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Smart Environments: your shoes are talking to your iPod May 27, 2006

Posted by reto wettach in biofeedback, innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
1 comment so far

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A new technology has been introduced by Nike: the Nike+ shoe, which is communicating wirelessly with your iPod mini. An accelerometer in the shoe is sending data to the iPod, which then tells you, how fast you are or how much you still need to run.

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This project reminds me of a research project done by the German research organization Fraunhofer in 2003: Stepman is a system, which monitors the runner's heartrate and then transforms the speed of the music (without changing the pitch) to either slow the runner down or make him run faster. 

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Job Offer! May 16, 2006

Posted by reto wettach in jobs.
3 comments

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(image)

For a 5-months research project I am looking for an Interaction Designer, who would like to play a major role in an academic project – sponsored by the industry.

Starting from the Apple patent for Gestures for touch sensitive input devices and from research as Navigation with spatially aware handheld displays we will do a creative exploration of tactile interaction with handheld devices.

I am looking for somebody, who is familiar with the status-quo in this area (research and art) and who is also able to conceptually develop new interaction design ideas and implement them with what we call "just-enough-prototyping"-techniques (as e.g. video prototyping and physical computing).

What I am mostly excited about in this project is that there is budget for experts to help us and that we will even be able to invite a research-guru from Japan and one from the US to give us feedback! 

The project will be starting as soon as possible and taking place in Berlin (during the World-Cup – if anybody cares). Please contact me: wettach (a) fh-potsdam.de

Knee Pointing Device May 6, 2006

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
1 comment so far

 knee_pointing_device.jpg

Douglas Engelbart, the "Father of the Mouse", was – before inventing the mouse – also lookinhg at alternative methods for controlling a pointing device. Amongst others, he was looking at the knee. In an interview, Doug says about this idea:

"That device was based on my observation that the human foot was a pretty sensitive controller of the gas pedal in cars. With a little work, we discovered that the knee offered even better control at slight movements in all directions. In tests, it outperformed the mouse by a small margin."