ELIXIER - BMBF Project 'Erfahrungsbasiertes Lernen durch interaktives Experimentieren in erweiterten Realumgebungen'

The BMBF Project ELIXIER has recently started (May 2016). ELiXIER will develop an augmented experimental lab workbench that provides context-oriented tutorial assistance (via embedded projections, sound output, etc.) and supports teachers in setting up experiments for class. The system will enable intelligent connection of digital learning portfolios and practical lab experiments via a web-based infrastructure (seamless smart lab) so that learners can review their practical work anytime, anywhere in an interactive way.

The project collaborates with industry partners and research institutions, and has several strands, from the technical infrastructure development, sensor tracking of experiment data, to didactical assistance, learning effectiveness and usability of augmented learning environments. The role of BUW in this project focuses on usability-oriented design and evaluation of augmented environments. 

Project partners: Archimedes Exhibitions, Berlin (coordinator); FU Berlin; LD Didactic GmbH; Fraunhofer IDMT Ilmenau/Oldenburg

more information: BMBF announcement

Elektro-Mobility Demonstrator Mockup
Elektro-Mobility demonstrator mockup (image: archimedes exhibitions)
chemical experiment mockup with projected augmentation
Chemical experiment mockup with instructions

Urban HCI - Understanding Architectural Influences

Patrick Tobias Fischer's PhD work investigates how spatial configurations and architectural elements influence the use of public interfaces. Tobias submitted and defended his PhD at the University of Strathclyde

He continues this work at BUW, and we now explore how public interfaces can foster shared encounters, how to evaluate such interfaces, and engage in a series of design-evaluation experiments. 

> Plazapuck preview

key publications: 

P. T. Fischer and E. Hornecker. Urban HCI: Spatial Aspects in the Design of Shared Encounters for Media Faccades. Proc. of CHI 2012. ACM. 2012. pp. 307-316. pdf

P.T. Fischer, C. Zöllner, T. Hoffmann, S. Piatza, E. Hornecker. 2013.  Beyond Information and Utility – Transforming Public Spaces with Media Facades. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE, 33, 38-46.  IEEE Explore DLauthor version.

Patrick Tobias Fischer , Eva Hornecker. 2017.  Creating Shared Encounters Through Fixed and Movable Interfaces. In: Anton Nijholt (ed).  Playable Cities. The City as a Digital Playground. Springer Singapore, pp 163-185

P.T. Fischer, A. von der Heide, E. Hornecker, S. Zierold, A. Kästner, F. Dondera, M. Wiegmann, F. Millan, J. Lideikis, A. Cergelis, R. Verde, C. Drews, T. Fastnacht, K.G. Lünsdorf, D. Merat, A. Khosravani, H. Jannesar. Castle-Sized Interfaces: An Interactive Façade Mapping. Full paper (6+ pages). Proc. of Pervasive Displays 2015 (PerDis'15), ACM 2015, pp. 91-97. doi>10.1145/2757710.2757715

N. Memarovic, S. Gehring, P.T. Fischer. 2015.  ELSI Model: Bridging User Engagement around Interactive Public Displays and Media Facades in Urban Spaces. Journal of Urban Technology Volume 22, Issue 1, 2015, pages 113-131. DOI:10.1080/10630732.2014.942169 journal site 

Tangible Data: The Role of Embodiment in Physical Data Artefacts

Trevor Hogan's PhD project investigates tangible and multi-sensory data representation and the role of embodiment in the user experience of physical data artefacts, taking a phenomenological perspective.


key publications: 

Trevor Hogan; Eva Hornecker. Towards a Design Space for Multisensory Data Representation. Interacting with Computers 2016; First published online: May 20, 2016;  free access link 

T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. Feel it! See it! Hear it! Probing Tangible Interaction and Data Representational Modality. accepted for DRS2016, Design Research Society Conference in Brighton, UK. 

T. Hogan, U. Hinrichs, E. Hornecker. The Elicitation Interview Technique: Capturing People’s Experiences of Data Representations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (online first 2015, print in 2016)

T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. Blending the repertory grid technique with focus groups to reveal rich design relevant insight. Proc. of DPPI'13, Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, ACM 2013, 116-125. Author version.

T. Hogan, E. Hornecker. In Touch with Space: Embodying Live Data For Tangible Interaction. Proc. of TEI'13, ACM, 275-278. Author version.

Interactive Costumes - How Wearables and E-Textiles can enter Performance Stages (working title)

Michaela Honauer's PhD project investigates wearables and e-textiles in the specific domain of professional stages that have predefined infrastructures and expertise-based hierarchies (e.g. theatre, ballet, opera). Next to the technical challenges for particular use cases, Michaela searches for solutions that help to integrate the production and staging processes of interactive costumes into traditionally grown structures. Her practice-based research is ethnographically motivated and tries to establish working routines and connections to practitioners as well as theatre, opera and ballet houses.

key publications 

M. Honauer, E. Hornecker. Challenges for Creating and Staging Interactive Costumes for the Theatre Stage. Proc. of Creativity & Cognition 2015 (C&C'15). ACM, pp. 13-22. doi>10.1145/2757226.2757242

Michaela Honauer. Designing (Inter)Active Costumes for Professional Stages. In. Stefan Schneegass, Oliver Amft (eds.) Smart Textiles. Springer International Publishing 2017, 10.1007/978-3-319-50124-6 chapter 13, p. 279-302

Interactive Museum Installation – Touchless Interaction via Motion Tracking and Pointing Gestures

The Haßleben grave showcase
General principle and setup
Preview map of the 'active' objects in the grave

3D graphics are common in modern media, while two dimensional input techniques are used for interaction. A variety of devices are used in these contexts to manipulate contents which often are complicated or error prone. But meanwhile, home entertainment-systems can be operated just with hand gestures.

Master student Michael Pannier developed a novel interaction prototype where museum visitors are tracked with a motion sensor (ASUS XtionPRO) and analyzed via the OpenNI framework. A visitor can simply point at the artefacts within a showcase and the software will provide corresponding information on a screen. This provides a low cost and low-maintenance system. Our system also allows the museum staff to set up a new installation, to define and edit the objects of interest within it as well as attach corresponding information, i.e. text and images to be shown on a screen whenever a user points at the artefacts. A particular challenge in this project has been to adapt Kinect-like motion sensing technology to determine pointing targets on a horizontal plane (instead of a vertical screen), to account for angular error, eye-hand visibility mismatch, and pointing inaccuracy. 

We collaborated with the local museum of pre- and early history Thuringia (Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens) to build a system for a showcase, containing the grave of a germanic princess, the 'Prinzessin von Haßleben'. This was installed in July 2014. Michael Pannier furthermore interviewed visitors before installation of the system and after to investigate whether it contributes to making the grave more memorable and increasing people's knowledge about it. 

Michael Pannier, Eva Hornecker, Sven Bertel. Can’t Touch This – The Design Case Study of a Museum Installation. In: Proc. of Mensch und Computer 2016: Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. GI Digital Library Link. author pdf. HONOURABLE MENTION in category of full papers.