Yearly Archives: 2010

On Tuesday morning Steve Benford presented the entertainment interfaces keynote. He is interested in how to use computer technology to support performances. Steve works a lot with artist group, where the University is involved in implementing, running and studying the experiences. The studies are typically done by means of ethnography. The goal of this research is to uncover the basic mechanisms that make these performances work and potentially transfer the findings to human computer interaction in more general.

I particularly liked the example of “Day of the figurines“. Steve showed the video of experiences they created and discussed… Continue reading

Ed H. Chi from PARC presented the opening keynote for Mensch&Computer 2010. In the motivation of the talk he showed a document on “Applied Information processing psychology” from 1971 – probably very few had seen this before. It makes an argument for an experimental science that is related to augmented cognition. The basic idea is very similar to Vannevar Bush’s Memex – to extend the human cognitive power by machines (and especially computer technology). It is apparent that these ideas became the backdrop of the many innovations that happened at PARC in the early days.

Ed stressed that there… Continue reading

Andrew Kun invited me to give a talk at the Univeristy of New Hampshire in Durham on my way back from CHI. The talk was on “Embedding Interaction – Human Computer Interaction in the Real World”. In the afternoon I got to see interesting projects in the automotive domain as well as an application on a multi-touch table. At CHI we ran a SIG on Automotive User Interfaces [1].

Seeing the implementation of Project54 live was very exciting. I came across the project first at Pervasive 2005 in Munich [2]. This project is an interesting example of how fast research… Continue reading

Over the last year we looked more closely into the potential of eye-gaze for implicit interaction. Gazemarks is an approach where the users’ gaze is continuously monitored and when leaving a screen or display the last active gaze area is determined and store [1]. When the user looks back at this display this region is highlighted. By this the time for attention switching between displays was in our study reduced from about 2000ms to about 700ms. See the slides or paper for details. This could make the difference that we enable people to safely read in the car… but before… Continue reading

It seems we have a lot of work in progress and CHI is a great place to get feedback an talk to people about it.

Florian Alt and others from the summer school in Haifa pushed one of the ideas the developed there further. It is about interactions and technologies to motivate a more thoughtful handling of trash in urban areas [1].

Tanja Döring and Bastian Pfleging developed with Chris Kray in Nottingham the idea of tangible devices that have a functional core and a passive shell [2]. By this we image that future tangible products can be created by… Continue reading

Harrison, C., Tan, D., and Morris, D. 2010. Skinput: appropriating the body as an input surface. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 453-462. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753326.1753394

Kramer, A. D. 2010. An unobtrusive behavioral model of “gross national happiness”. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 287-290. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753326.1753369

Brandt, J., Dontcheva, M., Weskamp, M., and Klemmer, S. R. 2010.… Continue reading

EmoDetector, by University of Duisburg-Essen and Nokia Research Center, is an application that provides auditory cues in addition to the notification tone upon receiving an SMS based on a real-time analysis of a message’s contents, see [1].The application responds currently to the following characters sets:

  • or
  • or
  • 😉 or 😉
  • ok (case insensitive)
  • ?

There is a version for Nokia Series 60 phones and for Android, see the download site. Have a look at the http://www.emodetector.tom-lab.de/ website for more information.

[1] Sahami Shirazi, A., Sarjanoja, A., Alt, F., Schmidt, A.,Häkkilä, J.: Understanding the Impact of Abstracted Audio Preview of… Continue reading

2343 attendees came to CHI 2010 this year to Atlanta. Participants are from 43 countries and the colored map suggested that a good number came from Germany. Outside it really feels like spring

Overall CHI 2010 received 2220 submission across 13 categories of which 699 were accepted. In the paper and nodes categories there were 1345 submissions of which 302 were accepted (22% acceptance rate).

Genevieve Bell from Intel is a cultural anthropologist and she presented the CHI opening keynote with the title: “Messy Futures: culture, technology and research”. She is a great story teller and showed exemplarily the value… Continue reading

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

Having used these cups I found that they are great examples for the concept of an affordance. Their shape and design prohibits some usage scenarios 😉 E.g. try to fill it and put it somewhere…

Together with Matthias Kranz and Carl Fisher we had a full paper at Percom 2010 – and I had the honor to present it [1]. The paper reports work that explored using the existing DECT (the wireless phone standard) infrastructure (available especially in Europe) as basic technology for localization. We compared DECT and Wifi and it is interesting that in most places you see more DECT based stations than Wifi. Overall it is a really interesting alternative to WLAN location.

From the joint work with Docomo-Eurolabs in Munich in the project AmbiVis we presented a work in progress poster. In… Continue reading

Pertti Huuskonen from Nokia presented his keynote at Percom in Mannheim. I worked with Pertti in 1999 on a European Project TEA – creating context-aware phones [1].

After telling us about CERN and some achievements in physics he raised the issue that an essential skill of humans is that they are context-aware. Basically culture is context-awareness – learning how to appropriately behave in life is essential to be accepted. We do this by looking at other people and by learning how how they act and how others react. “Knowing how to behave” we become fit for social life and this… Continue reading

About 300 people are at Percom 2010, which is held in the palace in Mannheim – and amazing location! The conference had 233 submission and is truly international (1/3 of the papers come from Europe, 1/3 from America, and 1/3 from Asia/pacific) and highly competitive (acceptance rate of about 12%).

