Ubicomp 2010

Today the 12th international conference on Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp2010) started in Copenhagen. The conference is very competitive showing a wide range of work in the space of computing beyond the desktop. This year 39 of 202 papers and notes were accepted in the main program. In this part of the program there is a focus of work from North America (which seems to go together with conferences becoming ACM conferences).

The opening keynote was by Morton Kyng on “Making dreams come true – or how to avoid a living nightmare”. In his talk he outlined his view on palpable computing which basically described user centered development of pervasive systems.

This years Ubicomp has a large number of demos and it was fun to engage with these and with the people presenting them. Christian Winkler from our group had an invited demo on “Sense-sation: An Extensible Platform for Integration of Phones into the Web” showing a combined web and mobile phone platform that eases the development of applications that run across several phones. For example is it very easy to create an application where you have a map interface and you can mark an area on the map and request that each of the devices currently in this area is going to take a photo and sent it back (given that the devices run the platform and that you have the right to use the camera on these phones). There will be a full paper on this in a few weeks published at the Internet of Things Conference in Japan and you can already check out the web page: http://www.test.sense-sation.de/

As Ubicomp is not held at a hotel (which I like) there is also no conference hotel with a default bar. Hence the organziers name a Ubicomp 2010 bar: Nyhavn 17. I think this is a good idea!

Ubicomp 2010

Today the 12th international conference on Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp2010) started in Copenhagen. The conference is very competitive showing a wide range of work in the space of computing beyond the desktop. This year 39 of 202 papers and notes were accepted in the main program. In this part of the program there is a focus of work from North America (which seems to go together with conferences becoming ACM conferences).

The opening keynote was by Morton Kyng on “Making dreams come true – or how to avoid a living nightmare”. In his talk he outlined his view on palpable computing which basically described user centered development of pervasive systems.

This years Ubicomp has a large number of demos and it was fun to engage with these and with the people presenting them. Christian Winkler from our group had an invited demo on “Sense-sation: An Extensible Platform for Integration of Phones into the Web” showing a combined web and mobile phone platform that eases the development of applications that run across several phones. For example is it very easy to create an application where you have a map interface and you can mark an area on the map and request that each of the devices currently in this area is going to take a photo and sent it back (given that the devices run the platform and that you have the right to use the camera on these phones). There will be a full paper on this in a few weeks published at the Internet of Things Conference in Japan and you can already check out the web page: http://www.test.sense-sation.de/

As Ubicomp is not held at a hotel (which I like) there is also no conference hotel with a default bar. Hence the organziers name a Ubicomp 2010 bar: Nyhavn 17. I think this is a good idea!

>Ubicomp 2010

>Today the 12th international conference on Ubiquitous Computing (ubicomp2010) started in Copenhagen. The conference is very competitive showing a wide range of work in the space of computing beyond the desktop. This year 39 of 202 papers and notes were accepted in the main program. In this part of the program there is a focus of work from North America (which seems to go together with conferences becoming ACM conferences).

The opening keynote was by Morton Kyng on “Making dreams come true – or how to avoid a living nightmare”. In his talk he outlined his view on palpable computing which basically described user centered development of pervasive systems.

This years Ubicomp has a large number of demos and it was fun to engage with these and with the people presenting them. Christian Winkler from our group had an invited demo on “Sense-sation: An Extensible Platform for Integration of Phones into the Web” showing a combined web and mobile phone platform that eases the development of applications that run across several phones. For example is it very easy to create an application where you have a map interface and you can mark an area on the map and request that each of the devices currently in this area is going to take a photo and sent it back (given that the devices run the platform and that you have the right to use the camera on these phones). There will be a full paper on this in a few weeks published at the Internet of Things Conference in Japan and you can already check out the web page: http://www.test.sense-sation.de/

As Ubicomp is not held at a hotel (which I like) there is also no conference hotel with a default bar. Hence the organziers name a Ubicomp 2010 bar: Nyhavn 17. I think this is a good idea!

