hciLab

Human-Computer-Interaction

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

While travelling I came across two very different books. On one of the airports I came through I came across Superfreakonimics by Levitt and Dubner [1] I had also read their earlier book (Freakonomics) as well as The Undercover Economist from Tim Harford – so I got this one. It is funny to read and I enjoyed most of it. The Geo-Engineering statements in the book received quite some critism on the net. So don’t by it for its discussion on climate ;-). Reading the books it seems one gets a good explanation of certain things in the world (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

In my lecture on user interface engineering I start out with a short history of human computer interaction. I like to discuss ideas and inventions in the context of the people who did it, besides others I take about Vannevar Bush and his vision of information processing [1], Ivan Sutherland’s sketchpad [2], Doug Engelbart’s CSCW demo (including the mouse) [3], and Alan Kay’s vision of the Dynabook [4].

One aspect of looking at the history is to better understand the future of interaction with computers. One typical question I ask in class is “what is the ultimate user interface” and… Continue reading

On the weekend I went with Vivien to a fairground at the Volksfest in Crailsheim (smaller Version of the Oktoberfest). Vivien is now old enough for some of the attractions – giving me an excuse to try them out 🙂 The forces on the body are pretty exciting when you feel them for the first time or after 20 years again…

It is amazing how much (mechanical) engineering is in these attractions, even though many are still the same as when I was a child (about 30 years ago). It seems that computer science plays a very minor role (besides… Continue reading

At the evening event of MobileHCI2009 the best paper awards were presented. The best short paper was “User expectations and user experience with different modalities in a mobile phone controlled home entertainment system” [1]. There were two full papers that got a best paper award: “Sweep-Shake: finding digital resources in physical environments” [2] and “PhotoMap: using spontaneously taken images of public maps for pedestrian navigation tasks on mobile devices” [3]. We often look at best papers of a conference to better understand what makes a good paper for this community. All of the 3 papers above are really well done… Continue reading

During the summerschool in Haifa Prof. Noam Tractinsky from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev gave a presentation about Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction. It was good to meet him in person and get some more insight in his work – as I refer to it typically in my HCI class.

In short his finding can be summarized by: What is Beautiful is Usable [1], [2]. In his talk he had some interesting example – you can look at a web page for one second only and you will figure out if it is a good design or not. There has been… Continue reading

Yesterday after my talk I met briefly Prof. Brian Randell from the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University. Today we had a chat over a coffee and it is really interesting to think more about dependability implications of ubicomp technologies.

Besides many other points I got a set of interesting pointers to books:

Tsvi Kuflik and Antonio Krüger organize from August 30th – September 3rd a German-Israeli Minerva School for Ubiquitous Display Environments: Intelligent Group Interaction, Foundations and Implementation of Pervasive Multimodal Interfaces. I will teach a session on: “Embedded interaction with display environments” and here is the list of recommended readings for the participants – if you are short on time only read the first one and glance over the other two.

Mahato, H., Kern, D., Holleis, P., and Schmidt, A. 2008. Implicit personalization of public environments using bluetooth. In CHI ’08 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence,… 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

Having used the Sony PRS-505 now for a few weeks (mainly to read dissertations and project reports) I have quickly gotten used to carrying less weight. The user interface requires some learning – as the screen is pretty slow pressing a button does not give immediate feedback and that feels strange – more than expected. I wonder if there are studies on traditional interacton with electronic paper? Another issue: it seems to depend on the crew whether or not it is OK to read from an eBook during the entire flight (including take-off and landing)…

While reading a thesis I… Continue reading

Together with Rene Mayrhofer and Alexander De Luca I organized a technical training at the European Patent Office in Munich. In the lectures we made the attempt to give a broad overview of recent advanced in this domain – and preparing such a day one realizes how much there is to it…. We covered the following topic:
  • Merging the physical and digital (e.g. sentient computing and dual reality [1])
  • Interlinking the real world and the virtual world (e.g. Internet of things)
  • Interacting with your body (e.g. implants for interaction, brain computer interaction, eye gaze interaction)
  • Interaction beyond the desktop, in… Continue reading
We are curious in current practice in SMS use – and I hope for a good reason. Together with Jonna Hakkila and her group at Nokia Research we have discussed ideas how to make SMS a bit more emotional. Hopefully we have soon a public beta of a small program out.  Till then it would be helpful to understand better how people use SMS and how the encode emotion in a very rudimentary way by 🙂 and 🙁 and alike. If you are curious, too and if you have 10 minutes it would be great to complete our survey:… Continue reading

Following the workshop I got a few questions on what the important papers are that one should read to start on the topic. There are many (e.g. search in google schoolar for tangible interaction, physical interaction, etc and you will see) and there conference dedicated to it (e.g. the tangible and embedded interaction TEI – next week in cambridge).

But if I have to pick two here is my joice:

[1] Ishii, H. 2008. Tangible bits: beyond pixels. In Proceedings of the 2nd international Conference on Tangible and Embedded interaction (Bonn, Germany, February 18 – 20, 2008). TEI ’08.… Continue reading

Over the last days there were a number of interesting papers presented and so it is not easy to pick a selection… Here is my random paper selection from Ubicomp 2008 that link to our work (the conference papers link into the ubicomp 2008 proceedings in the ACM DL, our references are below):

Don Patterson presented a survey on using IM. One of the finding surprised me: people seem to ignore “busy” settings. In some work we did in 2000 on mobile availability and sharing context users indicated that they would respect this or at least explain when… Continue reading

In the doctoral colloquium at Ubicomp 2008 we saw an interesting mix of topics including work on context-awareness, interaction in smart space, home infrastructures and urban environments. Overall there is again the observation that in ubicomp topics are very broad (at least in the beginning) and that it is not easy to narrow it down.

As Ali works on tactile feedback it was very interesting to see the presentation of Kevin Li on eyes-free interaction. He has an upcoming paper at UIST 2008 which is worthwhile to check out [1]. It was interesting some of the questions that relate to… 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

Christofer Lueg (he is professor at the School of Computing & Information Systems at the University of Tasmania) and Trevor Pering (he is a senior researcher at Intel Research in Seattle) visited our lab this week. The timing is not perfect but at I am not the only interesting person in the lab 😉

Together with Roy Want and others Trevor published some time ago an article in the IEEE Pervasive Magazine that is still worthwhile to read “Disappearning Hardware” [1]. It shows clearly the trend that in the near future it will be feasible to include processing and wireless… Continue reading

Mark Billinghurst presented an interesting history of augmented reality and he showed clearly that camera phones are the platform to look out for. He reminded us that currently the 3D performance of mobile phones is similar to the most powerful 3D graphics cards show 15 years ago at SIGGRAPH. Looking back at Steven Feiner’s backpack [1] – the first augmented reality system I saw – can tell us that we should not be afraid to create prototypes that may be a bit clumsy if they allow us to create a certain user experience and for exploring technology challenges.

In an… 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