Karin Bee has defended her dissertation.

Karin Bee (nee Leichtenstern) has defended her dissertation at the University of Augsburg. In her dissertation she worked on methods and tools to support a user centered design process for mobile applications that use a variety of modalities. There are some papers that describe her work, e.g. [1] and [2]. To me it was particularly interesting that she revisited the experiment done in her master thesis in a smart home in Essex [3] and reproduced some of it in her hybrid evaluation environment.

It is great to see that now most of our students (HiWis and project students) who worked with us in Munich on the Embedded Interaction Project have finished their PhD (there are some who still need to hand in – Florian? Raphael?, Gregor? You have enough papers – finish it 😉

In the afternoon I got to see some demos. Elisabeth André has a great team of students. They work on various topics in human computer interaction, including public display interaction, physiological sensing and emotion detection, and gesture interaction. I am looking forward to a joined workshop of both groups. Elisabeth has an impressive set of publications which is always a good starting point for affective user interface technologies.

[1] Karin Leichtenstern, Elisabeth André,and Matthias Rehm. Tool-Supported User-Centred Prototyping of Mobile Applications. IJHCR. 2011, 1-21.

[2] Karin Leichtenstern and Elisabeth André. 2010. MoPeDT: features and evaluation of a user-centred prototyping tool. In Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGCHI symposium on Engineering interactive computing systems (EICS ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 93-102. DOI=10.1145/1822018.1822033 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1822018.1822033

[3] Enrico Rukzio, Karin Leichtenstern, Vic Callaghan, Paul Holleis, Albrecht Schmidt, and Jeannette Chin. 2006. An experimental comparison of physical mobile interaction techniques: touching, pointing and scanning. In Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp’06), Paul Dourish and Adrian Friday (Eds.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 87-104. DOI=10.1007/11853565_6 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/11853565_6

Our Paper and Note at CHI 2010

Over the last year we looked more closely into the potential of eye-gaze for implicit interaction. Gazemarks is an approach where the users’ gaze is continuously monitored and when leaving a screen or display the last active gaze area is determined and store [1]. When the user looks back at this display this region is highlighted. By this the time for attention switching between displays was in our study reduced from about 2000ms to about 700ms. See the slides or paper for details. This could make the difference that we enable people to safely read in the car… but before this more studies are needed 🙂

Together with Nokia Research Center in Finland we looked at how we can convey the basic message of an incoming SMS already with the notification tone [2]. Try the Emodetector application for yourself or see the previous post.

[1] Kern, D., Marshall, P., and Schmidt, A. 2010. Gazemarks: gaze-based visual placeholders to ease attention switching. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 2093-2102. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753326.1753646

[2] Sahami Shirazi, A., Sarjanoja, A., Alt, F., Schmidt, A., and Hkkilä, J. 2010. Understanding the impact of abstracted audio preview of SMS. In Proceedings of the 28th international Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 1735-1738. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753326.1753585

PS: the social event was at the aquarium in Atlanta – amazing creatures! Again supprised how well the N95 camera works even under difficult light conditions…

EmoDetector App is online – Hear The Feeling of SMS

EmoDetector, by University of Duisburg-Essen and Nokia Research Center, is an application that provides auditory cues in addition to the notification tone upon receiving an SMS based on a real-time analysis of a message’s contents, see [1].The application responds currently to the following characters sets:

  • 🙂 or 🙂
  • 🙁 or 🙁
  • 😉 or 😉
  • ok (case insensitive)
  • ?

There is a version for Nokia Series 60 phones and for Android, see the download site. Have a look at the http://www.emodetector.tom-lab.de/ website for more information.

[1] Sahami Shirazi, A., Sarjanoja, A., Alt, F., Schmidt, A.,Häkkilä, J.: Understanding the Impact of Abstracted Audio Preview of SMS. In Proceeding of CHI 2010, April 10-15, Atlanta, GA, USA

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.

Workshop at MobileHCI: Context-Aware Mobile Media and Mobile Social Networks

Together with colleagues from Nokia, VTT, and CMU we organized a workshop on Context-Aware Mobile Media and Mobile Social Networks at MobileHCI 2009.

The topic came up in discussions some time last year. It is very clear that social network have moved towards mobile scenarios and that utilizing context and contextual media adds a new dimension. The workshop program is very diverse and ranges studying usage practices to novel technological solutions for contextual media and application.

