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, project website

Susanne Karsten, Daniel Jörg, Eva Hornecker. Learner versus System Control in Augmented Lab Experiments. Proc. of ISS 2017 Interactive Surfaces and Spaces. 354-359. ACM. ACM DL

Susanne Karsten, Daniel Jörg, Eva Hornecker. Mixed Reality Demonstratoren für den Experimentalunterricht. Workshop Be-greifbare Interaktion at Conference Mensch&Computer 2017

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

Exploring Bio-Inspired Soft Fluidic Actuators and Sensors for the Design of Shape Changing Tangible User Interfaces.

Kristian Gohlke's PhD investigates fluid actuators (also known as soft robotics), mainly in form of pneumatically actuated soft or malleable material mechanisms as well as the use, application potentials and the limitations of such systems for interaction design. By contributing to a novel category of interfaces that are malleable, inherently capable of isotropic shape change and mechanically compliant, the research further intends to question the fundamental design paradigm of current technological artifacts that are commonly characterized by fixed form factors, rigid mechanisms and static enclosures. 

key publications: 

Kristian Gohlke, Eva Hornecker. A Stretch-Flexible Textile Multitouch Sensor for User Input on Inflatable Membrane Structures & Non-Planar Surfaces. Accepted demo for ACM UIST 2018, Berlin

Kristian Gohlke. Exploring Bio-Inspired Soft Fluidic Actuators and Sensors for the Design of Shape Changing Tangible User Interfaces. ACM TEI 2017 Graduate Student Consortium, ACM DL

Kristian Gohlke, Eva Hornecker, Wolfgang Sattler. Pneumatibles – Exploring Soft Robotic Actuators for the Design of User Interfaces with Pneumotactile Feedback. Proc. of TEI 2016, ACM NY,  Pages 308-315. author pdf and ACM DL

Tangible Data: The Role of Embodiment in Physical Data Artefacts

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

We are continuing this collaboration together with Uta Hinrichs following Trevor's PhD graduation and are now investigation physicalization, that is physical data representations. 


key publications: 

Trevor Hogan, Uta Hinrichs, Eva Hornecker. The Visual and Beyond: Characterizing Experiences with Auditory, Haptic and Visual Data Representations. Proceedings of ACM DIS 2017, 797-809. author pdf and ACM DL

Trevor Hogan, Uta Hinrichs, Yvonne Jansen, Samuel Huron, Pauline Gourlet, Eva Hornecker, Bettina Nissen. Pedagogy & Physicalization: Designing Learning Activities around Physical Data Representations. Workshop at ACM DIS 2017. Companion Proc. of ACM DIS'17 (Designing Interactive Systems).345-347. ACM DL. Workshop website

Trevor Hogan; Eva Hornecker. Towards a Design Space for Multisensory Data Representation. Interacting with Computers Volume 29, Issue 2, 8 March 2017, Pages 147–167, First published online: May 20, 2016;  pdf-version, doi:10.1093/iwc/iww015 

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

Michaela Honauer. Designing Interactive Costumes: Challenges and Prospects to Integrate Computational Clothing in the Performing Arts. ACM DIS 2017 Doctoral Consortium, ACM DL.

Aline Martinez, Michaela Honauer, Hauke Sandhaus & Eva Hornecker. Smart Textiles in the Performing Arts. In: Textiles, Identity and Innovation. Proceedings of the 1st International Textile Design Conference (D-­TEX 2017), Lisbon, Portugal, 2‐4 November, 2017, to appear

Michaela Honauer. 2018. Designing a Remote-Controlled Interactive Dance Costume. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Movement Computing (MOCO’18), 6 pages. ACM  DOI: 10.1145/3212721.3212879

Urban HCI - Understanding Architectural Influences

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

He continued this work at BUW, and for several years we explored how public interfaces can foster shared encounters, how to evaluate such interfaces, and engaged 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 

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.