Karin Bee (nee Leichtenstern) has defended her dissertation at the University of Augsburg. In her dissertation she worked on methods and tools to support a user centered design process for mobile applications that use a variety of modalities. There are some papers that describe her work, e.g. [1] and [2]. To me it was particularly interesting that she revisited the experiment done in her master thesis in a smart home in Essex [3] and reproduced some of it in her hybrid evaluation environment.

It is great to see that now most of our students (HiWis and project students) who worked… Continue reading

Over the last year we looked more closely into the potential of eye-gaze for implicit interaction. Gazemarks is an approach where the users’ gaze is continuously monitored and when leaving a screen or display the last active gaze area is determined and store [1]. When the user looks back at this display this region is highlighted. By this the time for attention switching between displays was in our study reduced from about 2000ms to about 700ms. See the slides or paper for details. This could make the difference that we enable people to safely read in the car… but before… Continue reading

EmoDetector, by University of Duisburg-Essen and Nokia Research Center, is an application that provides auditory cues in addition to the notification tone upon receiving an SMS based on a real-time analysis of a message’s contents, see [1].The application responds currently to the following characters sets:

  • 🙂 or 🙂
  • 🙁 or 🙁
  • 😉 or 😉
  • ok (case insensitive)
  • ?

There is a version for Nokia Series 60 phones and for Android, see the download site. Have a look at the http://www.emodetector.tom-lab.de/ website for more information.

[1] Sahami Shirazi, A., Sarjanoja, A., Alt, F., Schmidt, A.,Häkkilä, J.: Understanding the Impact of… Continue reading

The 8th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2009) was held in Cambridge, UK. The conference is fairly specific and had an acceptance rate of about 33% – have a look at the table of content for an overview. Florian Michahelles presented our paper on a design space for ubiquitous product recommendation systems [1]. Our work contributes a comprehensive design space that outlines design options for product recommendation systems using mobile and ubiquitous technologies. We think that over the next years mobile recommendation systems have the potential to change the way we shop in the real world.… Continue reading

Together with colleagues from Nokia, VTT, and CMU we organized a workshop on Context-Aware Mobile Media and Mobile Social Networks at MobileHCI 2009.

The topic came up in discussions some time last year. It is very clear that social network have moved towards mobile scenarios and that utilizing context and contextual media adds a new dimension. The workshop program is very diverse and ranges studying usage practices to novel technological solutions for contextual media and application.

One topic that is interesting to further look at is to use (digital) social networks for health care. Taking an analogy in history… Continue reading

This year Enrico Rukzio organized the tutorials at mobile HCI 2009. He got an exciting program together:

The mobile HCI 2008 tutorials slides are still online – have a look.

Florian Alt is working on an idea of sonification of messages (if he is not enjoying himself at a summer school in Haifa). The approach is converting messages into music.

Are you curious about music and automated composition? Please have a look at the survey (it is fun, you probably get some ideas, and you help us with our research):

Florian Michahelles mentioned in his blog a talk [1] and paper [2] by Aaron Beach on mobile social networks that are linked to artefacts (e.g. clothing) in the real world. This is really interesting and I think we should look more into this…

[1] Aaron Beach. University of Colorado. Whozthat: Mobile Social Networks. Whoz touching me? Whoz Music? Whoz Watching? Who Cares?

[2] Beach, A.; Gartrell, M.; Akkala, S.; Elston, J.; Kelley, J.; Nishimoto, K.; Ray, B.; Razgulin, S.; Sundaresan, K.; Surendar, B.; Terada, M.; Han, R., “WhozThat? evolving an ecosystem for context-aware mobile social networks” Network, IEEE… Continue reading

On Saturday we went to Garmisch and walked up to Höllentalklamm (a nice canyon) and had lunch at Höllentalangerhütter. Our GPS tracking data from the canyon was pretty poor (as one would expect as the canyon is in parts only a few meters wide).

Observing other hikers (especially people who did the larger tours) it was very interesting to see how maps are used in social situations – planning, discussion, reflection, and storytelling (this time n>10). It is hard to image how this experience can be replaced by an implementation on a mobile device.

