Within the framework of the net:25 conference, Oliver Hödl and and me had the chance to deploy interactive Art installations following the invitation of Prof. Peter Reichl. The conference was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Internet in Austria and for this reason the State Opera House live broadcasted Richard Strauss’s Salome into the Vienna University’s great ballroom, where the conference was held. In a smaller ballroom (next to the great one) Oliver and me setup a couple of sensor chairs that controlled the projection of an  animated moon (note, the moon plays a central role within the Salome opera). Below the projected moon, we installed a large TV set featuring the livestream of the State Opera House. We invited the visitors of the conference to take a seat - whenever a seat was newly taken, the color of the moon changed, and it changed its direction towards the person who most recently took a seat.

Read More: Salome Interactive Installation (2015)

This project's objective was to create a cheap and personalized trackball by hacking existing hardware.

Trackballs are often used by people with motor disabilities as alternative input devices to the conventional computer mouse. However, this kind of equipment is rather expensive and, to little surprise, there are not many choices in different devices compared to regular input hardware. For this reason, I aimed to create a cheap solution based on some hacked hardware that can be used both for personal computers and mobile phones.

Read More: Trackball-Hack for Android (2014)

Smart phones and tablet computers offer unprecedented opportunities to create rich user experiences that incorporate the context in which the interaction is situated. Sensors and other built-in technologies provide designers with a variety of possibilities for new and exciting applications. However, development cost is expensive and thus there is a desire for efficient prototyping methods.

For this reason, my colleague Roman Ganghör and I are creating the FamOz (Fast mobile Wizard of Oz) prototyping tool. Our approach is to adapt established prototype techniques intended for desktop computing systems to the needs of prototyping for mobile. FamOz operates at a low-fidelity level and combines the convenience of paper prototypes with the interactivity offered by modern mobile phones. We aim to use it as a prototyping tool in our own lectures, as at times neither paper prototyping nor other mock-up tools such as balsamiq deliver the kind of result we desire.

Read More: FamOz - Fast Mobile Wizard of Ozzing (2013-2014)

How many times does a user look at her ambient/public display?

As more and more ambient and situated displays inhabit our everyday-life, there is an increasing demand to support the design of these devices with appropriate evaluation methods. A key question here is the analysis of usage patterns over time. The logging of interactions (e.g., touch input) is an integral part to the evaluation method repertoire for interactive systems. However, how can we capture interactions without explicit user input, and if observation or video recording are not appropriate means?

Read More: Trackaware (2013-2014)

The TV Companion is an application aimed to address the societal issue of prolonged TV consumption with its related potential negative effects and aims to foster more reflective TV viewing among children and their parents.

The TV Companion device (see figure) is comprised of a wooden chasing and RFID tokens. Each RFID token corresponds to a certain amount of time for 'unllocking' the TV. The chasing, on the other hand, includes a RFID reader, micro-controller, audio module and universal TV remote control. It can be painted by the children as they wish in order to provide them with a sense of ownership.

Read More: TV Companion (2010-2012)

Camlink is a technology probe for exploring tangible computing applications based on visual object recognition. That is, the device allows users to associate certain actions to physical objects, for example, loading and starting a certain playlist of MP3 music files.

We have seen a lot of such applications before, making use of RFID tags or QR codes. The specific feature of Camlink however is, that it does not rely on these technologies. There is no need to attach one of these tags, as Camlink uses machine vision algorithms to recognize objects by their plane visual appearance (no QR code needed, the 'natural' visual pattern of the object is sufficient). The user simply puts an object into the small Camlink box (built for filming the objects under constant light conditions) and the application starts the associated operation. New operations can also be assigned to additional objects and thus the collection of ‘tangible computer commands’ can be extended gradually.

Read More: Camlink (2009-2010)