and Sharam did a great job and the choice to do a full day of demos worked out great. The large set of interactive demos presented captures and communicates a lot… Continue reading

During the workshop last week in Potsdam we got to see demos from students of Design of Physical and Virtual Interfaces class taught by Reto Wettach and JennyLC Chowdhury. The students had to design a working prototype of an interactive system. As base technology most of them use the Arduino Board with some custom made extensions. For a set of pictures see my photo gallery and the photos on flickr. It would need pages to describe all of the projects so I picked few…

The project “Navel” (by Juan Avellanosa, Florian Schulz and Michael Härtel) is a belt… Continue reading

Yesterday I arrived in Gwangju for the ISUVR-2008. It is my first time in Korea and it is an amazing place. Together with some of the other invited speakers and PhD students we went for a Korean style dinner (photos from the dinner). The campus (photos from the campus) is large and very new.

This morning we had the opportunity to see several demos from Woontack’s students in the U-VR lab. There is a lot of work on haptics and mobile augmented reality going on. See the pictures of the open lab demo for… Continue reading

Florian Michahelles, associate director of the AutoID-Labs in Zürich visited our group and gave a presentation in my course on Pervaisve Computing. He introduced the vision of using RFID in businesses, gave a brief technology overview and discussed the potential impact – in a very interactive session. Florian and I worked together in the Smart-its project and during his PhD studies he and Stavros were well know as the experts on Ikea PAX [1], [2]. In 2006 and 2007 we ran workshops on RFID technologies and published the results and a discussion on emerging trends in RFID together [3],… Continue reading

Using electrodes to detect eye movement and to detect reading [1] – relates to Heiko’s work but uses different sensing techniques. If the system can really be implemented in goggles this would be a great technologies for eye gestures as suggested in [2].

Utilizing infrastructures that are in place for activity sensing – the example is a heating/air condition/ventilation system [3]. I wondered and put forward the question how well this would work in active mode – where you actively create an airflow (using the already installed system) to detect the state of an environment.

Further interesting ideas:

Gregor, a colleague from LMU Munich, presented work that was done in the context of the PERCI project, which started while I was in Munich. The demo showed several applications (e.g. buying tickets) that exploit the potential of interaction with multiple NFC-Tags. The basic idea is to have several NFC-Tags included in a printed poster with which the user can interact using a phone. By touching the tags in a certain order the selection can be made. For more details see the paper accompanying the demo [1].

[1] Gregor Broll, Markus Haarländer, Massimo Paolucci, Matthias Wagner, Enrico Rukzio, Albrecht… Continue reading

Yesterday afternoon I was in Hannover at CeBIT to set up our part in a demo at the Fraunhofer stand (Hall 9, Stand B36). The overall topic of the fraunhofer presence is “Researching for the people“.

After some difficulties with our implementation on the phone, the server and the network (wired and wireless – my laptop showed more than 30 wifi-accesspoints and a BT-scan showed 12 devices) we got the demo going. The demo is related to outdoor advertisement and together with Fraunhofer IAIS we provide an approach to estimate the number viewers/visitors. On Wednesday I will give… Continue reading

The first day of the conference went well – thanks to many helping hands. The time we had for the demos seemed really long in the program but was too short to engage with every exhibit (for next year we should make sure to allocate even more time).

People made really last minutes efforts to make their demos work. We even went to Conrad electronics to get some pieces (which burned before in setting up the demos). Demos are in my eyes an extremely efficient means for communicating between scientists and sharing ideas.

Currently we work in one of our courses on a specific multi-touch table. Students have already created a first version of an interesting application – and ideas for many more are there. However so far our prototype does not look like a table.

Learning that our university has central workshops we went there to talk about our project and to get the mechanical parts built. Our first meeting was really interesting – we got a tour and saw drilling and milling machines as well as a cutter that works with water (can cut glass precisely – extremely impressive). Best of… Continue reading

Yesterday we visited the computer science department at the University of Hamburg. Prof. Oberquelle und Beckhaus had invited me at the Mensch & Computer conference to visit them and give a talk about our work.

Before the seminar we had a chance to see the lab of Steffi Beckhaus. I have tried the ChairIO – and it was fun. They sound floor creates a really interesting experience (similar to the butt-kicker just more intense). We could also play with GranulatSynthese and try the smell user interface (apple smell is absolutely convincing, not sure about some of the others).

We… Continue reading

Alireza Sahami presented our CardiViz project at the demo session at Ubicomp. We were very happy that the project that was the result of our IPEC course on developing mobile applications was accepted as a demo.

For more details see:Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Diana Cheng, Oliver Kroell, Dagmar Kern, Albrecht Schmidt. CardioViz: Contextual Capture and Visualization for Long-term ECG Data. Adjunct Proceedings of Ubicomp 2007 (Demo).

Jonna Häkkilä, Anind Dey, Kari Hjelt, and I organized organized the Ubiwell workshop (Interaction with Ubiquitous Wellness and Healthcare Applications) at this years pervasive. Alireza presented another paper on heartbeat monitoring there:Florian Alt,… Continue reading

This morning we presented selected demos of the lab on location and context awareness to people at the Fraunhofer IAIS. Besides the fact that our main infrastructure component (the Ubisense indoor system) did not work the demos went well. It was very strange – the infrastructure worked for the last 6 weeks (including several reboots) and this morning after rebooting the server it did not find the sensors anymore for several hours.

The majority of demos were based on the second assignment which was to create a novel application that makes use of an indoor location system. The applications implemented… Continue reading