Work in Progress at CHI 2010

It seems we have a lot of work in progress 🙂 and CHI is a great place to get feedback an talk to people about it.

Florian Alt and others from the summer school in Haifa pushed one of the ideas the developed there further. It is about interactions and technologies to motivate a more thoughtful handling of trash in urban areas [1].

Tanja Döring and Bastian Pfleging developed with Chris Kray in Nottingham the idea of tangible devices that have a functional core and a passive shell [2]. By this we image that future tangible products can be created by designers and developers with no need for the production of electronics. As a side effect this approach could make consumer electronics more sustainable – even if you like often new gadgets.

Together with people from DFKI Saarbrücken we explored the potential of a multi-touch steering wheel [3]. What gestures would you do to switch on your radio? How to interact with the navigation system? Such questions are empirically explored and presented in this paper.

How many people have a phone? How many people have a PC? It very clear more people have a phone than a PC and in particular in the non-industrial part of the world for many people the only computing technology available is the phone. We think there are ways to efficiently develop software using a phone for the phone. In the paper we explored a paper and computer vision based approach for software development on the phone [4].

Elba did field studies in Panama to assess the access of phones as educational tool to children [5]. She compared different parts of the country and did interviews with teachers.

[1] Reif, I., Alt, F., Hincapié Ramos, J., Poteriaykina, K., and Wagner, J. 2010. Cleanly: trashducation urban system. In Proceedings of the 28th of the international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI EA ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 3511-3516. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1754010

[2] Doering, T., Pfleging, B., Kray, C., and Schmidt, A. 2010. Design by physical composition for complex tangible user interfaces. In Proceedings of the 28th of the international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI EA ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 3541-3546. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1754015

[3] Pfeiffer, M., Kern, D., Schöning, J., Döring, T., Krüger, A., and Schmidt, A. 2010. A multi-touch enabled steering wheel: exploring the design space. In Proceedings of the 28th of the international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI EA ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 3355-3360. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1753984

[4] Pfleging, B., Valderrama Bahamondez, E. d., Schmidt, A., Hermes, M., and Nolte, J. 2010. MobiDev: a mobile development kit for combined paper-based and in-situ programming on the mobile phone. In Proceedings of the 28th of the international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI EA ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 3733-3738. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1754047

[5] Valderrama Bahamóndez, E. d. and Schmidt, A. 2010. A survey to assess the potential of mobile phones as a learning platform for panama. In Proceedings of the 28th of the international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, April 10 – 15, 2010). CHI EA ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 3667-3672. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1753846.1754036

Full Paper and Work in Progress at Percom 2010

Together with Matthias Kranz and Carl Fisher we had a full paper at Percom 2010 – and I had the honor to present it [1]. The paper reports work that explored using the existing DECT (the wireless phone standard) infrastructure (available especially in Europe) as basic technology for localization. We compared DECT and Wifi and it is interesting that in most places you see more DECT based stations than Wifi. Overall it is a really interesting alternative to WLAN location.

From the joint work with Docomo-Eurolabs in Munich in the project AmbiVis we presented a work in progress poster. In the project we look at different options for visualizing context information – especially in ambient ways [2]. As display technologies we employed the Nabaztag and a digital picture frame.

[1] Matthias Kranz, Carl Fischer, Albrecht Schmidt: A Comparative Study of DECT and WLAN Signals for Indoor Localization. In: 8th Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (Percom 2010). IEEE Mannheim 2010, S. 235-243.

[2] Florian Alt, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, Andreas Kaiser, Ken Pfeuffer, Emre Gürkan, Albrecht Schmidt, Paul Holleis, Matthias Wagner: Exploring Ambient Visualizations of Context Information (Work in Progress). In: WIP, Proceedings of the Eighth Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications, PerCom 2010. IEEE, Mannheim, Germany 2010

Ubiquitous Computing – Ever wondered if we are there yet?

Given the technologies around us I sometimes wonder how close we are to a vision of ubiquitous computing. In this month IEEE Computer Invisible Computing column I had the pleasure to ask this question and share my view on it.

The short answer is: many technologies are ubiquitous but there is a lot more to come. In particular we see that many technologies (public displays, people centric sensing, and personal memory devices) are just around the corner and that they may have a large impact on how we perceive computing. For the long answer have a look at my article: ubiquitous computing – are we there yet? [1]. I have taken over responsibility for the invisible computing column from Bill Schilit who introduced the Invisible Computing column in 2003 [2].

Some years ago in 2006 Yvonne Rogers presented her view on how Ubicomp is going forward [3] contrasting it to Weiser’s Vision of calm computing. In her paper she introduces an alternative agenda that argue that we should engage people by ubicomp technologies rather than to make life easy, convenient and calm. Yvonne’s paper is an interesting starting point for getting students into this topic.

[1] Schmidt, A. 2010. Ubiquitous Computing: Are We There Yet? Computer 43, 2 (Feb. 2010), 95-97. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MC.2010.54

[2] Schilit, B. N. 2003. Mega-Utilities Drive Invisible Technologies. Computer 36, 2 (Feb. 2003), 97-99. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MC.2003.1178056

[3] Yvonne Rogers: Moving on from Weiser’s Vision of Calm Computing: Engaging UbiComp Experiences. Ubicomp 2006: 404-421

Ephemeral User Interfaces – nothing lasts forever and somethings even shorter

Robustness and durability are typical qualities that we aim for when building interactive prototypes and systems. Tanja and Axel explored what user experience we can create when we deliberately design something in a way that is ephemeral (=not lasting, there is a good German word “vergänglich”). Ephemeral User Interfaces are user interface elements and technologies that are designed to be engaging but fragile [1]. In the prototype that we showed at TEI 2010 in Cambridge the user can interact with soap bubbles to control a computer. Axel has some additional photos on his web page.


