jump to navigation

IAA: Digital Dashboards September 23, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, presentation, visual design.
add a comment

One of the big topics of the IAA. Here some impressions:

(own image)(various digital dashboard by Nippon Seiki, the producer of Head-Up-Displays)

(own image)(an OLED-based transparent display on top of the traditional dashboard – I saw this a couple of time – here the version by Delphi)

(own image)(a nice example of bringing together various display technologies in one dashboard – by Continental)

(own image)(Affordable Car Instrument Cluster by Continental)

(own image)(Dashboard of UP! by VW)

(own image)(Dashboard Volvo with huge display in the central area)

(own image)(F125 concept car by Daimler)


IAA: Smart Phones and Cars September 22, 2011

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

A big topic for interaction designers at this year’s IAA was the marriage of smart phones and cars. I found the following scenarios:

1. SmartPhone –> Key –> Car

(own image)

Delphi is proposing their “Key Fob Technology“: in the scenario presented at the IAA the user looks up a route on his smartphone. In the next step, he holds his car key to the smart phone, which transfers the data to the car key (via NFC). And then, when staring his car with this key, the information lands in the car and the in-car-navigation system.

Well, I am not sure why the car key acts as data tranferer. I liked the blinking at the slot for the car key. And I like the observation that there are two situations – the planning of a journey and the journey itself.

Talking to the people from Delphi I also discussed the following scenario, which they completely refused as they don’t see the necessary security standards being implemented in normal smart phones.

2. Smart Phone <–> Car

Continental is suggesting in their solution called AutoLinq to use the smart phone not only to open your car (!), but also to control vital functions of your car. One scenario they are suggesting is to personalize your dash board with you phone by dragging icons of features in the direction of the dashboard:

(own image)

Reminds me of the work by my old colleague Jun Rekimoto, who suggested already in 1998 the so called “Pick and Drop“-system, which allows to drag digital items within a multi-computer environment.

Another scenario with AutoLinq was the idea to check the pressure in the tires through your mobie phone:

(own image)

Other companies are suggesting to control the seat through mobile phones…

I guess this is the right way to go, but I also think that there are security and privacy aspects which needs to be resolved. I am not talking about encryption and other technical security issues (I take those for granted), but through the interface: who is allowed to do what? how does the owner knows what is happening? etc. Interesting challenges!

IAA: Force Feedback II September 22, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
add a comment

A couple of years ago I wrote on Tactile Information Representation – Finally I got the chance to try a force feedback gas padel – by Continental:

(own image)

Continental presented three different scenarios:

  • One sporty implementation, where I did not really feel the difference (but I had only little time to try the system, so maybe my fault)
  • One supporting to shift gears at the right time, which was some kind of double click feeling. I can imagine that this is a good way to remember drivers to do so.
  • One for eco-friendly driving, which makes accelerating harder. I thought that this one was nice in an exhibition, but on a daily base one might not even feel this feature at all…

I think that there is a lot of potential in this area.
Well, not just me: Scott Klemmer (et al.) desribe in their wonderful paper “How Bodies Matter“,  the “Tacit Knowledge” that many physical situations afford plays an important role in expert behavior.

As I did an apprenticeship as a stone mason I can tell how one can feel in his hands and by the sound of hitting the stone the quality of a stone while working on it. This experience is actually not really possible to put into words, but it is an important aspect of becoming an expert. In computer technology this ability of humans has not really been used yet…

I would really like to work on a detailed design language for force feedback.

IAA: Force Feedback I September 22, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
add a comment

Denso, a “global supplier of automotive technology, systems and components” and part of the Toyota group, presented at this year’s IAA a steering wheel with force feedback:

(own image)

From the design one can easily see that Denso is a Japanese company…

I had the chance to try the system: unfortunately the wheel could not be used as a steerting wheel in the demo, which I though was odd: one could only experience the force feedback without using the steering wheel in the regular manner.

The warning of approaching cars felt a little bit as if my steering wheel is a phone vibrating. I was not too impressed.

In emergency situations, this system starts steering by itself to avoid a crash. This in itself is a nice idea, however I was surprised that this auto-steering could be experienced in the steering wheel. Why would you like to experience that in such a situation? I am not sure…

Actually, I am big fan of the idea of force feedback in the steering wheel. However, I guess this force feedback needs to be crafted much more with the user’s expectation in mind and much more subtle than current solutions. Another problem I see is that it is difficult if each car has an own standard for force feedback (or any ambient information display). Imagine you sit in an rented car and all the sudden the steering wheel starts vibrating – and you have no clue why… A scary idea!


IAA: PCB-mounted dials September 22, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in prototyping tools.
add a comment

(own image)

Once you think about it more than a second, it makes sense to solder the dial motor directly on a PCB, which also holds all the LEDs necessary to display the different in-car informations on the dashbaords – but still it is nice to see the actual thing!

The company producing these specialized stepper motors is called Sonceboz. Here you can find the data sheets of these product line.

That’s why we made the PCB-view fully editable in Fritzing

IAA: Pong with E-Car September 22, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
add a comment

(own image)

To advertise their electric drive, Smart set up at the IAA 2011 a pong, where the players control their racket by driving a Smart back and forward.

Wow, that’s Physical Interaction Design for car lovers…

Instructions for the Arduino-ÜberPen September 22, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in innovative interfaces, physical interaction design.
add a comment





(image source)

Philipp Gräßler, one of the MA-students I currently supervising, has a 6-page-instruction on his Über-Pen in the current issue of the Weave-magazine, a German mag on “interactive design, conception & development”.

This Überpen is a extension of the regular Wacom-pen with the following features:

  • by sensing pressure at the side the pen turns into a pipet (or color picker)
  • by adding a scroll wheel to the pen zooming or scaling becomes easy
  • by adding another rotary encoder for the back part of the pen (like opening a screw driver), one can execute commands, which are also important, but not as ofter, as changing sound volume or switching applicatons

Philipp and his colleagues are describing in detail how to build such a pen with Arduino – in only 15-20 hours… Great project!


PS.: Sorry: no online-version of the article available… 😦

Research Project “EcoViz” at FHP wins price!!! September 19, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in ecoviz, gamification, sustainable interaction design.
add a comment

(image source)(left: Frank Heidmann (FHP), center: Timm Kekeritz (Rauhreif)

I am very proud to announce that one of the projects within the larger research project “Eco-Viz“, which I am heading with my colleague Frank Heidmann, won the German “clean tech media award” in the category “communication”:

The winning project is called “Eco Challenge” and has been developed by Rauhreif, an interface design company started by two alumnis from the “Interface Design” department where I am teaching. Eco Challenge consists of carefully designed info-graphics to help to raise the awareness, a included calculator which enables the user to quantify his own behavior and so called »Challenges« which provide the users with a small assignments. These assignments are small steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle. (source)




Two in One: Sustainability and Efficiency in Dutch Supermarkets September 19, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in gamification, service design, sustainable interaction design.
add a comment









(image source)

Jumbo, a supermarket chain from the Netherland, came up with a nice solution for two aspects of their business: avoiding to throw away food and reducing the workload of their employees:

Every costumer, who finds a product, which is expiring on the same or on the next day, can take it home – for free.(here the rule in dutch)

Maybe I am wrong with the title “two in one” – because actually I forgot to count the joy of shopping!


(via FAZ Supermarktblog, a nice blog on food and large supermarket chains by one of the leading German newspapers.)

Blind People and Interfaces September 15, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in methods, physical interaction design.
add a comment

Here a nice video observation/think aloud protocol of a blind person using an ATM:

(via boingboing)