Ubicomp 2010 Workshop: Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy (UCSE2010)

Together with Adrian I organized a workshop at Ubicomp2010 in Copenhagen on Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy. The motivation for this were for me the question (1) if ubicomp can help to make energy provision more sustainable and (2) what are the central areas where ubicomp technologies can help. Over the last years we have seen a lot of example of motivational technologies – which I am not convinced of. For me the example of standby power is symptomatic. There was a lot of discussion how to reduce the standby consumption motivating people to actively do it and providing more awareness about energy consumption. This lead to a number of academically interesting investigations and prototype making people more aware of their consumption (e.g. the power aware cord)- however to me they do not make a real difference yet. A “simple law” (as we have recently seen in Europe, COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1275/2008 following Directive 2005/32/EC) saying that you do not get the CE-certification for your device if it exceeds a certain power in standby did the job – at least in Europe. Within a few month all TVs that I have seen being advertised were below 1W standby consumption.

If you are more interested in the topic please have a look at the workshop web page. There are also the online proceedings available as well as some results of the discussion. During the workshop we got some feedback on facebook, a colleague stated: “if we didn’t have ubiquitous computing, our energy situation would be more sustainable … every time, for instance, a customer upgrades their mobile – iphone 5, anyone, the energy waste is huge“. I think that is a really important and valid comment, and I made the following reply “it is more complicated than that, e.g. how does this change if you use public transport instead of your Hummer (=personal lorry) because of your iPhone 5 ;-) or as you do your email on the iPhone and hence do not have a PC at home anymore … to be more serious one of the questions we posed the questions if sustainability is a CS topic and in what sense (or if this is rather a political questions)“. Adrian added a further response: “consumerism clearly has a lot to answer for. If we didn’t have conference travel, or didn’t submit the papers in the first place? … :-) I’m sure you know: Elaine M. Huang, Khai N. Truong’s CHI 2008 paper: Breaking the Disposable Technology Paradigm…” [1]. We continued this discussion over dinner and I think the ultimate answer is to go towards a live style of reduced consumption – but I expected this would crash our current economic system…

Coming out of the restaurant we saw an impressive firework and it seemed people (including me) liked it and we did not really think about wasting resources and polluting the environment for a short display…

[1] Huang, E. M. and Truong, K. N. 2008. Breaking the disposable technology paradigm: opportunities for sustainable interaction design for mobile phones. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 – 10, 2008). CHI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 323-332. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357110

Ubicomp 2010 Workshop: Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy (UCSE2010)

Together with Adrian I organized a workshop at Ubicomp2010 in Copenhagen on Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy. The motivation for this were for me the question (1) if ubicomp can help to make energy provision more sustainable and (2) what are the central areas where ubicomp technologies can help. Over the last years we have seen a lot of example of motivational technologies – which I am not convinced of. For me the example of standby power is symptomatic. There was a lot of discussion how to reduce the standby consumption motivating people to actively do it and providing more awareness about energy consumption. This lead to a number of academically interesting investigations and prototype making people more aware of their consumption (e.g. the power aware cord)- however to me they do not make a real difference yet. A “simple law” (as we have recently seen in Europe, COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1275/2008 following Directive 2005/32/EC) saying that you do not get the CE-certification for your device if it exceeds a certain power in standby did the job – at least in Europe. Within a few month all TVs that I have seen being advertised were below 1W standby consumption.

