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 .
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.  describes a system that positions the mouse pointer on… Continue reading
In the final part of the summer school the students worked in groups to create new ideas for displays and their use. We had 5 groups working hard – all creating amazing results for such a short time. Sometimes I wonder how we could better utilize this design exercise as the results were really exciting.
On group looked into the concept of mobile and contextual displays on garments – the idea T-SHARE assesses potential applications, when having networked displays included in T-Shirts (see the group presentation for details). This moves an idea with have investigated over the last year to… Continue reading
Bastian Pfleging joined us some weeks ago – his first day at work was at TEI’09 in Cambridge. We he came back he was so well integrted in the team that I forgot to write a blog entry. In fact he was already at a workshop with us some weeks ago – remember the photo?
Bastian studied computer science at TU Dortmund and his final project was on computer vision based interaction in smart environments in the Group of Gernot A. Fink.
Paul Holleis defended today his PhD thesis on “Integrating Usability Models into Pervasive Application Development” in Munich – My No.3. He worked together with Matthias on the DFG project “Embedded Interaction”. Paul is now with Docomo Eurolabs in Munich.The set of publication Paul produced is impressive – you probably don’t have time to read all of them 😉 but at least take a look at the following ones: an extension to KLM for mobile phones , an integrated development environment that includes usability models , and a explorative study in wearable computing . In Germany we have… Continue reading
Today Matthias Kranz defended his PhD thesis „Engineering Perceptive User Interfaces“ successfully at the University of Munich! Congratulations… and remember “Training to become a Jedi is not an easy challenge. And even if you succeed, it’s a hard life.” (Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)After Enrico Rukzio Matthias is the second of my PhD students who worked with me in Munich to finish. He is now with the German Aerospace center (DLR). Matthias worked on the DFG project “Embedded Interaction” and has created and published an impressive set of prototypes and… Continue reading
From Gwangju we took the bus shortly after midnight to go for a trip to North Korea. The students did a great job in organizing ISUVR and the trip. It was great to have again some time to talk to Yoosoo Oh, who was a visiting researcher in Munich in our group.
When entering North Korea there are many rules, including that you are not allowed to take cameras with tele-lenses over 160mm (so I had to take only the 50mm lens) and you must not… Continue reading
Last month Aliresa Sahami finished his master thesis on multi-tactile interaction at BIT Bonn and joined our group in Essen. Ali worked for me a student resesearch assistant at Fraunhofer IAIS. During his studies in Bonn we published an interesting workshop paper on mobile health  and gave a related demo at Ubicomp . Alt, F., Sahami Shirazi, A., Schmidt, A. Monitoring Heartbeat per Day to Motivate Increasing Physical Activity. Ubiwell workshop at Ubicomp 2007.  Sahami Shirazi, A.; Cheng, D.; Kroell, O.; Kern, D.; Schmidt, A.: CardioViz: Contextual Capture and Visualization for Long-term ECG Data. In:… Continue reading
Wherever I meet with companies at the moment one of the first questions is “do you have good students – we need people…”. It seems good computer science skills are useful 😉 However to me it is not clear why so few people go into this field. Here is my favorite short list what you should have to study CS: (1) you are creative; (2) you are communicative; (3) you solve problems systematically; (4) you have an ability to generalize.
