New German book “on everyday computing” available

In 2005 Friedeman Mattern organized a symposium at ETH Zurich on how computing impacts everyday life ( He edited a book (Die Informatisierung des Alltags. Leben in smarten Umgebungen, @Amazon) which includes versions of most of the talks. The book is in German.

I contributed a chapter to the book (draft version) on the symbioses between humans and computers. In the paper the idea of novel user interfaces that augment human capabilities and improve our ability in what we can do with technology is assessed. It is mainly based on the work done in the DFG funded project Embedded Interaction.

If you can read German I highly recommend the book. It is an interesting collections on viewpoints of pervasive computing. There is also a great chapter (the last in the book) by Friedeman Mattern himself discussing old a new visions of technologies.

Pervasive 2007 in Toronto

The internatonal conference on pervasive computing in Toronto had an exiting program.

The keynote was by Adam Greenfield on “Everyware: Some Social and Ethical Implications of Ubiquitous Computing” – matching a number of issues we discussed the day before at the doctoral colloquium. The talk was enjoyable even though I think some of the statements made, in particular with regard to opting out and informing the users (e.g. logos) are over-simplified. Furthermore the fact that our society and its values are changing was very little reflected, e.g. privacy is not a constant.

The best paper (by Rene Mayerhofer and Hans Gellersen) “Shake well before use: Authentication based on accelerometer data” was my favourite, too. A further very interesting paper was “Inference Attacks on Location Tracksby John Krumm. Two papers from ETH Zürich were also quite interesting: “Operating Appliances with Mobile Phones – Strengths and Limits of a Universal Interaction Deviceby Christof Roduner et al. showed surprising results for the use of phones as remote control (in short – more usable than one thinks). And “Objects Calling Home: Locating Objects Using Mobile Phones” by Christian Frank et al. showed that phones have a great utility as sensors (in this case to find lost objects.)

We presented a in the video proceedings the smart transport container and a novel supply chain scenario (cutting out all intermediaries and enabling producer to customer transactions).

The tutorial day was excellent – I think the set of tutorials presented can give a good frame for preparing a course or lecture on pervasive computing.

Pervasive 2008 will be in Australia!

Our Presentations at CHI’07 in San Jose

At this years CHI the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems we presented 3 contributions: a full paper, a CHI-note, and a work in progress paper. Have a look at them!

Holleis, P., Otto, F., Hussmann, H., and Schmidt, A. 2007. Keystroke-level model for advanced mobile phone interaction. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, California, USA, April 28 – May 03, 2007). CHI ’07. ACM Press, New York, NY, 1505-1514. DOI=

Atterer, R. and Schmidt, A. 2007. Tracking the interaction of users with AJAX applications for usability testing. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, California, USA, April 28 – May 03, 2007). CHI ’07. ACM Press, New York, NY, 1347-1350. DOI=

Holleis, P., Kern, D., and Schmidt, A. 2007. Integrating user performance time models in the design of tangible UIs. In CHI ’07 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, CA, USA, April 28 – May 03, 2007). CHI ’07. ACM Press, New York, NY, 2423-2428. DOI=

Talks and Demos at PerCom 2007 in White Plains, NY

This year we (my previous group from LMU Munich) have a significant presence at PerCom. Form the 20 full papers the Embedded Interaction Research Group ( has 3, and additionally 1 of the 7 concise papers is from us. With a total of 207 submissions and an acceptance rate of around 10% this is quite an achievement for the team – and a good high point for the project before moving it to University of Bonn.

Gregor(y) Broll had the demo developed in the Perci-Project yesterday. Lucia Terrenghi and I had our talks today. And Gregor Broll, Sebastian Boring, and Raphael Wimmer have their talks tomorrow. Overall the conference has quite a diverse and interesting program, which seem to be more technical and network oriented than Ubicomp or Pervasive. The publications will be online available at the IEEE digital library or on our new publication webpage.

What can you do with a Wii controller? Use tape and connect a toothbrush and program a nice UI (fish tank) in Flash. Quite an interesting demo from Waseda University in Japan – at least the person who did the demo had really clean teeth in the evening.