Call for Papers: Augmented Human Conference 2013 (AH2013)

In 2013 the 4th Augmented Human Conference will talk place in Stuttgart, Germany. The submission deadline is January 8, 2013 and the conference is in cooperation with ACM SIGCHI. The papers will be published in the ACM digital library. Andreas Bulling and Christian Holz are the program chairs and there is a fabulous technical program committee.

With AH2013 we continue a Conference that over last years has ventures beyond the usual things in human computer interaction and pervasive computing. Improving and augmenting human abilities is at the core of the conference, ranging from navigation systems, to actuator that help human movement, to improved or novel senses. This may include hardware, sensors, actuators, and software, such as web based applications or mobile apps.

We are curious about technologies and solutions that make humans smarter and augment human capabilities. Over the last years the conference has highly valueed novel contributions, inspiring ideas, forward thinking applications and new concepts. Originality, ingenuity, creativity, novelty come in this context before rigorous evaluations and flawless statistical analysis of the study data. We are looking forward to your contributions. Please the web page at http://www.hcilab.org/ah2013/

Thanks to Patrick Lühne for the great designs!

Auto-UI 2012 in the US, looking for hosts for 2013

The next and 4rd international conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Vehicular Applications (AutoUI 2012) will be in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in the USA. The dates for the conference are 17-19 of October 2012. The first day for workshops and tutorials and 2 days for the main conference. Portsmouth is about an 1 hour drive from Boston and the timing is great (fall foliage – the photos of the colorful forests looked good 😉

The steering committee (sc@auto-ui.org) is inviting proposals for Auto-UI 2013 from the community of researchers in the field. The conference was 2009 in Essen (Germany), 2010 in Pittsburgh (USA), 2011 in Salzburg (Austria), and it will be in 2012 in Portsmouth (USA). Keeping this cycle between Europe and North America 2013 should be in Europe.

MUM 2009 in Cambridge, no technical solution for privacy

The 8th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2009) was held in Cambridge, UK. The conference is fairly specific and had an acceptance rate of about 33% – have a look at the table of content for an overview. Florian Michahelles presented our paper on a design space for ubiquitous product recommendation systems [1]. Our work contributes a comprehensive design space that outlines design options for product recommendation systems using mobile and ubiquitous technologies. We think that over the next years mobile recommendation systems have the potential to change the way we shop in the real world. It probably will be normal to have access in-depth information an price comparison while browsing in physical stores. The idea has been around for a while, e.g. the pocket bargain finder presented at the first ubicomp conference [2]. In Germany we see also a reaction of some electronics stores that asked users NOT to use a phone or camera in the shop.

The keynote on Tuesday morning was by Martin Rieser on the Art of Mobility. He blogs on this topic on http://mobileaudience.blogspot.com/.
The examples he presented in his keynote concentrated on locative and pervasive media. He characterized locative media as media that by social interaction that is linked to a specific place. He raised the awareness that mapping is very important for our perception of the world, using several different subjective maps – I particular liked the map encoding travel times to London . A further interesting examples was a project by Christian Nold: Bio mapping – emotional mapping of journeys. QR or other bar code markers on cloth (large and on the outside) have a potential … I see this now.

In the afternoon was panel on “Security and Privacy: Is it only a matter of time before a massive loss of personal data or identity theft happens on a smart mobile platform?” with David Cleevely, Tim Kindberg, and Derek McAuley. I found the discussion very inspiring but in the end I doubt more and more that technical solutions will solve the problem. I think it is essential to consider the technological, social and legal framework in which we live. If I would need to live in a house that provides absolute safety (without a social and legal framework) it would be probably not a very nice place… hence I think here we need really interdisciplinary research in this domain.

[1] von Reischach, F., Michahelles, F., and Schmidt, A. 2009. The design space of ubiquitous product recommendation systems. In Proceedings of the 8th international Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (Cambridge, United Kingdom, November 22 – 25, 2009). MUM ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 1-10. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1658550.1658552

[2] Brody, A. B. and Gottsman, E. J. 1999. Pocket Bargain Finder: A Handheld Device for Augmented Commerce. InProceedings of the 1st international Symposium on Handheld and Ubiquitous Computing (Karlsruhe, Germany, September 27 – 29, 1999). H. Gellersen, Ed. Lecture Notes In Computer Science, vol. 1707. Springer-Verlag, London, 44-51.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/jxtd2ybejypr2kfr/

Best Paper at AmI 2009, Visions

Florian Alt presented our work on pervasive advertising, in particular on creating dynamic user profiles in the real world [1]. This research was carried out together with colleagues in marketing and software systems and implemented in one of our course. We are proud that it got named best paper at AmI 2009! Another paper to look at in this context was presented by Jörg Müller; it looked at pervasive advertisement utilizing screens on public phone boxes. The study is amazing in size (20 displays all over Münster, 17 participating shops) and duration (1 year, 24/7) [2]. Even though the results are not completely conclusive it is very interesting to read about the experience of such a large deployment real world in a research context.