If you are more interested in the topic please have a look at the workshop web page. There are also the online proceedings available as well as some results of the discussion. During the workshop we got some feedback on facebook, a colleague stated: “if we didn’t have ubiquitous computing, our energy situation would be more sustainable … every time, for instance, a customer upgrades their mobile – iphone 5, anyone, the energy waste is huge“. I think that is a really important and valid comment, and I made the following reply “it is more complicated than that, e.g. how does this change if you use public transport instead of your Hummer (=personal lorry) because of your iPhone 5 ;-) or as you do your email on the iPhone and hence do not have a PC at home anymore … to be more serious one of the questions we posed the questions if sustainability is a CS topic and in what sense (or if this is rather a political questions)“. Adrian added a further response: “consumerism clearly has a lot to answer for. If we didn’t have conference travel, or didn’t submit the papers in the first place? … :-) I’m sure you know: Elaine M. Huang, Khai N. Truong’s CHI 2008 paper: Breaking the Disposable Technology Paradigm…” [1]. We continued this discussion over dinner and I think the ultimate answer is to go towards a live style of reduced consumption – but I expected this would crash our current economic system…

Coming out of the restaurant we saw an impressive firework and it seemed people (including me) liked it and we did not really think about wasting resources and polluting the environment for a short display…

[1] Huang, E. M. and Truong, K. N. 2008. Breaking the disposable technology paradigm: opportunities for sustainable interaction design for mobile phones. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 – 10, 2008). CHI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 323-332. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357110

>Ubicomp 2010 Workshop: Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy (UCSE2010)

>Together with Adrian I organized a workshop at Ubicomp2010 in Copenhagen on Ubiquitous Computing for Sustainable Energy. The motivation for this were for me the question (1) if ubicomp can help to make energy provision more sustainable and (2) what are the central areas where ubicomp technologies can help. Over the last years we have seen a lot of example of motivational technologies – which I am not convinced of. For me the example of standby power is symptomatic. There was a lot of discussion how to reduce the standby consumption motivating people to actively do it and providing more awareness about energy consumption. This lead to a number of academically interesting investigations and prototype making people more aware of their consumption (e.g. the power aware cord)- however to me they do not make a real difference yet. A “simple law” (as we have recently seen in Europe, COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 1275/2008 following Directive 2005/32/EC) saying that you do not get the CE-certification for your device if it exceeds a certain power in standby did the job – at least in Europe. Within a few month all TVs that I have seen being advertised were below 1W standby consumption.

If you are more interested in the topic please have a look at the workshop web page. There are also the online proceedings available as well as some results of the discussion. During the workshop we got some feedback on facebook, a colleague stated: “if we didn’t have ubiquitous computing, our energy situation would be more sustainable … every time, for instance, a customer upgrades their mobile – iphone 5, anyone, the energy waste is huge“. I think that is a really important and valid comment, and I made the following reply “it is more complicated than that, e.g. how does this change if you use public transport instead of your Hummer (=personal lorry) because of your iPhone 5 ;-) or as you do your email on the iPhone and hence do not have a PC at home anymore … to be more serious one of the questions we posed the questions if sustainability is a CS topic and in what sense (or if this is rather a political questions)“. Adrian added a further response: “consumerism clearly has a lot to answer for. If we didn’t have conference travel, or didn’t submit the papers in the first place? … :-) I’m sure you know: Elaine M. Huang, Khai N. Truong’s CHI 2008 paper: Breaking the Disposable Technology Paradigm…” [1]. We continued this discussion over dinner and I think the ultimate answer is to go towards a live style of reduced consumption – but I expected this would crash our current economic system…

Coming out of the restaurant we saw an impressive firework and it seemed people (including me) liked it and we did not really think about wasting resources and polluting the environment for a short display…

[1] Huang, E. M. and Truong, K. N. 2008. Breaking the disposable technology paradigm: opportunities for sustainable interaction design for mobile phones. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 – 10, 2008). CHI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 323-332. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357110

PD-NET web page and facebook page

For our European FET open project PD-NET we have a web page at http://pd-net.org/ online. There we describe the project and there is already the first publication (a paper we will present at ACM Multimedia 2010) listed. The page also includes a description of the project and the partners. If you work on public displays or if you are interested in this topic (e.g. as developer, service provider, device manufacturer, content designer, or user) please feel free to contact us. Perhaps there is chance for collaboration.

