hciLab

Human-Computer-Interaction

visits

On Friday afternoon I was at the summer party of the chair of ergonomics at the Technical University of Munich. Klaus Bengler, who took over the chair earlier this year and became professor, had in his talk 3 interesting points to take away:

  1. to assess more how much does bad ergonomics costs us (from health to missed sales)
  2. to quantify the value of ergonomics in real money in order to make it comparable with other factors in product design
  3. to include ergonomics as an integral part of the development process

From my Computer Science/HCI perspective I think (2) would be top of the list – as we have good approaches to (3) but need (2) to push it and as (1) is part of (2)… It would be great to have an argument based on economics. E.g. adding tactile feedback will costs x € and it will increase the value of the product by y € – if x>y do it – else don’t … still… Continue reading

After the exam board meeting at Trinity College in Dublin (I am external examiner for the Ubicomp program) I went back with Mads Haahr (the course director) to his office. Besides the screen on which he works he has one extra where constantly the log entries of his web server is displayed. It is an interesting awareness devices 😉 some years ago we did a project where we used the IP-address of incoming HTTP-requests to guess who the visitors are and to show their web pages on an awareness display [1], [2]. Looking back at web visitors works very… Continue reading

Running successful (large scale) projects in computer science is a great challenge – very often projects are delayed and run over budget. As we aim to provide our students with all it takes to be successful in the job we have a mandatory course on project management for IT project in the BSc Systems Engineering curriculum.

This afternoon we visited sd&m (part of Capgemini) in Düsseldorf to talk about the course structure and content. We are delighted that Gebhard Ritter and Oliver Stoll, both having long term experience in managing large projects, teach the course this term again. Having been… Continue reading

Running successful (large scale) projects in computer science is a great challenge – very often projects are delayed and run over budget. As we aim to provide our students with all it takes to be successful in the job we have a mandatory course on project management for IT project in the BSc Systems Engineering curriculum.

This afternoon we visited sd&m (part of Capgemini) in Düsseldorf to talk about the course structure and content. We are delighted that Gebhard Ritter and Oliver Stoll, both having long term experience in managing large projects, teach the course this term again. Having been… Continue reading

This morning we had the great opportunity to observe and discuss workflows and work practice in the operating area in the Elisabeth hospital in Essen. It was amazing how much time from (really busy) personnel we got and this provided us with many new insights.

The complexity of scheduling patients, operations, equipment and consumables in a very dynamic environment poses a great challenges and it was interesting to see how well it works with current technologies. However looking at the systems used and considering upcoming pervasive computing technologies a great potential for easing tasks and processes is apparent. Keeping tracking… Continue reading

Elise van den Hoven, the program co-chair of TEI08, organized the printing of the proceeding. We went there on Tuesday to collect the books – quite a heavy load! The books look really good and the cover is great.

In the afternoon I gave a lecture with the title “Interacting with Pervasive Computing Systems”. I have related some of our recent work and ideas to the focus of the course which is “intelligent systems, products and related services”. In particular I asked to re-think how we can find a balance between user needs and technology push – without… Continue reading

Recently Frank Spychalski (a student from Karlsruhe University 1999) contacted me and told me that he is now with Google in Munich. As we were in Munich anyway we took the chance to meet (and as the schedule was already full breakfast was the only time slot left).

The office in Munich is close to Marienplatz, the very central spot in Munich. They are currently setting up an engineering team. It looks like a great place to work. Perhaps there may be options for some of our students to do an internship in the future.

The visit at Google reminded… Continue reading

We visited the archeology and Stone Age museum in Bad Buchenau http://www.federseemuseum.de/. For our visit we rented their audio guide system – they had one version for kids and one for adults. The audio guides were done very well and the information was well presented.

Nevertheless such devices break the joint experience of visiting a museum! We had three devices – and we stood next to each other listening but not talking to each other. Even though it may transport more information than the written signs it makes a poorer experience than reading and discussing. I wonder how one… Continue reading

It is always great to visit the pervasive computing labs in Linz – always new and cool research to see. Looking at my my Google News-Alert it seems that the term “pervasive” is dominate by Alois 🙂

Alois Ferscha showed me their interaction cube. It is a really interesting piece of research and the background and argument of the cinematic of the hand shows a deep insight. There are some slides on the Telekom Austria Cube that are worthwhile to look at. It is interesting that he has gone successfully the full cycle from concept to product (image is taken… Continue reading

Antonio Krüger at the University of Münster is running an infrastructure of public displays that show various kinds of information. Using a web editor a select set of people (mainly staff at the department) can input and manage the information chunks that are presented.

In our discussion it became obvious that running such public displays comes with a lot of responsibilities and that people are very quick at complaining about content (may it be censorship or offending content). This leads then to more or less closed and controlled system – but I wonder if we are not overcautious or the… Continue reading

Yesterday we had the opportunity to see a set of research demos at the lab of Antonio Krüger at the University of Münster. We had some time to discuss research projects and in the afternoon Nigel and I gave a talk at the Geoinformatics seminar.

We saw exciting work in progress – a nearly ready large scale multi-touch display based on frustrated total internal reflection – according to Antonio the world-largest at the moment. The principle of operation of such a display is very appealing and the demo was convincing. For a comprehensive introduction on the topic see Jef Han’s… Continue reading

The CDTM is a joint elite study program from LMU Munich and TU Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/). It offers a set of complementary course for students from different backgrounds including math, business studies, engineering, computer science and media informatics. In their course on multimodal HCI I gave today an introductory lecture on the motivation for and the basics of user interface engineering.

In the seminar room was a real typewrite – in fact a travel type write. It was a real good prop to discuss micro- and macro-efficiency.

One question about the sustainability of a competitive advantage based on user… Continue reading

Today I was invited at the Citizen Media seminar to discuss mobile and ubiquitous computing topics with people working in the project. Fraunhofer IAIS and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne are both partners in the European Citizen Media project (http://www.ist-citizenmedia.org/). It is a difficult question how to create and support a mobile community. The provision of software and infrastructure is obviously required – e.g. Alexander De Luca and Michael Müller (students I supervised in Munich) designed and implemented an open source software as a basis for mobile blogging (mobile reporter) – but the process that… Continue reading