Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

 

Look inside your envelope,

the Christmas card should have them all:

Wooden wheel, a snowflake, too.

Copper things, we have a few.

Resistor, light, they’re all brand new,

a paper cut out with a view.

 

To bring the gift of light,

for every winter night.

You will need the following pieces for the first assembly part:

four copper strips (two long, two short), LED, resistor, wooden rim, wooden plug and the black piece of paper.

 

Slide in the LED,

into the holes that be.

Long leg positioned through the oak,

on the left side of the thickest spoke.

First, insert the LED into the two holes on the wooden rim. The longer leg of the LED goes into the left hole, when the thickest spoke points away from you.

 

Resistor needs to be installed,

’cause, otherwise, it will explode.

Remember the longer diode leg,

it connects to the pole that adds (+).

Bend the legs towards the other side of the spoke and attach the resistor to one of the legs. Make sure it is tightly connected. Remember the position of the longer leg for later on. 

 

Onto the wooden ring,

attach with copper string.

Wrap around the leggy bit,

the extra strings will make it fit.

Now it is time to attach the copper strings to the rim. Carefully place the two longer copper strips on both sides of the thick spoke using the adhesive side. Twist it around the LED legs and use the short strips to fixate it. CAUTION: the adhesive side does not conduct electricity, so make sure the other side is attached to the LED legs.

 

The gluey side just won’t conduct,

hence wires must be nicely tucked.

Repeat the same step for the second leg. When finished, the result should look similar to the picture above.

 

Plus pole connects to long diode leg,

make sure this is correct.

Conductive strips for the plug,

need to be edge-snug.

Connect the plug to the two stripes using the small piece of black paper to keep the strips separated. Make sure to connect the longer LED leg to the plus pole (marked on the plug). If you followed all steps up until now, you can simply connect it as shown above. The strips attached to the plug should be spaced as far apart as possible (on both side), but must not overlap over the ledge.

 

Attach the plug you just might,

and you have a working light.

You may want to test your Christmas lantern for now. Plug it into a USB-charger and check if the LED lights up. If not, check the wiring, especially the connection between LED legs and copper strips. Consider checking for correct polarity. Do not despair if your light does not work. You can still proceed and build the final lantern.

 

The lantern stands on wooden feet,

and then you join the paper sheets.

Be aware of text alignment,

else you prolong the assignment.

Now it is time to make it look like a lantern. Attach the feet to the wooden rim and connect the two paper ornaments. Check the text orientation before connecting both pieces. Be sure to insert the paper hooks as shown in the picture for a stable and round lantern.

 

And now it’s time to mount the screen,

it wraps around the wooden rim.

Slide the transparent paper into the lantern. For best visual results, position the fold in front of the overlap.

 

The snowflake goes on top,

ensure that room lights are now off.

Position the quadratic transparent paper on top of the lantern and add the snowflake ornament.

 

Now it’s time to plug it in,

and pour yourself a Christmas drink.

 

Highlights 2016!

Congratulations to our PhDs

This year we had 6 people finishing their PhD – the highest number for a single year till now – congratulations!

 

Exciting new Projects

In 2016 we started a number of new projects:

 

Event Highlight

Congratulation to Dr. Florian Alt (No. 6)

Florian Alt defended his PhD thesis “A Design Space for Pervasive Advertising on Public Displays” at the University of Stuttgart. Over the last years Florian work at the crossroads of interactive public displays and pervasive advertising. His research output during the last years and while working on the http://pd-net.org project was amazing, see his DBLP entry.

The dissertation will be soon available online. If you are curious about his work right now, there are a few papers or a book you should read. A high level description of the findings is described in a paper published in IEEE Computer on Advertising on Public Display Networks [1]. The initial paper that paved the way towards understanding design space of public displays [2] is providing a comprehensive descriptions of ways for interaction with public displays. One of the highlights of the experimental research is the paper “Looking glass: a field study on noticing interactivity of a shop window” [3], which was done during Florian’s time at Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin (it received a best paper award at CHI 2012). Towards the end of the thesis everyone realizes that evaluation is a most tricky thing, hence there is one paper on “How to evaluate public displays” [4]. If you are more interested on the advertising side, have a look at the book he co-edited with Jörg Müller and Daniel Michelis: Pervasive Advertising by Springer Verlag, 2011, available as kindle version at Amazon.

