Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 2009 Paper Accepted to HCII 2009

"Interaction Techniques for Binding Smartphones"

Congratulations to Umer on having his paper on Interaction Techniques for Binding Smartphones published in the proceedings of the First International Conference on Human Centered Design 2009. This conference is held as part of HCI International 2009, San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009. The proceedings are published in the prestigious Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.

Our paper reports on the use of guided interviews to evaluate the desirability
of different interaction techniques for binding smartphones. We demonstrate
five interaction techniques using storyboard sketches and cardboard
prototypes of iPhones. We discuss the implications of these results for the
design of interaction techniques for smartphones.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 2009 Workshops Pervasive 2010

Pervasive 2010
The Eighth International Conference on Pervasive Computing

Call One: Workshop Proposals Pervasive 2010
Submission Deadline: June 26, 2009

Helsinki, Finland
May 17 - 20, 2010

Call One for Workshop Proposals

Pervasive 2010, the Eighth International Conference on Pervasive Computing will be held in Helsinki, Finland on the 17 - 20 May.

The workshop program for Pervasive 2010 will be different than in past years as invited projects, invited topics and regular workshops form part of the program. This call represents the first opportunity for anyone to submit a regular workshop proposal. Two topical and two project workshops have already been invited. The invited workshops include:

1 Energy Awareness and Conservation through Pervasive Applications
2 Multimodal Location Based Techniques for Extreme Navigation
3 Workshop on Pervasive Personalization
4 Workshop on Ubiquitous Virtual Reality

Contrary to previous years, there will be two calls for workshop proposals. Workshops will be selected from both calls. The deadline for this first call is *June 26, 2009*. Interested parties should submit 1-2 page workshop proposals that include the following details:
- Title and abstract/description for the workshop
- Format of the workshop
- Motivation for the relevance of the workshop to Pervasive computing
- Names and affiliations of the organisers

The workshop calls will be evaluated considering the (i) quality of the proposal, (ii) relevance of the workshop topic and (iii) overall span of workshop topics. This first call is targeted at groups who which to establish a longer lead time to promote and develop their workshop program than is typically the case with Pervasive workshops. Clearly, topics for workshops should differ substantially from the topics of the invited workshops.

The notifications will be sent by the end of July. Accepted workshops are expected to finalize their workshop program (call for papers, PC, website etc.) at the latest by October 2nd, 2009.

Critical dates:

* June 26, 2009: Submission deadline
* July 31, 2009: Notification
* October 2, 2009: Deadline for final workshop descriptions and workshop webpages

The deadline for the second call is October 16, 2009. This will be the standard call our research community has for each Pervasive conference.
Participants submitting to the second call are expected to submit full proposals (4-6 pages). More details about this call will be sent at a later stage.

Please visit the workshops page at
for up to date information.

Best regards,
Petteri Nurmi & Aaron Quigley
Pervasive 2010 Workshop Chairs

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 2009 Paper Accepted to ICSOFT 2009

Congrats to Emil and Mike my co-authors for our newly accepted paper entitled "A self-adaptive architecture for autonomic systems developed with ASSL" at ICSOFT 2009, the 4th International Conference on Software and Data Technologies.

"The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers, engineers and practitioners interested on information technology and software development. The conference tracks are "Software Engineering", "Information Systems and Data Management", "Programming Languages", "Distributed and Parallel Systems" and "Knowledge Engineering".

Software and data technologies are essential for developing any computer information system, encompassing a large number of research topics and applications: from programming issues to the more abstract theoretical aspects of software engineering; from databases and data-warehouses to the most complex management information systems; knowledge-base systems; Distributed systems, ubiquity, data quality and many other topics are included in the scope of ICSOFT."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 2009 "Haptic Jingle" and Pervasive Advertising 2009

Earlier this week I attended a Pervasive 2009 workshop on Pervasive Advertising I organized with Jörg Müller, University of Münster, Albrecht Schmidt, University of Duisburg-Essen and Bo Begole, PARC. My postgraduate student Ross Shannon presented two papers on our ideas and developments in this space. There were some very interesting and thought provoking presentations and all the participants fully engaged with the full program of events from presentations to actual working sessions.

During Pervasive Advertising 2009 we discussed not only means of showing dynamically updated content, but also means to react implicitly and explicitly to the audience in its vicinity. In order to interact with the target audience, technologies need to be explored that are capable of identifying the user or their interests/needs. It's clear (for good or bad) advertising is becoming one of the major deployers of pervasive computing technology for many end-users (e.g. mobile ads, digital signs, context awareness, RFID etc.).

On a side note, given a quick survey online I am going to lay claim to coining a new term, namely "Haptic Jingle". This is a pretty simple but I think powerful idea.