We made our plans for setting up a company for creating a unique learning experience more specific. Uwe Bayer from Fraunhofer IAIS used in our discussion the phrase “don’t play to run company – really run a company” – which I think describes the essences of we would like to achieve. We plan to have some detailed information (and the recruitment process) out by the end of the month. If you are a student close to finishing your studies AND you have academic skills in your subject AND you have the drive to create a start-up THEN you should contact… Continue reading
Florian Alt studied media informatics at the LMU in Munich and has now joined our group. In Munich he worked during his project thesis with me on how to improve hospital work in pervasive computing technologies . Last year he came to Fraunhofer IAIS and did his master thesis (a annotation system for the WWW based on the UsaProxy, http://fnuked.de/usaproxy/). Before joining us he worked for some months in New York setting up an IT department for a German company that opened a branch in the USA… we are happy for the brain gain 😉
 A. Schmidt, F.… Continue reading
In the afternoon I visited humangrid, a startup company in Dortmund. Their basic idea is to create a platform that offers opportunities for crowdsourcing – basically outsourcing small tasks that are easy to perform by humans to a large number of clickworkers. One example for such a scenario is tagging and classification of media. It is interesting that they aim to create a platform that offers real contracts and provides guaranties – which makes it in my eyes more ambitious than Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
One interesting argument is that programming humans (as intelligent processors) to do a certain… Continue reading
Today Tanja Döring started with our group in Essen. She did her MSc at the University of Hamburg with Steffi Beckhaus and Horst Oberquelle. I met her first last year at TEI’07 in Baton Rouge, where she presented work on a table for art historians . This year Tanja was a student volunteer at TEI’08 in Bonn. Döring, T. and Beckhaus, S. 2007. The card box at hand: exploring the potentials of a paper-based tangible interface for education and research in art history. In Proceedings of the 1st international Conference on Tangible and Embedded interaction (Baton Rouge,… Continue reading
No we had the last lectures of the course User Interface Engineering for this term. We will have oral exams stating later this month. The whole set of slides I used over the term (a bit more than 800) are available on our website. This year we have the first time made a set of questions to assist revising the material. In total we have about 200 questions – and looking over the questions it is really interesting that user interface design is not as trivial as one thinks (after teaching it for several years 😉
I am teaching a guest course at the University of Linz in the Pervasive Computing master program. The topic is Unconventional User Interaction – User Interfaces in a Pervasive Computing World (http://www.ubicomp.net/uui). Today we started with an introduction to motivate how pervasive computing changes human computer interaction. I am already looking forward to the projects!
At dinner I learned why you can never have enough forks in a good restaurant. In case you loose your pen for the mobile phone a fork will do… The topic of the lecture is everywhere!
Not much time left to apply for the student research project. From 20.8. to 30.9.2007 we plan to design and implement a new specific search engine. The program is open to all computer science and media informatics students, primarily in Germany. We assume it will be very competitive. For accepted students we provide a HIWI-job at Fraunhofer IAIS for the 5 weeks. It will be possible to get credits for the course (IPEC lab course at the University of Bonn).
For more information please see: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/summer2007.html
Pascal Bihler send me today a link to an interesting teaching/research project at Ivrea (http://courses.interaction-ivrea.it/strangely/). The assignment is to think how a common artefact can be enhanced with digital technology. The results of the exercise are quite impressive. It seems that Interaction Ivrea is now somehow integrated into the Domus Academy in Milan.
When I was at Ivrea in November 2003 for the Jamboree of the disappearing computer initiative it was amazing to see the level of creativity – from the Ivrea design institute as well as from the various European projects in the disappearing computer program.
There… Continue reading
Together with Boriana Koleva I organized the doctoral colloquium at Pervasive 2007 in Toronto. We had 9 students presenting and discussing their PhD work with us.
One central observation was that we come to a point where we have to make more and more ethical decisions. Many things that are technical feasible and harmless within the lab may have sincere implications in the real world. If technologies for tracking, tracing and mining (e.g. social network analysis, location based services, context-aware systems) are deployed beyond the lab the question of choice becomes a real issue – are users aware of it… Continue reading
The CDTM is a joint elite study program from LMU Munich and TU Munich (http://www.cdtm.de/). It offers a set of complementary course for students from different backgrounds including math, business studies, engineering, computer science and media informatics. In their course on multimodal HCI I gave today an introductory lecture on the motivation for and the basics of user interface engineering.
One question about the sustainability of a competitive advantage based on user… Continue reading
Florian Alt started his master thesis with us. He use the UsaProy (http://fnuked.de/usaproxy/) – a concept and software we (mainly Richard Atterer and Monika Wnuk) developed previously at LMU Munich – to create a new system that allows the annotation of web pages.
We think it is an interesting challenges to create a system that allows users to annotate any web page and make these annotations available to others.
With the concept we envision to bring Web 2.0 to any page and site in the WWW. Interactivity and community features are provided independently of the content provider and authors.