4th International UBI Summer School 2013: Workshops

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This workshop will combine two highly topical areas: Experience design and ubiquitous interactions in public spaces. User experience has gained momentum as a central success factor of new products and services based on interactive technologies. Ubiquitous interactions are becoming part of people’s everyday lives, as context-aware and sensor-based technologies are entering personal technologies, embedded in mobile and wearable devices, as well as in smart spaces. In this workshop the students will engage in an innovative group work in which a new ubiquitous interaction concept is designed based on target user experiences such as enjoyment, challenge, or connectedness. The concept is designed by applying the user-centric design approach for the urban context of use. The approach in this workshop is creative, explorative and user-centered. The participants will conduct interactive group work that follows the basic principles of user-centric design cycle, including field work. The end result is an experience-driven concept design and a video prototype based on the group ideation and user evaluations. This interdisciplinary workshop targets to attract students with various backgrounds from graphics design to SW engineering.

The topics to be covered in the workshop are: 1) What is experience-driven design and how to do it in a user-centered way; 2) Types of ubiquitous interactions (context-aware, sensor-based interactions in smart environments), with the focus on user interactions in public, urban spaces and 3) How to do video prototyping, i.e. video demonstration of the designed concept and user interactions. Each thematic part of the workshop will be opened with a short introductory lecture followed by group work. The actual group works will focus on specific contexts of use (such as shopping malls, bus stations, or parks) and pre-defined target experiences which drive the innovative design phase.

Students from different disciplines – engineering, computer science, design, psychology, sociology, etc. – are encouraged to participate in this workshop. No specific technical skills (such as programming skills) are needed. Some experience with video shooting and video editing tools is beneficial but not necessary. Open, innovative minds, team working skills and willingness to act creatively in public spaces are a plus.

Instructor: Prof. Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Tampere University of Technology, Finland

Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila

Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila is a full professor of usability and user experience in Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland, in the department of Pervasive Computing. Kaisa leads the unit of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) which focuses on research of user experience of mobile and ubiquitous systems. Kaisa has over 20 years of experience in conducting and leading research related to human-computer interaction of novel systems, both in university and industry, including employment for over 10 years in Nokia Inc. In year 2011 Kaisa was a part-time visiting professor scholar at Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University, where she explored embodied interaction and mobile service user experience, as well as various approaches of design research. Kaisa is the author of over 70 scientific articles, and she has been organizing several workshops, tutorials and special interest groups in user experience related topics in international venues. Kaisa has been frequently acting in programme committees of international conferences, such as MobileHCI, MUM, NordiCHI, CHI and Ubicomp. Kaisa was the programme chair of Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM) in 2012, and will be the programme chair of NordiCHI’14. From the beginning of 2013, Kaisa is a member in Academy of Finland research council of natural sciences and technology, as well as in Facebook Faculty Thought Leader Council, coordinated by Stanford University.

Instructor: Dr. Jonna Häkkilä, University of Oulu, Finland

Jonna Häkkilä

Jonna Häkkilä is a team leader of user experience (UX) research team at Center for Internet Excellence, University of Oulu, an adjunct professor (docent) in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Oulu. In addition, she is a co-founder of user experience design house Soul4Design. Prior to this, she has worked as a research leader at Nokia Research Center, where she led user experience, concepting and prototyping research teams in 2007-2011. She received her PhD degree at University of Oulu, Finland, in 2007, and has done extended research visits to University of Stuttgart, Germany (2011), Carnegie Mellon University, USA (2006), and Griffith University, Australia (2003). She has published over 50 peer reviewed scientific papers on HCI, focusing on mobile and ubiquitous interaction, and was co-chairing Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM) conference in 2009. She has been a board member of ACM SIGCHI local chapter SIGCHI Finland in 2007-2010 and the chairman in 2012.


Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows digital content to be seamlessly blended with the real world. There are many possible applications for the technology such as providing virtual cues for outdoor navigation, AR enhanced textbooks for education, or new types of pervasive gaming, among others. AR also provides a way to visualize ubiquitous sensor information and so is an important technology for Ubiquitous Computing.

In recent years, the emergence of smart phones with cameras, GPS and inertial sensors on them have meant that AR experiences can be delivered on everyday consumer devices. Mobile AR has become one of the fastest growing mobile phone application areas with hundreds of applications available for download and a commercial market projected to grow to over $1.5 Billion USD by 2015.

This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to how to build AR experiences for Android and iOS devices. Using the freely available Junaio platform, attendees will build their own mobile AR applications. To do this they will also learn about the current state of the art for mobile AR, AR interface guidelines, AR authoring tools, and important areas for future research.

By the end of the workshop attendees will have learnt the skills necessary for developing their own mobile AR experiences and will be provided with the software tools needed so that they can continue on with their own mobile AR projects in the future.

Prospective students should be familiar with HTML, JavaScript and PHP, although a crash course can be given to those who have programming experience, but without this background. There is no additional hardware or software background required. Most important is a desire to learn how to develop mobile AR applications.

Instructor: Prof. Mark Billinghurst, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Mark Billinghurst

Professor Mark Billinghurst is a researcher developing innovative computer interfaces that explore how virtual and real worlds can be merged. Director of the HIT Lab New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, he has produced over 250 technical publications and presented demonstrations and courses at a wide variety of conferences. He has a PhD from the University of Washington and conducts research in Augmented and Virtual Reality and mobile interfaces. He has previously worked at ATR Research Labs, British Telecom and the MIT Media Laboratory. He is the co-developer of the ARToolKit software library, one of the most popular AR tracking libraries. One of his research projects, the MagicBook, was winner of the 2001 Discover award for best Entertainment application, and his AR Tennis project was the first collaborative mobile phone AR game and won the 2005 IMG award for best independent mobile game. In 2001 he co-founded ARToolworks, one of the oldest commercial AR companies. In 2012 he was awarded the ISMAR Lasting Impact Award for the most influential paper published in the last 10 years at the ISMAR Augmented Reality conference.


