Open Lab Day in Essen

Today we had an open lab day – our first one in Essen. We invited colleagues, admin staff, students, friends, and family to have a look how we spent our days ;-) and what interesting systems we create with our students and in our research projects. We had several applications on our multi-touch table running, showed two prototypes in the automotive domain (text input while driving and vibration feedback in the steering wheel), demonstrated a new form of interaction with a public display and let people try an eye-tracking application.

Open Lab Day in Essen

Today we had an open lab day – our first one in Essen. We invited colleagues, admin staff, students, friends, and family to have a look how we spent our days ;-) and what interesting systems we create with our students and in our research projects. We had several applications on our multi-touch table running, showed two prototypes in the automotive domain (text input while driving and vibration feedback in the steering wheel), demonstrated a new form of interaction with a public display and let people try an eye-tracking application.

>Open Lab Day in Essen

>Today we had an open lab day – our first one in Essen. We invited colleagues, admin staff, students, friends, and family to have a look how we spent our days ;-) and what interesting systems we create with our students and in our research projects. We had several applications on our multi-touch table running, showed two prototypes in the automotive domain (text input while driving and vibration feedback in the steering wheel), demonstrated a new form of interaction with a public display and let people try an eye-tracking application.

Andreas Riener visits our lab

Andreas Riener from the University of Linz came to visit us for 3 days. In his research he works on multimodal and implicit interaction in the car. We talked about several new ideas for new user multimodal interfaces. Andreas had a preseure matt with him and we could try out what sensor readings we get in different setups. It seems that in particular providing redundancy in the controls could create interesting opportunities – hopefully we find means to explore this further.

Andreas Riener visits our lab

Andreas Riener from the University of Linz came to visit us for 3 days. In his research he works on multimodal and implicit interaction in the car. We talked about several new ideas for new user multimodal interfaces. Andreas had a preseure matt with him and we could try out what sensor readings we get in different setups. It seems that in particular providing redundancy in the controls could create interesting opportunities – hopefully we find means to explore this further.

>Andreas Riener visits our lab

>Andreas Riener from the University of Linz came to visit us for 3 days. In his research he works on multimodal and implicit interaction in the car. We talked about several new ideas for new user multimodal interfaces. Andreas had a preseure matt with him and we could try out what sensor readings we get in different setups. It seems that in particular providing redundancy in the controls could create interesting opportunities – hopefully we find means to explore this further.

Meeting on public display networks

Sunday night I travelled to Lugano for a meeting public display networks. I figured out that going there by night train is the best option – leaving midnight in Karlsruhe and arriving at 6am there. As I planned to sleep all the time my assumption was that the felt travel time would be zero. Made my plan without the rail company… the train was 2 hours late and I walked up and down for 2 hours in Karlsruhe at the track – and interestingly the problem would have been less annoying if public displays would provide the relevant information … The most annoying thing was passengers had no information if or when the train will come and no one could tell (neither was anyone at the station nor was anyone taking calls at the hotline).
The public display – really nice state of the art hardware – showed for 1 hour nothing and that it showed that the train is one hour late (was already more than 1 hour after the scheduled time) and finally the train arrived 2 hours late (the display still showing 1 hour delay). How hard can it be to provide this information? It seems with current approaches it is too hard…

On my way back I could observe a further example of short comings with content on public display. In the bus office they had a really nice 40-50 inch screen showing teletext of the departure. The problem was it was the teletext for the evening as the staff has to manually switch the pages. Here too it is very clear the information is available but current delivery systems are not well integrated.

In summary it is really a pity how poorly the public display infrastructures are used. It seems there are a lot of advances in the hardware but little on the content delivery, software and system side.

Meeting on public display networks

Sunday night I travelled to Lugano for a meeting public display networks. I figured out that going there by night train is the best option – leaving midnight in Karlsruhe and arriving at 6am there. As I planned to sleep all the time my assumption was that the felt travel time would be zero. Made my plan without the rail company… the train was 2 hours late and I walked up and down for 2 hours in Karlsruhe at the track – and interestingly the problem would have been less annoying if public displays would provide the relevant information … The most annoying thing was passengers had no information if or when the train will come and no one could tell (neither was anyone at the station nor was anyone taking calls at the hotline).
The public display – really nice state of the art hardware – showed for 1 hour nothing and that it showed that the train is one hour late (was already more than 1 hour after the scheduled time) and finally the train arrived 2 hours late (the display still showing 1 hour delay). How hard can it be to provide this information? It seems with current approaches it is too hard…

On my way back I could observe a further example of short comings with content on public display. In the bus office they had a really nice 40-50 inch screen showing teletext of the departure. The problem was it was the teletext for the evening as the staff has to manually switch the pages. Here too it is very clear the information is available but current delivery systems are not well integrated.

In summary it is really a pity how poorly the public display infrastructures are used. It seems there are a lot of advances in the hardware but little on the content delivery, software and system side.

>Meeting on public display networks

>Sunday night I travelled to Lugano for a meeting public display networks. I figured out that going there by night train is the best option – leaving midnight in Karlsruhe and arriving at 6am there. As I planned to sleep all the time my assumption was that the felt travel time would be zero. Made my plan without the rail company… the train was 2 hours late and I walked up and down for 2 hours in Karlsruhe at the track – and interestingly the problem would have been less annoying if public displays would provide the relevant information … The most annoying thing was passengers had no information if or when the train will come and no one could tell (neither was anyone at the station nor was anyone taking calls at the hotline).
The public display – really nice state of the art hardware – showed for 1 hour nothing and that it showed that the train is one hour late (was already more than 1 hour after the scheduled time) and finally the train arrived 2 hours late (the display still showing 1 hour delay). How hard can it be to provide this information? It seems with current approaches it is too hard…

On my way back I could observe a further example of short comings with content on public display. In the bus office they had a really nice 40-50 inch screen showing teletext of the departure. The problem was it was the teletext for the evening as the staff has to manually switch the pages. Here too it is very clear the information is available but current delivery systems are not well integrated.

In summary it is really a pity how poorly the public display infrastructures are used. It seems there are a lot of advances in the hardware but little on the content delivery, software and system side.

Offline Tangible User Interface

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 – much nicer than comparable systems that are screen based. I could imaging with a bit of effort one could create a phone application that scans the customer design, calculates the prices, and provides a rendered image of the configuration – with the chosen color (in our case green ;-). Could be an interesting student project…