Auto-UI 2010 announced – 2009 Proceedings available in the ACM DL

The Auto-UI 2009 conference in Essen is over – and for us it was very enjoyable to have this many visitors at the University of Duisburg-Essen – see the photos. The conference facilitated good discussions and had a very constructive atmosphere. We should continue this exchange of ideas and there is always room for improvement… and that is why there is a Auto-UI conference 2010 in Pittsburgh, US – and there is interest beyond this in hosting the conference.

You can register to get information about the next conference on the Auto-UI webpage.

The proceedings are now online in the ACM DL and the linked on the program website.

Auto-UI 2010, Proceedings in the ACM DL

The Auto-UI 2009 conference in Essen is over – and for us it was very enjoyable to have this many visitors. The conference facilitated good discussions and had a very constructive atmosphere. We should continue this exchange of ideas and there is always room for improvement… and that is why there is a Auto-UI conference 2010 in Pittsburg, US – and there is interest beyond this.

You can register to get information about the next conference on the Auto-UI webpage.

The proceedings are now online in the ACM DL and the linked on the program website.

Social event at Zeche Zollverein, Accidents are avoidable

In the evening we went to Zeche Zollverein – a world cultural heritage site called “the most beautiful coal mine in the world”. We got a guided tour and had dinner in the Kokerei.
It was interesting to see and learn about working conditions – which were really hard. 100 years ago it was common that live expectancy of the workers was less that 60, that there was typically one serious accident per day and that about 30 people died every year in the coal mine.

We find that nowadays inhumane and it would be in Germany (and many other countries) completely unacceptable. Coming back to cars … we accept that in order to have personal transportation it sees unavoidable to have accidents and that 4477 people were killed 2008 in traffic accidents in Germany (which was lower than all the years before). Perhaps in 100 years people will look back at us similar to how we look back at the working conditions in coal mines 100 years ago. And I think research in Automotive User Interfaces can help working towards safer individual traffic.

Automotive UI 2009 – Proceedings online available

The proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI 2009) [1] are freely available on the conference website and in the ACM digital library (see the table of contents of the proceedings). We created a printed version of the proceedings and it seemed that a lot of participants used it during the conference – so paper seems to have still a value (at least to some of us).

We decided to pursue an open policy for disseminating the proceedings. The authors keep the copyright of their paper and the authors grant the ACM digital library and the conference to distribute the electronic version over the web site (and as printed book and on a USB-Stick in car-shape). We think this approach maximizes the exposure and hence is good for the community. We are happy that the ACM agreed to this model!

If you are interested in the conference and you want to be updated please register for receiving information on future conference.

[1] Albrecht Schmidt, Anind Dey, Thomas Seder, Oskar Juhlin, Dagmar Kern. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI 2009). Essen. Germany. 21-22 Sept. 2009. (table of contents of the proceedings in the ACM DL)

Dagmar Kern presents a Automotive UI Design Space

Dagmar presents her work on a design space for automotive user interfaces [1]. The design space allows to categorize user interface components and elements with regard to interaction agent, position in the car, and type of interaction. The design space can be used to compare interfaces and as tool for assessing new opportunities for interaction.

The design space is based on an analysis of more than 700 pictures from IAA 2007. The photos (and soon photos from IAA 2009) are available at https://www.pcuie.uni-due.de/AUI/

[1] Kern, D. and Schmidt, A. 2009. Design space for driver-based automotive user interfaces. In Proceedings of the 1st international Conference on Automotive User interfaces and interactive Vehicular Applications (Essen, Germany, September 21 – 22, 2009). AutomotiveUI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 3-10. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1620509.1620511

Keynote at Automotive UI 2009: Gert Hildebrand, MINI/BMW

Tom Seder and I openend the conference and welcomed our keynote speaker.

I was very excited that Gert Volker Hildebrand accepted to be the keynote speaker for the 1st International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (AutomotiveUI 2009). He is with BMW Group in Munich and is the director of design for MINI. The topic of his talks was: “MINI Design: From the Original to the Original. The path from Center Speedo to Center Globe”. When I first came across the UI concept I wanted to meet the person – and a keynote is always one way 😉

I introduced the keynote with pictures from the Italian Job Movies (the first from 1969 and the second from 2003) and I find it impressive that the re-design inspired people to redo the movie.
In his talk he explained the design language used in the MINI- in short everything is a circles or a derivatives of circles. The concept of the center globe is a central sphere display that uses layers to include information. It has a horizontal surface (like a stage) and a background as well as a foreground.

The concept separates the UI for the driver (e.g. she gets navigation) and the passenger (she gets a access to the Internet). Search on Google or Bing for Mini Center-Globe and you get the idea. The concept uses a physical object (a sphere again) to transport content and to grand access – this reminded me of Durrell Bishop’s marble answering machine… Tangible UIs again 🙂

Gert Hildebrand also recommended his book “Mini Design” by Othmar Wickenheiser and Gert Hildebrand. The books contains many design sketches and is partly English and partly German (only available at Amazon in Germany).

Overall the presentation showed again that likeability and aesthetics play an essential role in creating an attractive product – and especially an interactive product. Opening Automotive UI 2009 I made an analogy to mobile phones in 1998. Phones were then closed systems, UIs were very basic and it was very hard for 3rd parties to create applications. And now – 10 years later – UI and applications seem to play a more important role than the core technologies (or why would in 2007 people think a phone with a 2 Megapixel and without video recording and no UMTS is great).

