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ComforTable @ ITS 2014 Dresden

From 16th-19th of november the ACM conference for Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS) took place in Dresden. Besides the lectures the event included a poster & demo session, in which CrossWorlds members Michael Storz and Kalja Kanellopoulos presented their second tabletop ‘comforTable’.
One of the highlights of the conference was Joachim Sauter’s closing keynote. In his inspiring presentation the director of the renowned design agency ART+COM gave insights in their magnificent work with interactive surfaces and showed a number of best practice examples. Concerning the development of new technologies he emphasized: “If you work with technologies you can only predict the future if you work interdisciplinary. People have to be open to leave their fields and work together with others.” Furthermore Sauter stressed the narrative potential of interactive surfaces, linking interaction design to composition and poetry. Putting the importance of briefing and re-briefing during the process of technological development into focus, he pointed out: “All of our ideas are already in our minds. You just have to open the door.”

ComforTable @ITS2014 demo session

 

Aaron Marcus

On 8th of october Mr. Aaron Marcus followed our invitation to Chemnitz where he held a talk about “Mobile User-Experience Design”. Aaron Marcus is President of Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A), in Berkeley, California, and an internationally known expert in mobile user-experience design, mobile persuasion design, information design, visualization and cross-cultural design. His talk focused on recent developments in mobile products and services and illustrated some current trends of mobile UX. In the second part of the talk Marcus gave insights in his inspiring work on persuasion design. The talk was recorded and edited by the Media Informatics tv studio.

After the talk our fellow researchers Michael Storz and Kalja Kanellopoulos and Mr. Marcus had the opportunity to get into a fruitful discussion about their work with tabletops and their applications.

 

Let´s follow the 27th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium

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The ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) is the premier forum for innovations in human-computer interfaces.

Sponsored by ACM special interest groups on computer-human interaction (SIGCHI) and computer graphics (SIGGRAPH), UIST brings together people from diverse areas including graphical & web user interfaces, tangible & ubiquitous computing, virtual & augmented reality, multimedia, new input & output devices, and CSCW.

The intimate size and intensive program made UIST an ideal opportunity to exchange research results and ideas.

 

The closing keynote is from Bret Victor. He was talking about the “Humane Representation of Thought: A Trail Map for the 21st Century.

 

Crossworlds meets the ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI)

best paper

Best Paper: Coordinated 3D Interaction in Tablet- and HMD-Based Hybrid Virtual Environments by Jia Wang & Robert Lindemann (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Our Ph.D. Candidate Steve Erik Funke joined the symposium that last for two days (Oct 4-5). The ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI) was the second international symposium. It is an unique opportunity for industrial and academic researchers to exchange about the state-of-the-art spatial and 3D interaction research. This considersboth spatial input and output, with an emphasis on the issues around interaction between humans and systems.

We focused on the user interface challenges that appear when users interact in the space where the flat, two-dimensional, digital world meets the volumetric, physical, three-dimensional (3D) space we live in. We had an intensive exchange with industrial and academic researchers working in the area of spatial user interaction.

The keynote was given by Keynote by Prof. Ken Perlin, NYU Media Research Lab.
The second Keynote by Prof. Mark Bolas, ICT, LA followed immediately by ACM UIST 2014.

The sponsors were ACM, ACM SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI and the Interaction Design Foundation.

 

Cyberworlds 2014

Group Picture CyberWorlds 2014

Group Picture CyberWorlds 2014

The Cyberworlds 2014 conference was held in Santander, Spain on October 6th to 8th.
Our collegiate Vincent attended and held presented his paper “Exploring Stereoscopic Multi-User Interaction with Individual Views”. The conference focused on cyberworlds and all related issues, including (but not limited to) computer graphics, shape modeling, user interfaces, virtual worlds, multimodal interaction and rendering, computer vision for augmented and mixed reality, multiplayer online games, social and affective computing, and cognitive informatics.

There were two invited speakers, Prof. Tomoyuki Nishita (University of Tokyo & Hiroshima Shudo University, JAPAN) with his talk “Shading Models for Extended/Environmental Light Sources” and Prof. Jian Jun Zhang (National Center for Computer Animation & Bournemouth University, UK) with “Virtual Human Characters and their Roles in Scientific Research”.

Both talks and the papers presented by the other scientists were very interesting and relevant to both CrossWorlds and other projects at the university.