This year at AmI included a vision panel with Juan Carlos Augusto, Florian Michahelles, Jörg Müller, Donald Patterson, which I chaired with Norbert Streiz. The main questions for us were: Is there a need for a vision? What are drivers for a new Vision? And what is the value of having a technology vision? The discussion was very diverse touching on various topics. One interesting observation is that many people – including me – see that a mobile personal device (what now is the mobile phone) will stay at the center of a new vision. A further very insightful comment was that we as a community should try to develop more specific visions (e.g. how will education be in 2020, or how will public transport be in 2030) rather than have a Version 2.0 of the overall vision. I think such more specific visions could be valuable to guide research in Ambient Intelligence in the next years.

[1] Florian Alt, Moritz Balz, Stefanie Kristes, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Julian Mennenöh, Albrecht Schmidt, Hendrik Schröder and Michael Goedicke: Adaptive User Profiles in Pervasive Advertising Environments. Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI ’09). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. Salzburg, Austria 2009.

[2] Jörg Müller, Antonio Krüger: MobiDiC: Context Adaptive Digital Signage with Coupons. Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI ’09). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. Salzburg, Austria 2009.

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.

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.

Ethics as material for innovation – German HCI conference – Mensch und Computer

On Tuesday I was at the German human computer interaction conference called Mensch und Computer. The keynote by Alex Kirlik was on Ethical Design (slides from his talk) and he showed how ethics extends beyond action to technology leading to the central question: Why should we build certain systems? His examples and the following discussion made me wonder whether “Ethics become the next Material for innovation”. Taking his example of 9/11 where old technology (air planes) and a different view on ethics was used to strike this is in contrast to previous/typical warfare where new technologies (e.g. Gun powder, Nuclear bomb) have changed the way wars are conducted.

Considering ethics as material for innovation is obviously risky but looking at successful businesses of the last decade such a trend can be argued for (e.g. google collecting information about the user to provide new services, youtube allowing users to share content with limited insurance that it is not copyrighted). Would be interesting to have a workshop on this topic sometime in the future…

Grace who left our group after finishing her Master’s degree (to work in the real world outside of university 😉 presented her paper on how to aid communication in the car between driver and passenger [1].

In the afternoon the working group on tangible interaction in mixed realities (in German Be-greifbare Interaktion in Gemischten Wirklichkeiten) had a workshop and a meeting. We will host the next workshop of the working group in Essen early next year (probably late February or early March).

PS: the next Mensch & Computer Conference ist at the University of Duisburg-Essen 🙂

[1] Grace Tai, Dagmar Kern, Albrecht Schmidt. Bridging the Communication Gap: A Driver-Passenger Video Link. Mensch und Computer 2009. Berlin.

CfP: What can the Internet of Things do for the Citizen?

Together with Stephan Karpischek (ETH Zurich) and Florian Michahelles (ETH Zurich & Auto-ID labs) I organize a workshop at Pervasive 2010 in Helsinki looking for an end-user perspective on the Internet of Things.

The call is online at: http://www.autoidlabs.org/events/ciot2010 and the deadline is the 15th of January 2010.

The topics that we hope for include emerging applications, interaction paradigms, infrastructure, and social impact of new technologies and the implications for citizens.

For more information you can subscribe to the facebook group.

Automotive UIs – conference update, cool UI

The automotive user interface conference has received nearly 40 (to be exact 37) high quality submissions – we are really thrilled about the contributions – and now the review process is on! We will have more details on the program in a number of weeks.

Not a submission to the conference – but nevertheless cool: the MINI center globe UI – a 3D display concept for cars:

Ranking Conferences and Journals – A Down-Under perspective

As many of us I am skeptical of rankings (as long as I was not involved in making them 😉 Nevertheless sometimes they are interesting and helpful in assessing where to publish or what better not to read…

This morning we discussed where to publish some interesting work related to web technology (a follow-up of the UsaProx) and for the discussion such a list may have been helpful. 
A colleague from Munich sent me the link to an Australian conference ranking and obviously they also have ranked Journals, too. They use A+, A, B, L, and C as tiers.
… and as we always knew you cannot be wrong when publishing in Pervasive, Percom, Ubicomp, and CHI 🙂