Florian joined my research group already back in Munich as a student researcher, where we explored ubiquitous computing technologies in a hospital environment [5]. He followed to Fraunhofer IAIS to do his MSc thesis, where he created a web annotation system that allowed parasitic applications on the WWW [6]. I nearly believed him lost, when he moved to New York – but he came back to start his PhD in Duisburg-Essen… and after one more move in 2011 to the University of Stuttgart he graduated last week! Congratulations! He is no. 6 following Dagmar Kern, Heiko Drewes, Paul Holleis, Matthias Kranz, and Enrico Rukzio. The photo shows the current team in Stuttgart – when looking at the picture it seems there are soon more to come 😉

References
[1] Alt, F.; Schmidt, A.; Müller, J.; , “Advertising on Public Display Networks,” Computer , vol.45, no.5, pp.50-56, May 2012. DOI: 10.1109/MC.2012.150, URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6193076&isnumber=6197765
[2] Jörg Müller, Florian Alt, Daniel Michelis, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2010. Requirements and design space for interactive public displays. In Proceedings of the international conference on Multimedia (MM ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1285-1294. DOI=10.1145/1873951.1874203 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1873951.1874203
[3] Jörg Müller, Robert Walter, Gilles Bailly, Michael Nischt, and Florian Alt. 2012. Looking glass: a field study on noticing interactivity of a shop window. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 297-306. DOI=10.1145/2207676.2207718 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2207676.2207718
[4] Florian Alt, Stefan Schneegaß, Albrecht Schmidt, Jörg Müller, and Nemanja Memarovic. 2012. How to evaluate public displays. In Proceedings of the 2012 International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (PerDis ’12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, , Article 17 , 6 pages. DOI=10.1145/2307798.2307815 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2307798.2307815
[5] A. Schmidt, F. Alt, D. Wilhelm, J. Niggemann,  and H. Feussner,  Experimenting with ubiquitous computing technologies in productive environments. Journal Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik. 2006, 135-139.
[6] Florian Alt, Albrecht Schmidt, Richard Atterer, and Paul Holleis. 2009. Bringing Web 2.0 to the Old Web: A Platform for Parasitic Applications. In Proceedings of the 12th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Part I (INTERACT ’09). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 405-418. DOI=10.1007/978-3-642-03655-2_44 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-03655-2_44

Land of ideas – Award for the innovation factory at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Every day per year one place or institution is Germany is awarded “a place in the land of ideas“. This initiative is quite completive (each year well over 2000 institutions apply and the year has only 365 days…).

The innovation factory at the University of Duisburg-Essen has a really interesting vision and received the award for its concept of converting ideas into innovations and products. It promotes thinking in product rather and by this challenges researchers to look how their research results could enable new products or enhance existing products. I find this a most useful exercise – especially when having basic research results that are not directly linked to an application. To facilitate thinking in products they have a number of industrial designers that act as innovation scouts.

Such events always offer the official speeches (not my favorite part but I see one needs them) but also the chance to meet interesting people. I enjoyed the discussions – in particular one question I found interesting – whether or not the ebook reader based on eInk (now just entering the marked on massive scale) is already dead… and replace by the next generation of multimedia extra-thin wireless tablets.

USA votes, election party in our lab

There many good reason to have an international team – especilly when doing research in pervasive computing and user interface engineering. This morning I learned another one: you can have election parties (=drinks and food in the lab ;-). 
Predicting elections results goes new ways and it is interesting that the Xbox Live Polls (http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/09/xbox-live-poll.html) were quite close to the result – already quite some time ago. Perhaps this large poll produced just by accident good results – but it may be a first step towards internet elections. Having internet voting on a game console brings new models for voting to one’s mind (e.g. only if you have reached a certain level in the game you can vote 😉

Workshop on Smart Homes at Pervasive 2008

Today we had our Pervasive at home workshop – as part of Pervasive 2008 in Sydney. We had 7 talks and a number of discussions on various topics related to smart homes. Issues ranged from long term experience with smart home deployments (Lasse Kaila et al.), development cycle (Aaron Quigley et al.), to end-user development (Joëlle Coutaz). For the full workshop proceedings see [1].

One trend that can be observed is that researchers move beyond the living lab. In the discussion it became apparent that living labs can start research efforts in this area and function as focus point for researchers with different interests (e.g. technology and user-centred). However it was largely agreed that this can only be a first step and that deployments in actual home settings are becoming more essential to make an impact.

