On Saturday there was a workshop on monitoring, logging and reflecting. Know Thyself: Monitoring and Reflecting on Facets of One’s Life. In the workshop we discussed technologies and concepts for monitoring and using personal information. I started out with asking the question who knows what about you? The list is quickly growing (e.g. telecom provider, travel agent, super market, bank, mail provider, facebook, etc.) and so is the set of information they know about you. And it becomes clear that these entities keep a better record about an individual that the individuals themselves. Hence our central suggestion is that the… Continue reading

Mohan Kumar and Marco Conti organized an EU/NSF workshop on Future Directions in Pervasive Computing and Social Networking for Emerging Applications. They managed to get together an interesting set of people and the discussion in the break out session were very enjoyable and I got a number of ideas what really are the challenges to come.

There are the position statements on the web page and at some point the identified grand challenges will be available.

PS: blackboards are still highly effective 😉

Friday and Saturday we hosted the GI working groups on tangible interaction (GI Arbeitskreis Be-greifbare Interaction in gemischten Wirklichkeiten) for the second inventor’s workshop. We were positively surprised that more than 30 people took part. We started with a set of nice demos from our students and then Nicolas Villar presented an invited talk.

The concept of the workshop was to create ideas by looking more closely at different materials that may be used for interaction and by assessing novel interaction technologies. On Friday afternoon we had several tables with material (e.g. smart materials, conductive fabric, magnetic materials,… Continue reading

Creativity is a key issue of creating novel applications and interaction methods and techniques. Over two days we ran a hands on prototyping workshop on physical user interaction. We setup teams of 3 people, each team including at least one person with design and one with programming skills. Within about 5 hours the teams had to create a multiplayer interactive game – using a mouse or several mice as basic sensors. We discussed how novelty and the learning curve of interaction technologies relate to physical interaction. The results of the workshop were most impressive… and I think some of them… Continue reading

Following our first workshop on this topic in Nara during Pervasive 2009 earlier this year we had on Friday the 2nd Pervasive Advertising Workshop in Lübeck as part of the German computer science conference Informatik 2009.

The program was interesting and very diverse. Daniel Michelis discussed in his talk how we move from an attention economy towards an engagement economy. He argued that marketing has to move beyond the AIDA(S) model and to consider engagement as central issue. In this context he introduced the notion of Calm Advertising and interesting analogy to Calm Computing [1]. Peter van Waart… 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

Together with Stephan Karpischek (ETH Zurich) and Florian Michahelles (ETH Zurich & Auto-ID labs) I organize a workshop at Pervasive 2010 in Helsinki looking for an end-user perspective on the Internet of Things.

The call is online at: http://www.autoidlabs.org/events/ciot2010 and the deadline is the 15th of January 2010.

The topics that we hope for include emerging applications, interaction paradigms, infrastructure, and social impact of new technologies and the implications for citizens.

For more information you can subscribe to the facebook group.

We got a good set of submission for our workshop and had about 20 participants who joined us in Nara to discuss how pervasive computing will shape advertising in the future. The papers and a selection of talks is online on the workshop website: http://pervasiveadvertising.org

One question that was central to our discussion was: what is advertising and how is it different from information. It became quickly clear that there is a lot of information that has an influence on behavior and in particular shopping decisions and some of it is considered advertising but much is not. Hence it seems… Continue reading

Since last year we have in Germany a working group on graspable/tangible interaction in mixed realities. In German the key term we use is “begreifbar” or “begreifen” which has the meaning of acquire a deep understanding of something and the words basic meaning is to touch. Basically understand by touching – but in a more fundamental sense than grasping or getting grip. Hence the list of translations for “begreifen” given in the dictionary is quite long. Perhaps we should push more for the word in the international community – Towards interaction that is begreifbar (English has too few foreign… Continue reading

The last 2 day we had a meeting – with all faculty of the ICB – discussing the future challenges of work at universities in the context of our current situation. For me the this time was very well spent as I got to know many of my colleagues better and it was incredible to see the potential (from a scientific perspective as well as looking at the people) we have in our organization.

To me it is always amazing how much of a difference it makes to have a professional external moderator running such workshops (and we were… 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

For the second time we ran this year a workshop on automobile user interfaces and interactive applications in the car at the German HCI conference: http://automotive.ubisys.org/

In the first session we discussed the use of tactile output and haptics in automotive user interfaces. It appears that there is significant interest in this area at the moment. In particular using haptics as an additional modality creates a lot of opportunities for new interfaces. We had a short discussion about two directions in haptic output: naturalistic haptic output (e.g. line assist that feels like going over the side of… Continue reading

Jonna Hakkila (Nokia), Jani Mantyjarvi (Nokia & VTT), and I discussed last year how we can improve the doctoral studies of our students and we decided to organize a small workshop to discuss PhD topics.