There is a short video of the installation on the technology review blog: http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/24729

[1] Sylvester, A., Döring, T., and Schmidt, A. 2010. Liquids, smoke, and soap bubbles: reflections on materials for ephemeral user interfaces. In Proceedings of the Fourth international Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied interaction(Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, January 24 – 27, 2010). TEI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, 269-270. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1709886.1709941

Book chapter on Teaching Beyond the Classroom

Kati Mäkitalo-Siegl, Jan Zottmann, Frederic Kaplan and Frank Fischer organized a workshop that resulted in the book: Classroom of the Future. The book gives a very good overview and is in my view very well suited to run a seminar

We have one chapter in the book that talks about teaching beyond the classroom and outside a typical classroom using pervasive computing technologies [1]. Our chapter includes some of the work on tangible interaction we did in Munich, e.g. [2] and earlier experience where we did a school garden blog (in German only http://www.hcilab.org/albrecht/flachs-web/).

Details about the book and a free preview are available at the publisher’s side. The free preview includes an article on the classroom of the past – which I found quite interesting. If you are interested in our article, drop me a mail and I may find the draft.

[1] Paul Holleis, Albrecht Schmidt, Heiko Drewes, Richard Atterer, Petra Dollinger. Teaching Beyond the Classroom: Pervasive Computing Technologies for the Classroom of the Future. Classroom of the future. SensePublisher 2010, pp 63-85. ISBN:978-9460911026 (book at amazon)

[2] Terrenghi, L., Kranz, M., Holleis, P., and Schmidt, A. 2006. A cube to learn: a tangible user interface for the design of a learning appliance. Personal Ubiquitous Comput. 10, 2-3 (Jan. 2006), 153-158. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00779-005-0025-8

Article on Driving Automotive User Interface Research in IEEE Pervasive

We wrote an article on the automotive user interface conference that took place in Essen in September 2009. In the current issue of the IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine this paper is published and gives an overview of the conference [1]. We hope our article highlights the key ideas that were presented at the conference.

Abstract. Cars offer an interesting but challenging microcosm for pervasive computing research and, in particular, for interaction with pervasive computing systems. Increasingly, researchers are looking at interactive applications in the car and investigating human-car interaction from a computer science-rather than an ergonomics or mechanical engineering-perspective. This article reports on the International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, wherein participants shared presentations on topics such as aesthetics, user interaction and distraction, safety, and driver monitoring.

[1] Albrecht Schmidt, Wolfgang Spiessl, Dagmar Kern, “Driving Automotive User Interface Research,” IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 85-88, Jan.-Mar. 2010, doi:10.1109/MPRV.2010.3.

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/

Tangible, Embedded, and Reality-Based Interaction

Together with Antonio’s group we looked at new forms of interaction beyond the desktop. The journal paper Tangible, Embedded, and Reality-Based Interaction [1] gives overview and examples of recent trends in human computer interaction and is a good starting point to learn about these topics.

Abstract: Tangible, embedded, and reality-based interaction are among novel concepts of interaction design that will change our usage of computers and be part of our daily life in coming years. In this article, we present an overview of the research area of tangible, embedded, and reality-based interaction as an area of media informatics. Potentials and challenges are demonstrated with four selected case studies from our research work.

[1] Tanja Döring, Antonio Krüger, Albrecht Schmidt, Johannes Schöning: Tangible, Embedded, and Reality-Based Interaction. it – Information Technology 51 (2009) 6 , S. 319-324. (pdf)
http://www.it-information-technology.de/

Our PERCI Article in IEEE Internet Computing

Base on work we did together with DoCoMo Eurolabs in Munich we have published the article “Perci: Pervasive Service Interaction with the Internet of Things” in the IEEE Internet Computing special issue on the Internet of Things edited by Frédéric Thiesse and Florian Michahelles.

The paper discusses the linking of digital resources to the real world. We investigated how to augment everyday objects with RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to enable simpler ways for users to interact with service. We aim at creating a digital identities of real world objects and by this integrating them into the Internet of Things and associating them with digital information and services. In our experiments we explore how these objects can facilitate access to digital resources and support interaction with them-for example, through mobile devices that feature technologies for discovering, capturing, and using information from tagged objects. See [1] for the full article.

[1] Gregor Broll, Massimo Paolucci, Matthias Wagner, Enrico Rukzio, Albrecht Schmidt, and Heinrich Hußmann. Perci: Pervasive Service Interaction with the Internet of Things. IEEE Internet Computing. November/December 2009 (vol. 13 no. 6). pp. 74-81
http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MIC.2009.120

Dagmar Kern presents a Automotive UI Design Space

Dagmar presents her work on a design space for automotive user interfaces [1]. The design space allows to categorize user interface components and elements with regard to interaction agent, position in the car, and type of interaction. The design space can be used to compare interfaces and as tool for assessing new opportunities for interaction.

The design space is based on an analysis of more than 700 pictures from IAA 2007. The photos (and soon photos from IAA 2009) are available at https://www.pcuie.uni-due.de/AUI/

[1] Kern, D. and Schmidt, A. 2009. Design space for driver-based automotive user interfaces. In Proceedings of the 1st international Conference on Automotive User interfaces and interactive Vehicular Applications (Essen, Germany, September 21 – 22, 2009). AutomotiveUI ’09. ACM, New York, NY, 3-10. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1620509.1620511