Will we have to wait till we have 1 meter by 1 meter foldable e-ink displays with 200dpi? Or are there other means to implement a good hiking map on a mobile phone screen? There is a… Continue reading

Ever wanted to cite the number of “Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitance” in Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, …., United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia or Zimbabwe? Or the spending on mobile telephony or the computer penetration in these countries? Then the website I just came across may be interesting for you too: http://measuring-ict.unctad.org/

Here are the direct links to documents containing data:

Some of the figures seem really high to me – but I have not looked into detail. They… Continue reading

Jörg just sent me a link on a rubber-like stretchable display that is published in Nature Material. There is a previous press release with some photos [2]. This is a significant step towards new nteractive devices, such as the one suggested in the GUMMI project [3].

[1] Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors, Tsuyoshi Sekitani et al., Nature Materials, doi: 10.1038/nmat2459http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nmat2459.html

[2] http://www.ntech.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/Archive/Archive_press_release/press_stretchable/documents/press_release_en.pdf

[3] Schwesig, C., Poupyrev, I., and Mori, E. 2004. Gummi: a bendable computer. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vienna, Austria, April 24 – 29, 2004).… Continue reading

When shopping for a sofa I used an interesting tangible user interface – magnetic stickers. For each of the sofas systems the customer can create their own configuration using these magnetic stickers on a background (everything in a scale 1:50).

After the user is happy with the configuration the shop assistant makes a xerox copy (I said I do not need a black and white copy I make my own color copy with the phone) and calculates the price and writes up an order. The interaction with the pieces is very good and also great as a shared interface –… Continue reading

I went to see Chris Kray at Culture Lab at Newcastle University. Over the next months we will be working on a joined project on a new approach to creating and building interactive appliances. I am looking forward to spending some more time in Newcastle.

Chris showed me around their lab and I was truly impressed. Besides many interesting prototypes in various domains I have not seen this number of different ideas and implementations of table top systems and user interface in another place. For picture of me in the lab trying out a special vehicle see Chris’ blog… Continue reading

Yesterday night I did an online check-in for my flight from Düsseldorf to Manchester. For convenience and curiosity I chose the mobile boarding pass. It is amazingly easy and it worked in principle very well. Only not everyone can work without paper yet. At some point in the process (after border control) I got a hand written “boarding pass” because this person needs to stamp it 😉 and we would probably have gotten into an argument if he tried to stamp my phone. There is some further room for improvement. The boarding pass shows besides the 2D barcode all the… Continue reading

Last term we ran an interdisciplinary project with our MSc students from computer science and business studies to explore new ways in outdoor advertising. The course was jointly organized by the chairs: Specification of Software Systems, Pervasive Computing and User Interface Engineering, and Marketing and Trade. We were in particular interested what you can do with mobile phones and public displays. It is always surprising how much a group of 10 motivated students can create in 3 months. The group we had this term was extraordinary – over the last weeks they regularly stayed in the evenings… Continue reading

Over the last years there have been many ideas how to make devices more modular. Components that allow the end-user to create their own device – with exactly the functionality they want have been the central idea. So far they are only used in prototyping and have not really had success in the market place. The main reason seems that you get a device that has everything included and does everything – smaller and cheaper… But perhaps as electronics gets smaller and core functions get more mature it may happen.

Yanko Design has proposed a set of concepts along this… Continue reading

This trip was my first time in Tampere (nice to see sometimes a new place). After arriving yesterday night I got a quick cultural refresher course. I even met a person who was giving today a presentation to the president of Kazakhstan (and someone made a copy using a phone – hope he got back OK to Helsinki after the great time in the bar).

In the morning I met a number of people in Jonna Hakkila’s group at the Nokia Research Center. The team has a great mix of backgrounds and it was really interesting to discuss the… Continue reading

Bob Iannucci from Nokia presented his keynote “ubiquitous structured data: the cloud as a semantic platform” at HotMobile 2009 in Santa Cruz. He started out with the statement that “Mobility is at the beginning” and he argued that why mobile systems will get more and more important.

He presented several principles for mobile devices/systems

  • Simplicity and fitness for purpose are more important than feature
  • use concepts must remain constant – as few concepts as possible
  • presentations (what we see) and input modalities will evolve
  • standards will push the markets

Hearing this, especially the first point, from someone from Nokia… Continue reading

We met in Munich at Docomo Euro Labs to start a new project that is related to context and ambient visualizations. And everyone already got bunnies 😉

Related to this there is a large and very interesting project: IYOUIT. Besides other things it can record and share your context – if you have a Nokia series 60 phone you should try it out. As far as I remember it was voted best mobile experience at mobile HCI 2008. 

Lucia Terrenghi and Thomas Lang from Vodafone R&D in Munich visited our lab. We talked at lot about the future role of mobile devices and in particular how they may change personal computing in the near future. 

