Thesis Topics

Please note: if you want to write a Master's thesis at the Mobile Media Group, you should first have completed the Mobile Information Systems course (grade of 2.0 or better generally required).

Available thesis topics

Ultrasound-based Collision Sensing for Smartphones

Modern smartphones can play and record ultrasound beyond the human hearing range. This thesis explores how this capability can be used to provide a collision warning system for smartphones, or alternatively a indoor location system.

Designing an Open-Source Particulate Matter Sensor

Projects such as http://luftdaten.info/ try to enable "citizen science" by providing open-source build instructions for air quality monitoring devices, allowing everyone to provide environmental measurements for their own neighbourhood. In this project, an alternative sensor for analysing particulate matter in the air will be developed which does not only provide particle counts, but also estimates about the individual particle types. Using a "lensless imager" as described in hackaday.io/project/19677-basic-lensless-imaging-for-low-cost-microscopy may be an option for implementing this project.

M³ Reloaded

The M³ framework and its reference game, MMM-Ball, have already been demonstrated at numerous occasions. However, recent developments of HTML5 offer the opportunity for performance improvements. The goal of this thesis is to integrate WebRTC DataChannel into the M³ framework, and to measure the end-to-end latency of the resulting system using an Arduino-based measurement device. In collaboration with the HCI chair, an extension of MMM-Ball to use facade projection could also be envisioned.

Mobile ORB-SLAM, revisited

SLAM-based localization systems are not yet fully suitable for mobile environments. Existing systems such as ORB-SLAM2 show promise, but are still susceptible to various performance issues in a mobile context. The goal of this thesis is to create a robust port of ORB-SLAM2 to Android and the Camera2 API, with optional accelerometer integration.

Train & Touch

Many people use devices such as treadmills, elliptical trainers or spinning bikes to keep fit. Unfortunately, due to their stationary nature, using them can quickly become boring. Using a tablet or other touch device during use, however, is very difficult due to constant user motion. In this project, we will evaluate methods to enable the user to better interact with touch devices during training.

Other topics

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in writing any other thesis in one of our research areas (see below). Own topic suggestions are very welcome!

  • Wearables

    • Augmented/Virtual Reality Glasses
    • Smartwatches

  • (Multi-)touch interfaces

    • large-scale: interactive walls and tables
    • small-scale: tablets, smartphones

  • Ubiquitous computing environments & infrastructure

    • public displays
    • collaborative spaces

  • Internet of Things

    • sensor mesh networks
    • peer-to-peer communication

Ongoing theses

Nathalie Dittrich: Local Media Verification

In an age of "fake news", this project aims to provide a method to verify that a media object (audio, video, images) has been recorded at a specific time and place and has not been modified afterwards.

Pia Fichtl: Peer-to-Peer Device Localization

The goal of this thesis is to develop a peer-to-peer positioning system for mobile devices which does not rely on any external infrastructure, i.e. only uses the sensors in the devices themselves. This may involve speakers and microphones, cameras, wireless modules and IMU data. An existing implementation of a similar system is Tracko (ACM paper).

Marie Bornemann: Rotate It! with a Tangible

This thesis will analyze the spatial cognition abilities of students. A self-designed tangible controller will be evaluated against the Rotate It! app. This includes design and construction of the tangible object, connecting it to the existing app, and acquiring 40 participants for the subsequent user study. The thesis will conclude with a statistical analysis of the study results.

Christopher Getschmann: Privacy-Aware Large-Scale Crowd Tracking

Today's mobile devices offer cameras as well as sufficient processing power to enable localized pedestrian tracking without ever having to store or upload image data to an external server. This offers new research opportunities in urban spaces regarding pedestrian flow, footpath usage etc.

Rana al-Kadasi: A Mesh Network for Temperature Sensors

Mesh networks offer various advantages for distributed sensors, such as power efficiency and resilience. In this thesis, a mesh network will be developed based on BTLE broadcasts, using the nRF51 platform.

Jula McGibbon: Smartglasses for Building Maintenance

Attending to necessary maintenance tasks in large buildings will inevitably lead to challenges with task management. This thesis investigates how smart glasses can help maintenance workers to quickly identify and locate priority issues.

Fahimeh Mohammadi: Combining Step Count and Beacons for Retail Promotion

This project explores how fitness tracking concepts, such as step count, can be combined with fine-grained location data in a store to improve customer satisfaction, e.g. by providing discounts after completing a fixed number of steps.

Completed theses

Johannes Hartmann: BinaryFlix - Fast Search on Smartwatches

Smartwatches have a very space-constrained interface, making it difficult to scroll through or search in long lists such as contacts. The goal of this thesis is to implement and evaluate new techniques based on binary search to quickly locate list items on a smartwatch.

