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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.


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.


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.


CrossWorlds Interactive Tabletop is touring through Germany

CrossWorlds fellows Michael Storz and Kalja Kanellopoulos contributed an interactive tabletop to the exibition-ship MS Wissenschaft. The ship is touring through Germany and Austria until 28th of september with its exhibition “Digital unterwegs”. A detailed tour plan can be found here.

The tabletop offers two applications, a turn based card game for up to four and a pong game for up to six players. Additionally the tabletop is equipped with a user tracking system which notices when new players approach the table. In front of new players a dialog automatically pops up enabling users to log into the game.

Children playing at the CrossWorlds Tabletop.  © Ilja Hendel/Wissenschaft im Dialog

Children playing at the CrossWorlds Tabletop.
© Ilja Hendel/Wissenschaft im Dialog

MS Wissenschaft 2014 – Digital unterwegs

Tabletop applications can be used by up to six players.
© Ilja Hendel/Wissenschaft im Dialog


Guest lecture by Harald Reiterer

On 12th of february CrossWorlds was visited by Prof. Dr. Harald Reiterer professor for Human Computer Interaction at University of Konstanz. His talk “Die reale Welt als Vorbild – Neue Wege der Interaktion mit digitalen Welten”(Taking the real world as an example – New ways of interaction in digital worlds) gave us inspiring insights into several projects of his workgroup. His research focus on interactive systems and tabletops ties on our own efforts in this direction. After the talk our fellow researchers Michael Storz and Kalja Kanellopoulos had the opportunity to demonstrate their own developed tabletop and its applications. Especially our design for an “in the wild”-setting of the tabletop, which was and will be tested and evaluated in museum situations, appealed to our guest.

His talk was recorded and edited by the television studio of the professorship Media Informatics.


Associated PhD student Arne Berger defended his thesis.


Crossworlds associated PhD student Arne Berger successfully defended his PhD thesis
“Prototypes In Interaction Design” on Nov, 22nd, 2013. Arnes research focusses on prototypes as agents for reducing complexity at the intersection of design and computer science and reflecting players in interdisciplinary settings. His book is a must read for teams of mixed professions and will be available as Open Access (http://monarch.qucosa.de/startseite) very soon. Well done, Arne!


HCI International 2013, Las Vegas, July 21–26


This July the CrossWorlds fellows Anke Tallig, Michael Heidt and Michael Storz presented their paper submissions at the HCI International 2013 Conference in Las Vegas. With its two different thematic areas and nine affiliated conferences the conference had a very broad scope on many different aspects of human computer interaction. The large amount of submissions (1666 Papers and 303 Posters) gave attendees the opportunity to choose between many parallel sessions.

HCII'13 Keynote by Hiroshi Ishii

HCII’13 Keynote by Hiroshi Ishii

Anke Tallig presented on her work Border Crosser A Robot As Mediator Between Virtual and Real WorldMichael Heidt his contribution Examining Interdisciplinary Prototyping in the Context of Cultural Communication and Michael Storz his work Annotate Train Evaluate. A Unified Tool for the Analysis and Visualization of Workflows in Machine Learning Applied to Object Detection and A Support Framework for Automated Video and Multimedia Workflows for Production and Archive for his college Robert Manthey.