Micro-Gesture Interaction on the Gear Shift

Micro-Gesture Interaction on the Gear Shift

From the abstract: “Modern cars offer a wide variety of infotainment functionality, including music players, navigation systems and full-featured internet access. Traditional interaction methods using buttons and knobs have long reached their limits and the frequently used touch screens require the drivers visual attention reducing driving safety. Gestural interaction is a promising solution to cope with the complexity of modern in-vehicle information systems with less distraction. To further explore this idea, micro-gesture interaction on the gear shift is investigated in this thesis.

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Coffeepot for Masochists: A Study in User-Centered System Design

Coffeepot for Masochists: A Study in User-Centered System Design

In this dissertation, Azad Ismail-Abas focus on evaluating different methods of creating a reliable user interface application to assist users of SeMiFOT.

The abstract

This master thesis is carried out in the field of “Human-Computer interaction”, more specifically the area “User-centered system design”. The focus has been on “usability” and useful graphical user interfaces. Current theories and definitions in the field have been considered. Literature studies contain well known authors and organisations in domains mentioned above; Jakob Nielsen, Donald A Norman and International Organization for Standardization ISO to mention some.

Another source for this work from which the theories and way of working have been used is the book “User-Centered System Design” written by Jan Gulliksen and Bengt Göransson. The work started with a literature study followed by looking at methods to use. The next step was to do task and user analysis which followed by the development phase. The user has been given a central role in this project and, just as recommended, also been involved through the whole cycle.

A useful method to get feedback from users, in addition to interviews and workshops, has been the “Heuristic Evaluation”. The final result and conclusion shows that the user-centered system design is a powerful tool to adapt when designing and developing interactive user interface.

Download the full dissertation.

EGO: interactive installation

Ego is an interactive installation realised by Klaus Obermaier with Stefano D’Alessio & Martina Menegon. It seems to use a 3-D camera—like to translate human body into an animated stick figure on the wall. The stick figure mirrors your movements adding a cartoonish style to the translated animation. According to the project page:

In psychology the mirror stage describes the formation of the Ego via the process of objectification, the Ego being the result of a conflict between one’s perceived visual appearance and one’s emotional experience. This identification is what psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan called alienation.The interactive installation EGO re-stages and reverses the process of alienation by enhancing and deforming the mirror image by the movements of the users.
Although an abstraction, it quickly becomes the self and reestablishes the tension between the real and the symbolic, the Ego and the It, the subject and the object.

InstaNO2: a photo app to visualise air quality data

The InstaNO2 mobile photo app conceived to visualise air quality data by simply shooting photos. It was designed by Ye Lin as part of her MSc dissertation in HCI at UCL.

” The app allows people to explore the current NO2 level from places via an existing habitual behaviour, taking photos.The appearance of photos are adjusted based on the air quality data on top, which translates the analytical number representing the severity of pollution to a visible form. The app provides a side-by-side comparison view by applying photo filters, which allows people to discover the spatial and temporal variations in air quality.”

For further details, see the presentation on Slideshare.


User Experienced Software Aging: Test Environment, Testing and Improvement Suggestions

In this MA Thesis, Sayed Tenkanen (University of Tampere) offers a framework for the automated analysis of software aging.

Abstract: “Software aging is empirically observed in software systems in a variety of manifestations ranging from slower performance to various failures as reported by users. Unlike hardware aging, where in its lifetime hardware goes through wear and tear resulting in an increased rate of failure after certain stable use conditions, software aging is a result of software bugs. Such bugs are always present in the software but may not make themselves known unless a set of preconditions are met. When activated, software bugs may result in slower performance and contribute to user dissatisfaction.

However, the impact of software bugs on PCs and mobile phones is different as their uses are different. A PC is often turned off or rebooted on an average of every seven days, but a mobile device may continue to be used without a reboot for much longer. The prolonged operation period of mobile devices thus opens up opportunities for software bugs to be activated more often compared to PCs. Therefore, software aging in mobile devices, a considerable challenge to the ultimate user experience, is the focus of this thesis. The study was done in three consecutive phases: firstly, a test environment was set up; secondly, mobile device was tested as a human user would use under ordinary-use circumstances and finally, suggestions were made on future testing implementations. To this end, a LG Nexus 4 was setup in an automated test environment that simulates a regular user’s use conditions and executes a set of human user use cases, and gathers data on consumption of power as well as reaction and response times in the various interactions. The results showed that an operating system agnostic test environment can be constructed with a limited number of equipment that is capable of simulating a regular user’s use cases as a user would interact with a mobile device to measure user experienced software aging”.

Download the MA Thesis.

Microsoft and the holodeck: IllumiRoom

Microsoft Research has published on its Youtube account a new video of project RoomAlive – former IllumiRoom. In this video you can have a sneak pick on the advancement made so far.  From Eurogamer.net: “In the video, we see a few prototype games. Whack-A-Mole sees characters pop up for players to shoot or stomp on. In Robot Attack you control a soldier who shoots robots. Traps is a sort of puzzle game you play on your wall. RoomAlive is just a prototype at this stage, and there’s no suggestion it will be released in consumer form for Xbox One any time soon. But it does offer a glimpse at a possible future for gaming as imagined by Microsoft Research.”