Frederik Schreiber: High-Speed QR Code Tracking for Mobile Devices

QR codes provide an ubiquitous solution for identifying as well as tracking landmarks. In this thesis, a high-performance QR code tracker based on OpenCV and Android will be developed.

Andreas Berst: Evaluation of a Smart Ring for P2P Contact Exchange

The handshake as a cultural practice is well suited as a trigger for exchanging contact data. In this thesis, various methods of detecting a handshake using hand-mounted sensors will be evaluated.

Thomas Dressel: SecuriCast - Using BTLE for Setup-Free Authentication

Websites often annoy their users by repeatedly asking for identification, such as username and password. This thesis explores how BTLE-capable mobile devices in conjunction with WebBluetooth can be used as a second authentication factor.

Kirti Singh: SafeTravel

Persons travelling alone in dangerous environments often feel unsafe. In this thesis, an app is being developed to help these persons designate another trusted person as guardian which can monitor the journey progress.

Jannis Bossert: Next-Generation Terminal

The commandline has a long history as an effective user interface, particularly for experts. However, the interaction concepts are somewhat outdated by now. In this thesis, the goal is to integrate some of the ideas from TermKit (http://acko.net/blog/on-termkit/) to create a novel hybrid of terminal emulator and file manager, and evaluate the result with "power users".

Philipp Seltmann: Genome Browser - Modernizing the UI

The UCSC Genome Browser is a widely used tool in the context of molecular biology. It enables users to browse the human genome down to the level of individual nucleotides or view a high-level overview of gene distribution. In this thesis, the goal is to use the raw data available from the genome database to create a modern, tablet-based and touch-focused UI for scientists to interact with and analyze genetic data. A possible extension is to collaborate with molecular biologists from University of Jena in order to evaluate and improve this interface.

Matthew Heinz: TouchScope

Oscilloscopes are usually controlled via a overwhelming number of knobs and switches due to the significant amount of parameters which need to be controlled during measurement. The goal of this thesis is to implement and evaluate an alternative multitouch interface for a high-end oscilloscope on a touchscreen device.

Matti Wiegmann: Bluetooth-based Mesh Networking for Smoke Detectors

The "Internet of Things" includes a wide variety of devices, including safety-critical systems such as fire alarms. The goal of this thesis is to develop a robust mesh network for such devices based on Bluetooth LE, also providing a gateway via smartphones.

Felix Schmidt: simpLE - a cross-plattform library for easy development of BTLE applications

The impact and importance of Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) has been increasing more and more in the past years. It is one basic technology of the "Internet of Things". Unfortunately, even the development of simple BTLE applications requires a lot of programming. simpLE reduces the necessary workload and enables a faster and more simple development.

Goran Kosutic: Implementing GISpL in JavaScript

The GISpL gesture specification language for easy creation of multi-touch and tangible interfaces does not yet offer native support for browser-based HTML5 interfaces. The goal of this thesis is to port the existing C++ implementation to Javascript and evaluate the resulting JS library with other developers. Details about the language can be found on http://gispl.org/.

Joshua Reibert: Don't SLAM your head

Virtual reality is becoming affordable thanks to powerful smartphones and suitable head-mounts. However, moving in the VR environment still poses a problem - either the user is seated and uses a joystick, often leading to motion sickness, or a wide empty space is required to avoid collision with real-world obstacles. In this thesis, a hybrid visualization of real-world environment data collected with the smartphone's camera and the virtual environment is developed. This involves porting an existing SLAM algorithm to Android. The option of merging SLAM data from several smartphones also exists for a master's thesis.

Jasmin Odenwald: Tabletop Teleporter

In this thesis, a shared workspace will be created from two disjoint locations by using interactive surfaces and projector-camera systems. The goal is to allow everyday tasks such as dinner or leisure activities to be shared over long distances.

André Karge: BauhausBoards - Interactive Door Signs for the Office

Many people like to use a whiteboard or pin board next to their office door to post notes, comics, announcements etc. The goal of this thesis is to implement and evaluate a digital, remotely-controllable version of such an office door whiteboard using low-cost tablet devices. An earlier implementation is described in this paper.

Sascha Dobschal: Touch Graffiti in augmented reality as a method of communication

This thesis aims to analyze and test a self-developed augmented reality application (app) for smartphones. The focus of interest will be the usability, functionality and benefit of the app for different user groups. With the app users have the possibility to created and view virtual graffiti in arbitrary city locations. Furthermore people can edit and share those graffiti with users and friends through a connection to social networks.