The project objectives are:

  • To create enabling technologies for large-scale pervasive display networks through the design, development and evaluation of a robust, scalable, distributed and open platform for interconnecting displays and their sensors.
  • To establish Europe as the international centre for work on pervasive display networks.
  • To address key scientific challenges that may inhibit the widespread adoption of pervasive display network technology: Tensions between privacy and personalization, situated displays, business and legislative requirements, User Interaction.

To share resources and ideas with a community of researchers interested in the topic we have setup a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pdnet. There is one album where we hope to collect a larger number of photos of public displays (traditional and digital) from around the world to document the variety of public displays and people’s interaction with them. If you have interesting photos of public displays please share them on the page. We also encourage researchers publishing in this research field to share their publications (or links to the publications) with the community (and it is obvious that everyone will cite you ;-)

PD-NET web page and facebook page

For our European FET open project PD-NET we have a web page at http://pd-net.org/ online. There we describe the project and there is already the first publication (a paper we will present at ACM Multimedia 2010) listed. The page also includes a description of the project and the partners. If you work on public displays or if you are interested in this topic (e.g. as developer, service provider, device manufacturer, content designer, or user) please feel free to contact us. Perhaps there is chance for collaboration.

The project objectives are:

  • To create enabling technologies for large-scale pervasive display networks through the design, development and evaluation of a robust, scalable, distributed and open platform for interconnecting displays and their sensors.
  • To establish Europe as the international centre for work on pervasive display networks.
  • To address key scientific challenges that may inhibit the widespread adoption of pervasive display network technology: Tensions between privacy and personalization, situated displays, business and legislative requirements, User Interaction.

To share resources and ideas with a community of researchers interested in the topic we have setup a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pdnet. There is one album where we hope to collect a larger number of photos of public displays (traditional and digital) from around the world to document the variety of public displays and people’s interaction with them. If you have interesting photos of public displays please share them on the page. We also encourage researchers publishing in this research field to share their publications (or links to the publications) with the community (and it is obvious that everyone will cite you ;-)

>PD-NET web page and facebook page

>For our European FET open project PD-NET we have a web page at http://pd-net.org/ online. There we describe the project and there is already the first publication (a paper we will present at ACM Multimedia 2010) listed. The page also includes a description of the project and the partners. If you work on public displays or if you are interested in this topic (e.g. as developer, service provider, device manufacturer, content designer, or user) please feel free to contact us. Perhaps there is chance for collaboration.

The project objectives are:

  • To create enabling technologies for large-scale pervasive display networks through the design, development and evaluation of a robust, scalable, distributed and open platform for interconnecting displays and their sensors.
  • To establish Europe as the international centre for work on pervasive display networks.
  • To address key scientific challenges that may inhibit the widespread adoption of pervasive display network technology: Tensions between privacy and personalization, situated displays, business and legislative requirements, User Interaction.

To share resources and ideas with a community of researchers interested in the topic we have setup a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pdnet. There is one album where we hope to collect a larger number of photos of public displays (traditional and digital) from around the world to document the variety of public displays and people’s interaction with them. If you have interesting photos of public displays please share them on the page. We also encourage researchers publishing in this research field to share their publications (or links to the publications) with the community (and it is obvious that everyone will cite you ;-)

Interviewing with Rikke Friis Dam and Mads Søgaard

Rikke Friis Dam and Mads Søgaard are currently working on a re-launch of the website interaction-design.org. The side has over the last years involved in a useful resource for researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction and interaction design. There is a very comprehensive calendar that includes most relevant events in HCI.


With their current work Rikke and Mads pursue a mission to create a new and free resource for teaching and learning interaction design and HCI. In a first step they work with researchers (like myself) around the world that are experts on a certain topic (in my case context-awareness and implicit interaction) to create new teaching materials. This includes a chapter (about 3000 words) that has tutorial character and interviews in which specific topics are discussed in more details.

It was great fun to work with them and I look forward to seeing the new material online.