After lunch they gave a talk for our students describing Vodafone research and their particular research interests. Using a nice visualization of train lines they showed the research themes and introduced some of their research foci. One area of interest is electronic paper, resulting future devices and potential applications and services. In the discussion I briefly mentioned that I had a look… Continue reading

Lucia Terrenghi and Thomas Lang from Vodafone R&D in Munich visited our lab. We talked at lot about the future role of mobile devices and in particular how they may change personal computing in the near future. 

After lunch they gave a talk for our students describing Vodafone research and their particular research interests. Using a nice visualization of train lines they showed the research themes and introduced some of their research foci. One area of interest is electronic paper, resulting future devices and potential applications and services. In the discussion I briefly mentioned that I had a look… Continue reading

TV and media consumption changes and one gets aware of this especially here in Seoul. People watch mobile TV on the subway and watching youtube videos in the hotel is fun as the available bandwidth seems massive. At the same time there is a convergences in technologies (TV hardware and UI still looks much the same but on the insight they are some sort of PC) is apparent and it takes little imagination to picture a TV set that integrates traditional services (e.g. TV over cable, terrestric, satellite) with new services (e.g. youtube, basically all flash-based video portals) in a… Continue reading

Yesterday there was a workshop on Mobile and Embedded Interaction as part of Informatik2008 in Munich. The talks and discussions were very interesting. Lucia and Thomas raised interesting issues on a new notion of personal computing, where the mobile device becomes the center of a personal computing infrastructure. This idea has been around for some time (e.g. Roy Wants Personal Server [1]) but the new ideas and the feasibility with current hardware makes it really an exciting topic. On the general topic there are many open questions, as visible on the slide.

After the workshop, when swapping business cards, we… Continue reading

During mobile HCI I came across many interesting things (that is why one goes to conferences 😉 here is a selection of papers to look at – if you have more time it is worthwhile to look at the whole proceedings of mobile HCI 2008 in the ACM DL.

Gauntlet: a wearable interface for ubiquitous gaming – exploring a new gaming UI for gestures.

Mobile phones as artifacts children use in their games are discussed. Shows again how creative children are 😉

An Investigation into round touch screen Wristwatch interaction – interesting topic and good example how to do… Continue reading

Last year Paul did an internship a Nokia in Finland. He worked there on the integration of capacitive sensors in phones and clothing. After Paul was back we jointly followed up on the topic which resulted in an interesting set of guidelines for placing wearable controls [1].

The paper gives a good overview of wearable computing and interaction with wearable computers. In the work we focused on integrating touch sensitive controls into garments and accessories for a operating the music player integrated in a phone. The study showed that there are prime locations where to place controls on their body:… Continue reading

Since Enrico Rukzio (my first PhD student) went to Lancaster he discovered and advanced a very exciting topic for mobile interaction: mobile projector/projector phones. His group has a great presencs at this year’s mobile HCI (3 demonstrations, 2 short papers, 2 full papers, a workshop). In time for the conference the first projector phone appeared on the market (Cking Epoq EGP-PP01) – as to highlight the timeliness of the work.

The mobile projector study [1] revealed several interesting aspects. 1) it is faster to browser on the phone screen than using a project, 2) users do a lot… Continue reading

BJ Fogg gave the opening keynote at mobile HCI 2008 in Amsterdam. The talk explained very well the concept of Captology (computers as persuasive technologies) and the newer projects are very inspiring. He put the following questions at the center: How can machines change people’s minds and hearts? How can you automate persuasion? His current focus is on behavior change.

He reported of a class he is teaching at Stanford on designing facebook applications. The metric for success (and on this students are marked) is the uptake of the created application over the time of the course. He reported… Continue reading

The conference on mobile human computer interaction (MobileHCI 2008) started today in Amsterdam with the tutorial and workshop day.

I am chairing the tutorials and we tried a new approach for the tutorial, having 6 sessions/chapters that all together make up an introduction to mobile HCI. After 10 years of mobile HCI it seems important to help new members of the community to quickly learn about the field. The presentations were given by experts in the field that had 1 hour each for their topics. We had unexpected high attendence (the room with 100 seats was nearly… Continue reading

Recently I get this question more often – especially how to keep up with developments outside the scientific community. Some tell this is not important if you do research, however to me the actual uses are a very important inspirations.

There is no single source but an interesting address in the WWW is textually.org – it is very international and covers much more than technology!