Over the last 20 years ubiquitous computing has become reality. Phones, household appliances, TVs, and cars have essentially become computers. Many of them are networked and offer specific capabilities for human-computer interaction. Computing technologies become an integral part of our life and they shape more and more how we perceive the world and how we interact with each other. In the 20th century mobility (e.g. cars, trains, and planes) has changed massively how people build cities and how work is organized.

We expect that computing has an even greater impact in the 21st century. By creating new, useful and usable ubiquitous computing technologies we have the means to augment and change human capabilities. Effectively these new computing technologies will change the way people live their lives and on a larger scale how societies function.

Developing ubiquitous computing systems raises many design and engineering challenges. Issues that need to be addressed range from concept design, to hardware, software and networking, and to interaction and user interface design. Additionally integration with other digital systems and practices plays an increasingly important role. In this workshop will discuss technology trends that enable a new generation of computing systems and explore practically how to conceive, concept, develop and implement new ubiquitous computing devices. We will explore approaches and tools for the creation of ubiquitous computing devices. We offer a hands-on workshop to for prototyping new ubicomp devices and user interface concepts.

The workshop will include a conceptual part, with lectures and discussions, as well as a practical part were the participants create novel computing devices using .NET Gadgeteer. The practical part will be structured in the following phases:
1. An introduction to ubiquitous and pervasive computing and the Gadgeteer prototyping platform will be given. Then students will split up in groups and gain their first experience with the hardware platform by building a fully functional stand-alone digital camera (half day).
2. Innovation Phase: Brainstorming about innovative ubiquitous devices and user interfaces, their context of use, target groups and intended user experience. Discussion of project ideas and selection of one project idea per group. Transformation of project idea into a full concept (full day).
3. Design and Development Phase: Rapid explorative prototyping of a physical solution in an iterative process. Refinement, enhancement and documentation of a solution in each iteration step. Possible division of task, e.g. hardware and electronics, software implementation as well as enclosure design and production (two days).
4. Presentation of the groups’ work results and demonstration of devices built.

Students from different disciplines are encouraged to participate in this workshop. Basic skills in one of the following domains will be appreciated: programming, 3D modeling, interaction design, or electronics.

Instructor: Prof. Albrecht Schmidt, University of Stuttgart, Germany


Albrecht Schmidt is a professor for Human Computer Interaction at the University of Stuttgart. Previously he was a Professor for User interface Engineering and Pervasive Computing at University of Duisburg-Essen. In 2006/2007 he had a joined position between the University of Bonn and the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) working in the area of Media Informatics. From 2003 to 2006 he headed the embedded interaction research group at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich. He studied computer science in Ulm, Germany and Manchester, UK and receive in 2003 a PhD from the Lancaster University in the UK and worked as a researcher at the University of Karlsruhe. His research interest is in human computer interaction beyond the desktop, including user interfaces for mobile devices and cars. Albrecht published well over 200 refereed archival publications and his work is widely cited. He was a member of the steering committees of the international conferences Pervasive Computing and Ubicomp. He has chaired several program committees of the internationally leading conferences in his field and has a long-standing service on the program committees of Ubicomp, Pervasive, and SIGCHI. He is co-founder of the ACM conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI) and initiated the conference on Automotive User Interfaces (auto-ui.org). He is an area editor of the IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine and edits a column on invisible Computing in the IEEE Computer Magazine.


This is a speculative workshop on the design challenge of the augmented city. Technologies of positioning, tagging, sensing, embedding and ambient display have created the conditions for a boom in “urban computing.” The workshop seeks a creative overview of emerging prospects there. Working all together and in pairs, participants will sketch and discuss proposals for product-service systems at street level, as in location tagging, neighborhood lore, smart transit, ambient art, or environmental monitoring. We will seek to focalize an attitude that is critical and civic, and not merely technofuturist. Lectures, readings, discussions, and prior project critiques will establish themes and precedents for the group to share in developing their work. Proposals will take the form of storyboards in slides or video (and not coded prototypes). Although mobile apps are certainly part of the conversation, the workshop emphasizes situated technologies too, more than you can build in a couple of days. The goal is to bring physical architecture into into thinking about information architecture. The takeaway is a better cultural/entrepreneurial sense of where the meaningful prospects are. Interaction designers, citizen scientists, social historians of technology, and environmental artists all may take interest, and the better mix of them the workshop involves, the more interesting the experience for all. Please join us.

Instructor: Prof. Malcolm McCullough, University of Michigan, USA

Malcolm McCullough

Malcolm McCullough has taught architecture and media arts at Taubman College, the University of Michigan, USA, since 2001. Previously he served on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon and for ten years at Harvard Design School. McCullough is an internationally recognized scholar on design culture for situated digital technologies. His previous books Abstracting Craft (1996) and Digital Ground (2004) became early classics in this fast-growing field. His forthcoming Ambient Commons (mid 2013) offers one of the most substantial inquiries yet into the question of attention amid ambient information. His long-running “networked cities” seminars in Taubman College provide a rich, extensive base of materials, methods, and topics for this workshop. McCullough has given over 40 invited lectures in 15 countries, and has taken over 40 backcountry trips in the American wilds, but he has never been further north than Helsinki.