As Jonna is currently on maternity leave and officially not working we ran the workshop at VTT in Oulu.

The topics varied widely from basic user experience to user interface related security. There was very interesting work the participants did and published. I have selected the following 2 as reading suggestions: [1] by Elina Vartiainen and [2] by Anne Kaikkonen.

We hope we gave some… Continue reading

After last year’s successful workshop on automotive user interfaces we are planning to run another one this year. We – Susanne Boll (Uni Oldenburg), Wolfgang Spießl (BMW), Matthias Kranz (DLR) and Albrecht Schmidt – are really looking forward to many interesting submissions and a cool workshop program. The theme gains a the moment some momentum, which was very visible at the Special Interest Group meeting at CHI2008.

More information on the workshop and a call for paper is available at: http://automotive.ubisys.org/

Today we had our Pervasive at home workshop – as part of Pervasive 2008 in Sydney. We had 7 talks and a number of discussions on various topics related to smart homes. Issues ranged from long term experience with smart home deployments (Lasse Kaila et al.), development cycle (Aaron Quigley et al.), to end-user development (Joëlle Coutaz). For the full workshop proceedings see [1].

One trend that can be observed is that researchers move beyond the living lab. In the discussion it became apparent that living labs can start research efforts in this area and function as focus point for… Continue reading

Yesterday night I flew to Hamburg and traveled on to Lübeck – a quite nice town in the north of Germany – for the program committee meeting of Mensch und Computer 2008. This morning I got up a little earlier to walk around the city – as it was my first time visiting. The building I could see when walking into town however was oddly familiar, after some moments I recalled that it is the Holstentor which was pictured on the 50DM note (DM = German Mark – the money used in Germany till 2001 before we exchanged it… Continue reading

Ina Wagner, Volker Wulf and Kjeld Schmidt organized a meeting to get together people from all over Europe that work on human centred computing. We had interesting discussions what is specific and distinct European human centred computing and how well it is represented in organizations such as the ACM.

Some years ago there has been significant support in this area of research on a European level – namely I3 and the disappearing computer initiative. Currently many of us feel that the value of user centred research is not supported enough and hence innovation happens somewhere else which can lead… Continue reading

This morning a new working group on tangible interaction in mixed realities (in German Be-greifbare Interaktion in Gemischten Wirklichkeiten) was established as part of the German Computer Science Society (GI). About 30 people from all over Germany gathered at B-IT in a pre-conference event to TEI’08. The group was interdisciplinary, including computer science, design, psychology, and pedagogic. The diversity of research projects as well as teaching programs in Germany in impressive.

When driving back from a Workshop with the ART group of Fraunhofer IAIS at Naafs Häuschen I saw some interesting posters. A new car-related portal for selling and buying cars (pkw.de) has an interesting advertising campaign out. The only argument is on an easy to use and quick user interface – nothing else. So far many of them have tried to argue with the largest set of offers, but recently many of the major players (mobile.de and autoscout24.de) have improved their user interfaces.

It seems that a broader awareness for the user interface – basically that… Continue reading

At the CHI PC-meeting in Amsterdam I talked to a number of people – and it seems we are not the only one’s who are interested in interactive mirrors. It seems that breaking the physical limitations in time and space, a convention mirror imposes, creates some interest within the research community.

I talked to Boris de Ruyter about the Philips mirror project in the homelab and learned from Bo Begole about their work on interactive mirrors at PARC. It may be interesting to propose a workshop on interactive mirrors at one of the upcoming conference to get the people together… Continue reading

This afternoon our UbiLog workshop was held in Bremen as part of the Informatik 2007 conference. We selected 4 papers for presentation and had a lively and interesting discussion.

Following the talk of Nikolai Krambrock we discussed the use context, and in particular location, to restrict or allow access to information. My favourite example is an online-banking appliance that only works in predefined areas (e.g. at home and in my car). Using context appears one option in creating human understandable solutions for secure systems. People have developed means to protect physical objects and valuable, perhaps we should draw more on… 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

After the Pertec07 workshop at Percom earlier this year we summarised the workshop results and the ongoing discussion in an article. This is published in the current issue of the IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine.

F. Michahelles, F. Thiesse, A. Schmidt, J. R. WilliamsPervasive RFID and Near Field Communication TechnologyIEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 94-96, c3, Jul., 2007