 

EASST’14 – Talk on Robots in Elder Care

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Statue of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland. (c) Bischof

CrossWorlds assistant researcher Andreas Bischof has been attending EASST’14, europe’s most important conference on science and technlogy studies (STS).

The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) has – like the field itself – geographical centres of gravitation in Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. The organisation seeks to overcome this historic bias by allocating its bi-anual meetings in south and east european countries. The 2014 conference took place in Torun / Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus’ birth place! (Which is more than funny since Copernicus is the title hero of a very important study that kind of founded science and technology research, Thomas Kuhns »Copernican Revolution«.

Andreas’ talk was part of the panel »Governing Health Care Technologies«. Demographic ageing is widely seen as a “grand challenge”, and policy makers, industry, academic researchers, health care providers, and lobby groups have identified research and innovation as a promising response. In this context Andreas’ talk »Two Ways of Co-Constructing the User in Social Robotics« contributed to the discussion of practices of user-producer interactions in social robotics projects for elderly.

In particular he compared two projects implementing assistive robots in elder care in west european country. The question was how these projects integrated the elderly in the research & development of their robots. Crucial therefore are obviously user tests and the function of the thereby gathered data in the research process. The empirical research in the projects shows that institutional and political implications of the research shape the image of the user in such projects far more than actual user needs. Please have a look at the slides for details. For a more detailed insight see the German blog post from Andreas on his personal blog.

 

Exhibition MS Wissenschaft closes with 90.000 visitors

Exhibitionship MS Wissenschaft @Linz,Austria

MS Wissenschaft @Linz,Austria

September 28th the exhibition “Digital Unterwegs” on the ship MS Wissenschaft finally came to an end. In total it had 90.000 visitors, among them 480 school classes. The ship stopped in 38 german and austrian cities.

CrossWorlds researchers Kalja Kanellopoulos and Michael Storz contributed a multitouch table with applications for up to six players. The support staff reported us that the table was one of the most loved and most used exhibits in the exhibition. They also stated that the exhibit fostered interaction between people who didn’t know each other before and that despite its heavy usage the exhibit was still one of the easiest to maintain. On two of the last stops in Deggendorf and Regensburg we were able to conduct a user study, which will give us further insights into the mechanics and courses of action of playful tabletop collaboration.

Despite the fact, that we are still working on the detailled results of our study, it became clear, that this project was a great success and all the hard work and support for this exhibition was worthwhile.

The table is now in refurnishment and will be presented on November 17th at the Demosession at the ACM ITS conference in Dresden.

 

We like to move it, move it ;-)

After a week of the usual troubles while working in a half-way boxed-up office-space, the CrossWorlds Team finally is moving into their new habitat, half a World away aCross the street. If you want to find us, remember to look into the A-Wing of Reichenhainer Str. 70, Rooms 312 through 317.

 

Munich – Mensch und Computer 2014

As every year the biggest HCI conference in Germany the Mensch und Computer is a great opportunity to present our work and get into discussion with researchers from various fields. This years Mensch und Computer took place from 31st August to 3rd Semptember in Munich.

Fellow Michael Storz attended the doctoral symposium where he presented the current state of his thesis. A big thanks goes to the organizers professors Herrmann and Leimeister. Furthermore fellow Michael Heidt and research student Linda Pfeiffer contributed to the conference demo session.

For us this years highlight on MuC was Arne Bergers contribution “Personal Spacer” to the “Visionen” contest. A video featuring a provocative vision of the technology use in 2026. You can watch it here. (sorry, german only)

Presentation of Arne Bergers contribution to this years MuC Visionen contest

Cocontributor Stefan Kahl presents Arne Bergers contribution to this years MuC Visionen contest.

 

The first ‘Crossie’ defended his PHD thesis!

2014-07-17 12.06.32It happened! The first one of our Crossworlds colleagues, Daniel Pietschmann, has successfully defended his PhD thesis on July 17th. His dissertation is titled ‘Spatial Mapping in virtuellen Umgebungen: Der Einfluss von Stereoskopie und Natural Mapping auf die User Experience’ (Spatial Mapping in virtual environments: the influence of stereoscopy and natural mapping on the user experience). Daniel, the team congratulates you and your dedication to science and we hope to join you in the ranks of PhD, soon. 😀