PhotoGreetings (working title) are mobile phones or tablets, which are 'hidden' in 3D-printed or wooden casings. Consequently, they are not recognized easily as mobile phones. Instead, they look like some sort of digital photo frame. And that's what these devices are actually built for: to display digital photos sent by family or friends, who live at a distant place.


Why not use conventional digital photo frames?

The difference between conventional digital photo frames and PhotoGreetings is that the latter devices can be populated easily by means of a corresponding mobile phone picture application or browser upload form. To share a moment with granny (or with anyone who owns a PhotoGreetings), the user simply has to snap a picture and press send. The result is transferred via Internet and displayed immediately at the remote location. In addition, PhotoGreetings implement Trackaware. Thus, the user gets immediate feedback whenever a person looked at the PhotoGreetings (These displays are always switched on and no touch interaction is required. Thus, the use of Trackaware for checking whether someone has noticed the new photo).

Read More: PhotoGreetings (2015)

This project is commissioned non-commerical ('pet project') work. The objective is to monitor an old lady, who suffers from cognitive impairment and should not leave her bed, because of a complicated hip fracture.

The problem is that the lady must not put weight on her leg, however, she cannot remember this cruical medical advice. At the hospital/nursery home they have sensor doormats in front of the bed that can detect full-body weight, but this is already too late.

Thus, the goal of this project is to create a sensor that already detects the attempt of leaving the bed. This is accomplished by a simple distance sensor, which triggers an alarm whenever a body crosses its covering area. An additional challenge is provided by the requirement that the hospital's equipment must not be mechanically altered.

Read More: ProxyCare Monitoring System (2014)

OpenDock is a research proposal submitted by Özge Subasi and me. Unfortunately, it hasn't been successful yet :-/ Nevertheless, the concept is not bad :-D

In a nutshell, the idea is to create open designs for phone and tablet docking stations, which extend these proprietary devices by adding additional functions such as extra buttons or RFID readers. These extra buttons etc., again, can be customized easily by non-experts (i.e., functions can be assigned to them) with a corresponding phone/tablet application. This allows, for example, to have a big extra button that will bring the user back to the home screen. And, an additional one that opens the weather broadcast. There is a large number of interesting use or configuration cases for this kind of setup, as it is technically feasible to call many different applications and functions of phones/tablets by means of OpenDock. It is planned to provide a downloadable version of OpenDock (both software and 3D models for the hardware) to allow interested people to replicate or modify it.

OpenDock can be considered as the open and customizable successor of the Tablet Companion. Check out Özge's and my concept video below.

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)

From the abstract of the paper referenced below:

In HCI, there is much interest in exploring novel technology-mediated communication that can empower older users who don’t have easy access to regular computers. In this paper we exploit the potential of smart phones and tablet computers to create a series of technology probes that we deploy long-term making use of close family members. By this means participants can gain experiences with robust and fully implemented devices at a very early stage of design. We lay out four prototypes of communication technologies with different forms and functions for older adults. We describe the features of these devices including some indicative feedback from our informal deployment study. We thereby suggest that mobile phones are a suitable means for the rapid prototyping of communication technologies for senior people and can possibly provide useful input to later participatory or co-design activities. The overall work is still ongoing hence the main contribution of the paper is about the potential of rapid technology probes as a design technique and in less detail about the potential of the prototypes as AAL communication devices.


Read More: Tablet Companion (2011-2013)

From the abstract of the paper referenced below:

Assistive Technologies can be of enormous help for people with disabilities. Still, such supportive devices are often considered to be poor in aesthetics, leaving the person feeling stigmatised by the technology and resulting in a reduced usage and compliance. In this paper we report on a case study of a young person suffering from cerebral palsy and describe a wearable device, RemoteLogCam, that was designed to help him self-manage his hand spasms and at the same time provide his first opportunity to take his own photos. We call this an example of assistive lifestyle technologies (ALT), designed not only to assist people with special needs in a functional sense, but that also enhance the experience of such a device in a pleasing way. In this case, over the course of 6 months use to date, RemoteLogCam augmented our participant’s own self-management of spasms and his creative and practical documentation needs.

Read More: Flexglove (2011-2013)