Kurt Rothermel from the University of Stuttgart presented the opening Keynote on Large-scale Context Management. He presented a set of interesting example from Nexus (Collaborative Research Center 627, Spatial World Models for Mobile Context-Aware Applications) that showed the challenge in large scale systems. The size of the problem is can… 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 😉

The call for the 2nd International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications is online – see http://auto-ui.org – AutomotiveUI’10.

The conference will be in Pittsburgh on 11-12 Nov 2010.

Do not miss the submission deadline: 02 July 2010.

The call includes a wide range of topics, including:

  • new concepts for in-car user interfaces
  • multi-modal in-car user interfaces
  • in-car speech user interfaces
  • text input and output while driving
  • multimedia interfaces and in-car entertainment
  • evaluation of in-car user interfaces
  • methods and tools for automotive user interface research
  • development tools and methods for automotive user interfaces
  • automotive user interface frameworks… Continue reading

A video describing the poker surface is available in youtube. It is an implementation of a poker game on a combination of a multi-touch table and mobile phones, for details see [1].

It is amazing how quickly it is picked up. It gained about 5000 views in a single day and it is already features in engadget.com, gizmodo.com, ubergizmo.com and on recombu.com. But as the comments on pokerolymp.com show the real poker players are hard to impress…

This really makes me think how research, publishing, and public perception of research is changing – rapidly…

[1] Shirazi, A.… Continue reading

Heiko worked the last 6 years towards his PhD. He did a lot of things during this time – and even though not everything was on his PhD topic – I think the time was well spent, e.g. some visually interesting things came out [1].

The core of his PhD was on eye gaze as an additional modality for human computer interaction and it is worthwhile to read the thesis (which will be available in a few weeks) – till than you can have a look at the following papers. [2] describes a system that positions the mouse pointer on… Continue reading

For the second time we organize a doctoral seminar for PhD students in CS from Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg und Essen. The main purpose is to provide networking opportunities beyond the own subject area and to highlight to options for life after the PhD.

This year we had 4 invited speakers highlighting opportunities in academia, industry, and in SMEs:

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

Nicolas visited us in Essen to give the opening talk of our German meeting on tangible interaction. In his talk he first showed some examples of the hardware and sensors group at Microsoft research in Cambridge, most notably the SenseCam (which we learned is licensed and will be soon commercially available).

In the main part of the talk Nicolas presented a modular embedded architecture that allows developers to create custom made digital systems with fairly little effort. By integrating physical development (3D printing), functional blocks and software development the approach aims at empowering developers to create entirely new devices. His… Continue reading

I recently got more often used about cloud computing and what my take on it is. So far I have not had time to write up my view but I can share at least my reading list on the topic:

Hayes, B. 2008. Cloud computing. Commun. ACM 51, 7 (Jul. 2008), 9-11. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1364782.1364786

Vaquero, L. M., Rodero-Merino, L., Caceres, J., and Lindner, M. 2008. A break in the clouds: towards a cloud definition. SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. 39, 1 (Dec. 2008), 50-55. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1496091.1496100

John Viega, “Cloud Computing and the Common Man,” Computer, vol. 42, no. 8,… Continue reading

I came across 2 Sensor module recently released by ST Microelectronics:

There will be in the future probably very few mobile devices without such sensors. When we worked on the project TEA in 1999 it seemed far away… What can you do with sensors on the mobile? There are a few papers to read: using them for context awareness [1], for interaction [2], [3], and for creating smart devices [4].

Last week in Finland I met Antii Takaluoma (one of… Continue reading

For the second time we organized an international doctoral colloquium on HCI – mainly with students from Germany and Finland. This year it was hosted at the University of Tampere. 10 students in different stages of their PhD presented their work and ideas. The first one was in Oulu.

Besides many scientific and technological topics we discussed the process of doing a PhD. I shared my experience of doing a PhD based on an extened version of Jakob Badram’s fish model as well as with the PI-presentation model.

The fish: basically you start with a topic and it widens… 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

Jari Ikonen from the Finnish Ubicomp program contacted me last week – interestingly because I shared on this blog the information that I will be in Tampere – and it worked out that we met.

He showed and explained me the demola approach. I find this concept of teaching, training and innovation very exciting. In short demola offers space for students to work on challenging problems that are real and creates opportunities opportunities. Basically companies offer tasks/project to works on. Teams of students (potentially from different universities and fields) will work together to solve it as part of their studies… Continue reading

Social software and media is getting hugely popular and there are many longer explanations in CSCW and CHI why this works and what are the basic drivers. I saw a t-shirt that explains it in a single picture

It may over generalize but there is some truth in it – and given the recent figures on the prevalence of ADHA it seems to be a driving business in the future…

In my digital systems design class we have used the eZ430-F2013 development kits – they are cheap (about 20 €) and most students get it working

I have seen TI has a new development kit which is really interesting: “eZ430-Chronos Wireless Watch Development Tool” – Could be an useful basis for wearable computing projects – perhaps we should get them for the class on pervasive computing next term?

The TI commercial is on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDJIBydJvoM

Some years back IBM had a Linux watch as research platform. Gábor Blaskó published some concepts and protoytpes on how to interact with… Continue reading

I am very much in favor of teaching children more than one number system (e.g. binary additional to the decimal system). To me this gives children a better understanding of the nature of numbers – I know that this seems not to be widely shared 😉

Now I found a further reason why it essential to know binary codes – How else would you decode this best before date on this chocolate bar if you would not know it!