One topic that is interesting to further look at is to use (digital) social networks for health care. Taking an analogy in history it is evident that the direct social group you were in took were the set of people that helped you in case of illness or accident. Looking at conditions and illnesses that cause a loss of mobility or memory it could be interesting to find applications on top of digital social networks to provide help. Seems this could be a project topic.

In one discussion we explored what would happen if we would change our default communication behavior from closed/secret (e.g. Email and SMS) to public (e.g. bulletin boards). I took the example of organizing this workshop: our communication has been largely on email and has not been public. If it would had been open (e.g. public forum) we probably would have organized the workshop in the same way but at the same time provided an example how one can organize a workshop and by this perhaps provided useful information for future workshop chairs. In this case there are little privacy concerns but images all communication is public? We would learn a lot about how the world works…

About 10 years ago we published at paper there is more to context than location [1]. However, looking at our workshop it seems: location is still the dominant context people think of. Many of the presentations and discussions included the term context, but the examples focused on location. Perhaps we do need location only? Or perhaps we should look more closely to find the benefit of other contexts?

[1] A. Schmidt, M. Beigl, H.W. Gellersen (1999) There is more to context than location, Computers & Graphics, vol. 23, no. 6, pp. 893-901.

Social networks connected to the real world

Florian Michahelles mentioned in his blog a talk [1] and paper [2] by Aaron Beach on mobile social networks that are linked to artefacts (e.g. clothing) in the real world. This is really interesting and I think we should look more into this…

[1] Aaron Beach. University of Colorado. Whozthat: Mobile Social Networks. Whoz touching me? Whoz Music? Whoz Watching? Who Cares?

[2] Beach, A.; Gartrell, M.; Akkala, S.; Elston, J.; Kelley, J.; Nishimoto, K.; Ray, B.; Razgulin, S.; Sundaresan, K.; Surendar, B.; Terada, M.; Han, R., “WhozThat? evolving an ecosystem for context-aware mobile social networks” Network, IEEE , vol.22, no.4, pp.50-55, July-Aug2008

Maps – still the tool for navigation in the mountains

On Saturday we went to Garmisch and walked up to Höllentalklamm (a nice canyon) and had lunch at Höllentalangerhütter. Our GPS tracking data from the canyon was pretty poor (as one would expect as the canyon is in parts only a few meters wide).

Observing other hikers (especially people who did the larger tours) it was very interesting to see how maps are used in social situations – planning, discussion, reflection, and storytelling (this time n>10). It is hard to image how this experience can be replaced by an implementation on a mobile device.

Will we have to wait till we have 1 meter by 1 meter foldable e-ink displays with 200dpi? Or are there other means to implement a good hiking map on a mobile phone screen? There is a lot of ongoing research in this domain. For driving I would guess the paper map has been largely replaced by electronic devices – when will it happened for hiking?

My guess is that traditional hiking maps will be the standard tool for another 10 years – obviously combined with a mobile device with GPS (e.g. phone, watch, or specific hiking GPS). There many ideas on how to do this – Johannes Schöning and Michael Rohs have worked on that for a while. The WIP they hat at CHI is an interesting example [1] or see the video on youtube.

Projector phones are a hot topic – Enrico had some interesting work on interaction with projector phones at Mobile HCI 2008 [2] & [3]. I would expect that in a years time we will see quite a number of those devices on the market.

[1] Schöning, J., Rohs, M., Kratz, S., Löchtefeld, M., and Krüger, A. 2009. Map torchlight: a mobile augmented reality camera projector unit. In Proceedings of the 27th international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, MA, USA, April 04 – 09, 2009). CHI EA ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 3841-3846. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1520340.1520581

[2] Hang, A., Rukzio, E., and Greaves, A. 2008. Projector phone: a study of using mobile phones with integrated projector for interaction with maps. In Proceedings of the 10th international Conference on Human Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 02 – 05, 2008). MobileHCI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 207-216. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1409240.1409263

[3] Greaves, A. and Rukzio, E. 2008. Evaluation of picture browsing using a projector phone. In Proceedings of the 10th international Conference on Human Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 02 – 05, 2008). MobileHCI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 351-354. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1409240.1409286

Statistical Data on phone usage and ICT

Ever wanted to cite the number of “Mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitance” in Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, …., United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia or Zimbabwe? Or the spending on mobile telephony or the computer penetration in these countries? Then the website I just came across may be interesting for you too: http://measuring-ict.unctad.org/

Here are the direct links to documents containing data:

Some of the figures seem really high to me – but I have not looked into detail. They have also publish a handbook on how to measuring ICT access and uses:
MANUAL for Measuring ICT Access and Use by Households and Individuals