Consider all the products we know and use on a regular basis. There are now many products which have well known catch phrases or audio jingles. Typically when we hear such phrases or jingles we automatically recall and associate this with the product or service. Now, I'm not making a value judgment on if this is a good or a bad thing but it did give me the idea for what I call a "Haptic Jingle".

A Haptic Jingle is a particular shake or pulse pattern which we physically experience when we touch a particular object and hence associate with a product/company/service. A company could build such haptic feedback into their products or sales spaces e.g. "I'm loving it" translates to a low key vibration with two or three pulses which match with the inflection points in the associated audio or written phrase. This haptic pattern can then be embedded into physical objects we interact with in public space such as door handles. In the future imagine the scenario of moving into a store, you pull the handle, feel the haptic jingle and then think, yes, yes, I do want a Starbucks Latte. If this strikes you as a worrying idea then stay informed and advocate against it happening!

However, as a scientist I am curious about the range of modalities and multi-modalities which can be employed for information delivery. Be this for advertising or other important elements of information.

During the workshop we were all acutely aware that our physical environment is becoming ever more overloaded with man made objects. At one point our sub-group moved to sit and work in the Nara park where we were based for Pervasive 2009. This inspired us to recall what the late Mark Weiser said. "Ubiquitous computers will help overcome the problem of information overload. There is more information available at our fingertips during a walk in the woods than in any computer system, yet people find a walk among trees relaxing and computers frustrating. Machines that fit the human environment, instead of forcing humans to enter theirs, will make using a computer as refreshing as taking a walk in the woods."

This motivated us to consider this question. Could we weave pervasive advertising into the current park environment as a source of information you might want? Could Pervasive Advertising provide information so the overall experience was "refreshing"? As described in our call for papers in this session we took a positive view to envision advertisements that precisely match a person’s interests and fit the current situation so well that people enjoy receiving them and see advertising as relevant information or a pleasant distraction. During the course of the workshop we also came across many concerns shown in the negative view. One can easily imagine a world where people cannot escape from advertisements, where we are continuously tracked and where advertisements reduce the quality of life.

The overall outcomes from the workshop include, areas of concern from the scientific to the social issues, a number of positive and negative scenarios, a set of small scale research projects and a set of large group projects. The workshop organisers have decided to put together a book on Pervasive Advertising with sections on the various technologies, social and legal issues which will be documented and discussed.

The workshop was an excellent venue for a full and frank discussion on both positive and negative issues and key scientific research challenges.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 2009 Program Co-Chair LoCA, Tokyo Japan

Last week on May 7-8 I attended LOCA 2009 in Tokyo as one of the Program Co-Chairs for the 4th International Symposium on Location and Context Awareness. We started the symposium with a very engaging keynote from Dr.Shionozaki of Koozyt. He spoke about moving from PlaceEngine to Location Amplifier i.e. their experience with rolling out commercial Location Based Services. This was a very relevant keynote as LBS are now going main stream in certain countries and ramping up in many others. They provide exemplars and cautionary tales for those looking to explore, develop and commercialize location and context aware systems.

During LoCA presentations were of a very high quality and the papers have made some very impressive contributions to both location and context awareness. Our proceedings were published, more or less, in the Lecture Notes series in Computer Science in their Subseries: Information Systems and Applications, incl. Internet/Web, and HCI , Vol. 5561. LOCA 2009 has published new and significant research on systems, services, and applications to detect, interpret and use location and other contextual information. With context, we can expect computers to deliver information, services, and entertainment in a way that maximises convenience and minimises intrusion. Developing this awareness involves research in sensing, systems, machine learning, human computer interaction and design.

Prior to the conference the International Program Committee and Chairs selected the best paper from the submitted and reviewed papers. The award for the best paper was awarded to Sasank Reddy (University of California Los Angeles, US); Katie Shilton (University of California Los Angeles, US); Jeff Burke (University of California Los Angeles, US); Deborah Estrin (University of California at Los Angeles, US); Mark Hansen (University of California, Los Angeles, US); Mani Srivastava (University of California, Los Angeles, US) for their paper, "Using Context Annotated Mobility Profiles to Recruit Data Collectors in Participatory Sensing".

Three papers were nominated for the best paper award:

  • Using Context Annotated Mobility Profiles to Recruit Data Collectors in Participatory Sensing
  • Multi Activity Recognition based on Bodymodel-Derived Primitives
  • Where Will They Turn: Predicting Turn Proportions At Intersections

During the course of the symposium John Krumm from Microsoft Research Seattle was awarded the best presentation award for his presentation on his paper "Where Will They Turn: Predicting Turn Proportions At Intersections".

Thanks to my co-chair Tanzeem Choudhury from Dartmouth College, our local chair Koji Suginuma from Sony Corporation who did an amazing job with local organisation and to our general chair Thomas Strang from DLR.