Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens: Grundriss der Humanethologie. Blank; Auflage: 5. A. Dezember 2004.
Monday, 30 June 2008
 Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Die Biologie des menschlichen Verhaltens: Grundriss der Humanethologie. Blank; Auflage: 5. A. Dezember 2004.
Thursday, 26 June 2008
At the Ubicomp PC meeting we recently discussed the value of face-2-face meetings in the context of scientific work and it seems there are two future directions to reduce resource consumption: (1) moving from physical travel to purely virtual meetings or (2) making travel feasible based on renewable energies. Personally I think we will see a mix - but I am sure real physical meetings are essential for certain tasks in medium term. I am convinced that in the future we will still travel and this will become viable as travel based on renewable energies will become feasible. Inspiring example project are SolarImpulse (its goal is to create a solar powered airplane) and Helios (solar-powered atmospheric satellites). There are alternative future scenarios and an interesting discussion by John Urry (e.g. a recent article , a book – now on my personal reading list ). These analyses (from a sociology perspective) are informative to read and can help to create interesting technology interventions. However I reject the dark scenarios, as I am too much of an optimist trusting in peoples good will, common sense, technology research and engineering – especially if the funding is available ;-).
 John Urry. Climate change, travel and complex futures. The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 59, Issue 2, Page 261-279, Jun 2008
 John Urry. Mobilities. October 2007.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Reflecting a little longer I would expect that with upcoming pedestrian navigation systems we may see a switch to more people walking in the city. My hypothesis (based on minimal observation) is that people often take a taxi or public transport as they have no idea where to walk to and how long it would take when walking. If now a pedestrian navigation system can offer reliably a time of arrival estimation (which is probably more precise for walking than for driving as there is less traffic jam) and the direction the motivation to walk may be increased. We should probably put pedestrian navigation systems on our project topic list as there is still open research on this topic…
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
On side observation was that in digital photography the limiting factor is now not anymore the memory space but the batteries in the camera. This has changed over the last 2 years – there children still selected which pictures they have to delete – now that is no issue anymore. This shows that some of the trends in pervasive computing (in this case unlimited memory) is already there…
In a project we converted manually flax into threads and theoretically into linen fabric. Some years ago I was involved in doing a similar project - with a focus on the multimedia docummentation - also with a primary school. We learned that it took a person one winter to make one piece of garment. Putting this into perspective we see an interesting trend of devaluation of physical object (cloth are one example, but applies also to high tech goods such as MP3 players) due to advances in engineering. This devaluation of physical goods led to a higher standard of living and consequently to a higher life expectancy. I wonder how further advances – especially in digital engineering will affect the quality of life…
Thursday, 12 June 2008
In order to conserve resources we decided to re-use furniture that was already used by another group within the university (which is not there anymore). This group apparently had a different approach in storing information (physical – real paper) and Florian and Ali had to get rid of several GB before they got their shelves ;-)
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
We currently have an ongoing master thesis that looks into this topic – context-aware advertising with cars. There are several interesting examples that this concept could work: e.g. Taxis that show location based ads (you can hire your area where your ad is shown, see , ). We think it gets really interesting if there are many cars that form a in-town canvas you can paint on. On the way back we checked out the screen adverts (include in the public phones) Jörg Müller works on – even with a navigation feature.
 Beeharee, A. K. and Steed, A. 2006. A natural wayfinding exploiting photos in pedestrian navigation systems. In Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Human-Computer interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (Helsinki, Finland, September 12 - 15, 2006). MobileHCI '06, vol. 159. ACM, New York, NY, 81-88. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1152215.1152233
Saturday, 7 June 2008
After lunch we went over to Microsoft Research (which is in a new building). We got to see some cool demos. Andy Wilson showed us some new stuff moving the SURFACE forward (physics rocks!). I learned more about depth sensing cameras and Andy showed a fun application  – there is video about it, too. Patrick Baudisch talked us through the ideas of LucidTouch  and more general about future interaction with small mobile devices. The idea of using the finger behind the screen and the means to increase the precision has many interesting aspects. I found the set of people that work at MSR as impressive as the demos – it seems to be a really exciting work environment.
The atrium of the new building is amazing for playing Frisbee and shoot rubber band missiles. And waiting for the pizza with those toys around proved yet again that researchers are often like kids ;-)
 Wilson, A. Depth-Sensing Video Cameras for 3D Tangible Tabletop Interaction. Tabletop 2007: The 2nd IEEE International Workshop on Horizontal Interactive Human-Computer Systems, 2007.
 Wigdor, D., Forlines, C., Baudisch, P., Barnwell, J., Shen, C. LucidTouch: A See-Through Mobile Device. In Proceedings of UIST 2007, Newport, Rhode Island, October 7-10, 2007, pp. 269–278 http://www.patrickbaudisch.com/projects/lucidtouch/
Friday, 6 June 2008
The 2 systems have very different hardware and software designs. The Qantas infotainment system is a regular screen and interaction is done via a wired moveable remote control store in the armrest. The Lufthansa system uses a touch screen (It also has some hard buttons for volume in the armrest). Overall the content on the Qantas system comprised of more content (more movies, more TV-shows) including real games.
The Qantas system seemed very well engineered and the remote control UI worked was greatly suited for playing games. Nevertheless the basic operation (selecting movies etc.) seemed more difficult using the remote control compared to the touch screen interface. In contrast the Lufthansa system seems to have much room for improvement (button size, button arrangement, reactions times of the system) but it appeared very easy to use.
So here are my hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: if you design (public) information or edutainment systems (excluding games) using a touch screen is a better choice than using an off-screen input device.
Hypothesis 2: with UI design team of a given ability (even a bad UI design team) you will create a significantly better information and edutainment systems (excluding games) if you use a touch screen than using an off-screen input device.
From the automotive domain we have some indications that good off-screen input device are really hard to design so that they work well (e.g. in-build-car navigation system). Probably I should find a student to proof it (with n much larger than 1 and other subjects than me).
PS: the Lufthansa in-flight entertainment runs on Windows-CE 5.0 (the person in front of me had mainly the empty desktop with the Win CE logo showing) and it boots over network (takes over 6 minutes).
Thursday, 5 June 2008
More information on the workshop and a call for paper is available at: http://automotive.ubisys.org/
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
 Alt, F., Sahami Shirazi, A., Schmidt, A. Monitoring Heartbeat per Day to Motivate Increasing Physical Activity. Ubiwell workshop at Ubicomp 2007.
There were two further interesting links in the article: an SD-card that includes WIFI and hence enables uploading of photos to the internet from any camera having an SD-slot (http://www.eye.fi/products/) – the idea is really simple but very powerful! And finally the UK has an educational laptop, too (http://www.elonexone.co.uk/). Seems the hardware is there (if not this year than next) and where is the software? I think we should put some more effort into this domain in Germany…
Not to forget the issue of the magazine contains our TEI conference report .
 Henrik Jernström. SiSSy Smart-its child Surveillance System. Poster at Ubicomp 2002, Adjunct Proceedings of Ubicomp 2002. http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/572976.html