On central problem in smart home research is to develop future devices and services – where prototyping is based on current technologies and where we extrapolate from currently observed user behavior. We had some discussion how this can be done most effectively and what value observational techniques add to technology research and vice versa.

We discussed potential options for future smart home deployments and I suggested creating a hotel where people can experience future living and agree at the same time to give away their data for research purpose. Knowing what theme-hotels are around this idea is not as strange as it sounds 😉 perhaps we have to talk to some companies and propose this idea…

More of the workshop discussion is captured at: http://pervasivehome.pbwiki.com/

There are two interesting references that came up in discussions that I like to share. First the smart home at Duke University (http://www.smarthome.duke.edu/), which is dorm that is a live-in laboratory at Duke University – and it seems it is more expensive that the regular dorm. The second is an ambient interactive device, Joelle Coutaz discussed in the context of her presentation on a new approach to end-user programming and end-user development. The Nabaztag (http://www.nabaztag.com/) is a networked user interface that includes input and output (e.g. text2speech, moveable ears and LEDs) which can be programmed. I would be curious how well it really works to get people more connected – which relates to some ideas of us on having an easy communication channels.

[1] A.J. Brush, Shwetak Patel, Brian Meyers, Albrecht Schmidt (editors). Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on “Pervasive Computing at Home” held at the 6th international Conference on Pervasive Computing, Sydney, May 19 2008. http://murx.medien.ifi.lmu.de/~albrecht/pdf/pervasive-at-home-ws-proceedings-2008.pdf

New working group on tangible interaction

This morning a new working group on tangible interaction in mixed realities (in German Be-greifbare Interaktion in Gemischten Wirklichkeiten) was established as part of the German Computer Science Society (GI). About 30 people from all over Germany gathered at B-IT in a pre-conference event to TEI’08. The group was interdisciplinary, including computer science, design, psychology, and pedagogic. The diversity of research projects as well as teaching programs in Germany in impressive.

Learntec – Session on pervasive computing

I was today in Karlsruhe at Learntec, a trade fare and congress for technologies in learning, training and education. Alois Ferscha organized a session on pervasive computing and learning.

My talk was entitled “back to the roots – technologies for interweaving learning and experience”. I stared out with the question: What is the difference between an apple tree and a biology book. In essence my argument is that (1) first hand experience can not be replaced, (2) we need consolidated knowledge based on the experience to learn efficiently, and (3) pervasive computing technologies can bridge the gulf between them.

The slides of the talk “Zurück zum Ursprung – Technologien für die Verflechtung von Lernen und Erfahren” (in German) are available on my web page.

Talk at the opening of the Fraunhofer IAO interaction lab

The Fraunhofer institute IAO opened today a new interaction lab in Stuttgart under the topic interaction with all senses. Prof. Spath, director of the Fraunhofer IAO, made a strong argument for new user interfaces. In his talk he discussed adaptive cruse control in cars as an example for user interface challenges.

My talk on “implicit interaction – smart living in smart environments” argues for a sensible mix of user centred design and technology driven innovation. As one example I used the Sensor-Knife which Matthias Kranz implemented.

Prof. Jürgen Ziegler, a colleague at the University of Duisburg-Essen who was previously at IAO, showed in his talk a short video of a “galvanic vestibular stimulation” GVS explored by NTT (SIGGRAPH 2005 Demo) to highlight trends and indicate at the same time ethical problems that can arise when we interfere with human senses.

Ubicomp 2007

Over the last few days at Ubicomp 2007 in Innsbruck it was great to catch up with many people from the community. The discussions in the evenings are very inspiring and so were some of the talks.

We tried to explain the idea of ubiquitous computing to journalist and it seems they got the idea. And hence Ubicomp 2007 was featured in the Austrian Press:

Ubicomp 2008 will be in Korea.

Museum Audio Guides – is there a way to make this a good experience?

We visited the archeology and Stone Age museum in Bad Buchenau http://www.federseemuseum.de/. For our visit we rented their audio guide system – they had one version for kids and one for adults. The audio guides were done very well and the information was well presented.

Nevertheless such devices break the joint experience of visiting a museum! We had three devices – and we stood next to each other listening but not talking to each other. Even though it may transport more information than the written signs it makes a poorer experience than reading and discussing. I wonder how one would design a good museum guide… There are plenty of projects but so far I have not seen the great solution.