Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz
TITLE: Intelligence and The Disappearing Computer: Designing Interaction for Smart Artefacts (Special Half-Day Seminar)
SPEAKER: Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz
DATE: Friday, March 27th, 2009
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-006, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 09.30-12.30
"It seems like a paradox but it will soon become reality: The rate at which computers disappear will be matched by the rate at which information technology will increasingly permeate our environment and our lives." This statement by Streitz & Nixon (2005) illustrates that new challenges for the design of human-computer interaction will arise. Computers used to be "primary" artefacts, now they become "secondary" artefacts moving into the background in several ways (physical and mental disappearance). They disappear from the scene, become part of the environment and turn invisible in the perception of users. This creates new challenges for designing the interaction of humans with computers embedded in everyday objects as, e.g., ambient displays, interactive tables and walls, etc.
While disappearance is a major aspect, "smart" artefacts are also characterized by sensors collecting data about the environment, the devices and humans acting in this context in order to provide ambient intelligence-based support. The resulting issues are discussed based on the distinction between "system-oriented, importunate smartness", implying more or less automatic behaviour of smart environments, and "people-oriented, empowering smartness", where the empowering function is in the foreground. The latter approach can be summarized as "smart spaces make people smarter" which is achieved by keeping "the human in the loop" and empowering people to be in control, making informed decisions and taking actions. Last but not least, privacy issues in sensor-based smart environments are being discussed ranging from being a legal and moral right to becoming a commodity and privilege. The approaches and concepts will be illustrated with examples taken from different research projects.
The seminar will be concluded with an overview over issues of future research agendas based on the umbrella application scenario of Smart or Hybrid Cities. They are currently being developed in a special EU-funded Working Group on 'Ambient Computing and Communication Environments' chaired by the speaker.
The Seminar is divided in three major parts:
Part 1: Introduction, approaches and conceptual frameworks
Part 2: Application domains and design examples taken from selected projects
Part 3: Research lines of future research agendas for ambient intelligence
Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in psychology) is a Senior Scientist and Strategic Advisor with more than 25 years of experience in information and communication technology. He is the founder of the Smart Future Initiative which was launched in January 2009. From 1987 - 2008, he was at the Fraunhofer Institute IPSI (previously GMD-IPSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, where he held different positions as Division Manager and Deputy Director. At IPSI, he initiated and managed research efforts in multiple areas (see Research Topics). A prominent example is the research division "AMBIENTE - Smart Environments of the Future" founded by him in 1997. He also taught at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt for more than 15 years.
Before joining IPSI in Darmstadt, he was an Assistant Professor at the Technical University Aachen (RWTH), Germany, teaching and doing research in cognitive science and human-computer interaction and founding the ACCEPT-Group (AaChen Cognitive Ergonomics ProjecT). Furthermore, he was a post-doc research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC, USA, and at the Intelligent Systems Lab of MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan. He is regularly asked to present keynote speeches and tutorials at scientific as well as commercial events. He has published/edited 17 books and (co)authored more than 115 technical papers.
Norbert Streitz was/is involved in many EU-funded projects and efforts as well as in activities funded by industry. He is currently the Chair of the Working Group on "Ambient Computing and Communication Environments" which prepared a State-of-the-Art-Report and is now preparing a 'white paper' on future research agendas. From 2001-2004, he was the Chair of the Steering Group of the EU-funded proactive research initiative "The Disappearing Computer". His research topics include Ambient/Pervasive/Ubiquitous Computing, Interaction and Experience Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext/ Hypermedia, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, and Cognitive Science. He and his team are also known for the development of Roomware®, the integration of walls and furniture with information technology and the design of smart artefacts and ambient displays. The Roomware components were developed in close cooperation with industry and won several design prices.
He serves regularly on the program committees of national and international conferences and on several editorial boards. He is often invited to present tutorials and keynote speeches to scientific as well as commercial events in Europe, USA, South America and Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong-Kong, China, Korea and Japan).
For more information, see:
HOST: Prof. Marc Langheinrich, Dr. Elisa Rubegni (Comm. Faculty)

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