Engineering Thrill – Why is a fairground fun?

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 controlling the mechanics). Virtual reality does not feature at all. What people are attracted to is physical (e.g. a fraction of a second of zero G, great heights, and a life boxing fight).

When I was in Lancaster working in the Equator project I worked with Brendan Walker – and he is the world’s only thrill engineer. He is an aeronautical engineer (Imperial College, London) and Industrial Design Engineer (Royal College of Art, London) by training and had a research grant to investigate how thrill works and how to create thrill. Some of his results are published in a booklet [1] and the work is continued in the Thrilllaboratory [2]. Earlier this year he gave an interview to that gives an intro of his work – a quick and fun read. There are some youtube videos of his work, e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v1M59Aaa2A

[1] Brendan Walker. The Taxonomy of Thrill and Thrilling Designs: Chromo11 (Volumes One and Two). Aerial Publishing (Jan 2005)

[2] http://www.thrilllaboratory.com/

Closing Keynote by Kentoaro Toyama at MobileHCI

Kentaro Toyama presented the closing keynote of MobileHCI 2009 with the title “Technology for Global Socio-Economic Development”. He gave an experience report of projects he works on in India. I liked especially that he included things that work but also discussed a set of myth with regard to ICT in the developing world (see Myths of ICT4D).

It is worthwhile to read more about his work, see Kentaro’s home page for more.

Our Paper and Posters at Mobile HCI 2009

Ali presented our joint work with Nokia Rearch and DoCoMo Eurolab in the paper on sharing emotions [1] (the acceptance rate was about 20%). The research is motivated by the question how we can make communication more emotional and how we can enable digital craft creating. The idea is to have a new communication medium were a communication item is hand crafted and can carry emotion. The questions were encouraging and we hope to continue to work on this topic.

In the poster session we had two contributions. Christian Winkler showed his project on Flash-light interaction [2]. The idea is simple: a camera in the environment or screen tracks the flash light of the phone – but it is very effective.

Ali presented a poster on a new poker table; this is a project some of our students build last term. An interesting aspect is that the playing cards are on the phone, the table is a multitouch table, and interaction is based on gestures (on the table as well as with the phone).

Have look at the table of contents of the entire conference to get an overview of current work in mobile HCI.

[1] Shirazi, A. S., Alt, F., Schmidt, A., Sarjanoja, A., Hynninen, L., Häkkilä, J., and Holleis, P. 2009. Emotion sharing via self-composed melodies on mobile phones. In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Bonn, Germany, September 15 – 18, 2009). MobileHCI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-4. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1613858.1613897

[2] Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Christian Winkler, Albrecht Schmidt: Flashlight Interaction: A Study on Mobile Phone Interaction Techniques with Large Displays (Poster). In: Adjunct Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI’09) – Poster. Bonn, Germany 2009.

[3] Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Tanja Döring, Pouyan Parvahan, Bernd Ahrens, Albrecht Schmidt: Poker Surface: Combining a Multi-Touch Table and Mobile Phones in Interactive Card Games (Poster).In: Adjunct Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI’09) – Poster. Bonn, Germany 2009.

Best papers at MobileHCI 2009

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 and worthwhile to read.

PhotoMap [3] is a simple but very cool idea. Many of you have probably taken photos of public maps with your mobile phone (e.g. at a park, city map) and PhotoMap explores how to link them to realtime location data from the GPS on the device. The goal is that you can move around in the real space and you have a dot marking where you are on the taken photo. The implementation however seems not completely simple… There is a youtube movie on PhotoMap (there would be more movies from the evening event – but I do not link them here – the photo above gives you an idea…)

Since last year there is also a history best paper award (most influential paper from 10 years ago). Being at the beginning of a new field sometimes pays of… I got this award for the paper on implicit interaction [4] I presented in Edinburgh at MobileHCI 1999.

[1] Turunen, M., Melto, A., Hella, J., Heimonen, T., Hakulinen, J., Mäkinen, E., Laivo, T., and Soronen, H. 2009. User expectations and user experience with different modalities in a mobile phone controlled home entertainment system. In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Bonn, Germany, September 15 – 18, 2009). MobileHCI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-4. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1613858.1613898

[2] Robinson, S., Eslambolchilar, P., and Jones, M. 2009. Sweep-Shake: finding digital resources in physical environments. In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Bonn, Germany, September 15 – 18, 2009). MobileHCI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-10. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1613858.1613874

[3] Schöning, J., Krüger, A., Cheverst, K., Rohs, M., Löchtefeld, M., and Taher, F. 2009. PhotoMap: using spontaneously taken images of public maps for pedestrian navigation tasks on mobile devices. In Proceedings of the 11th international Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Bonn, Germany, September 15 – 18, 2009). MobileHCI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-10. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1613858.1613876

[4] Albrecht Schmidt. Implicit human computer interaction through context. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Journal, Springer Verlag London, ISSN:1617-4909, Volume 4, Numbers 2-3 / Juni 2000. DOI:10.1007/BF01324126, pp. 191-199 (initial version presented at MobileHCI1999). http://www.springerlink.com/content/u3q14156h6r648h8/