LOCALE Project Starts

The FNR funded LOCALE (local legacies) project has now started. The project looks at location-aware digital storytelling from the perspective of tools and techniques to support the connection of different stories. Among the key parts of the project are data mining of the stories from the perspective of sense of place. The project itself will involve older IT users in Luxembourg who wish to share their stories of Luxembourg since the end of World War 2. As part of this we will explore how to use such technologies to bridge the digital divide between users of different ages.

The project will run until 2017 and is in partnership with CRP-Gabriel Lippmann.

Real World Review: Panda Cloud Antivirus Pro 3

If you are using a netbook the chances are that you are looking for a reasonably resource light virus scanner. On the face of it Panda Cloud offers this as it uses cloud technology to scan for viruses on your computer – which should reduce the burden on your computer. In essence it sends information about the files to Panda’s servers then either you get the all clear or an alert. That is the theory at least and until now I had been pretty happy with it. Until that was I actually downloaded a free PDF to Word conversion tool from download.com. There is no doubt that I probably clicked one too many agrees; the net result was that Panda totally failed to detect anything until it was too late. Too late in fact to even prevent the newly installed viruses/malwares from switching off Panda so as to allow themselves to install yet more rubbish on my netbook.  I would have thought that a scanner should detect when viruses actually arrive on your computer but Panda Cloud totally failed to do so, with the result that when I was briefly able to run a scan 235 warnings appeared on the computer. What’s more these viruses could not have been there before as I had regularly run scans and until then had never installed anything from a download site. Indeed as I have Linux on the same netbook I rarely used Windows. However, even before this I had some reservations about Panda Cloud since the update. In the end I had to dump it and used a dedicated malware removal tool then installed Bitdefender instead, which I will now try for 30 days.

Advantages

  • Small footprint so in theory faster (old versions were slick and fast)
  • USB key scanning
  • Wifi hotspot monitor to see if others are doing nasty things on your connection
  • Very simple so you rarely struggle with settings
  • Firewall settings easy to use

Disadvantages

  • The new Windows 8 look and feel seems really slow on netbooks
  • Poor real-time protection especially during software downloads/installs
  • Very slow full scans
  • Firewall is apparently not that good
  • Uses community driven data to detect viruses but this means it is really “known” threats only and probably not good at predicting likely threats.
  • Not good at removing pre-existing problems

If you would like more information on the effectiveness of various virus scanners then check out the related articles link below.

Paper from ACE Workshop on Entertainment in Cars and Transportation

Last year along with my colleagues from The Unversity of Salzburg Christaine Moser and David Wilfinger et. al (full author list and workshop proposal) we held a very hands -on workshop looking at Entertainment in Cars and Transportation, which is a rather important and emerging topic right now. Anyway I plan to make some of the materials from that available online. One of the authors (Sven Krome) has kindly to let me make his paper available here.

Enjoyable Stress Reduction: Approaching A Design Space For The Piloted Driving Context.

Authors: Krome, Holopanian and Walz.

In this paper, we portray ongoing work aiming to define a design  space for enjoyable, playful interactions in the context of a piloted driving situation. Towards this purpose, we identify constraints in the general context of piloted driving, the car’s interior and
controls as well as the car manufacturer’s safety recommendations. Furthermore, we align the identified constraints with proposed stresslessness-strategies for rear-seat passengers in order to anticipate conflicts and choices in the design of stress- reducing interactions for the piloted driving context.

sk_spw_jh_piloted-driving

From: Workshop on Entertainment in Cars and Transportation at ACE 2013 Conference, Enschede, Netherlands.

New Project Starts

We have just started working in a new EC (CHIST-ERA) project called eGlasses, it is in partnership with a range of research groups across Europe in Poland, Austria, France, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

The eGlasses project is focused on the development of an open platform in the form of multisensory electronic glasses and on the integration and designing of new intelligent interaction methods using the eGlasses platform. This is an initial development focused on long-term research and technological innovation in perceptual and super-perceptual (e.g. heart rate, temperature) computing. It is an emerging technology that is also focused on the creation of mobile, perceptual media. Perceptual media refers to multimedia devices with added perceptual user interface capabilities. These devices integrate human-like perceptual awareness of the environment, with the ability to respond appropriately. This can be achieved by using automatic perception of an object’s properties and delivering information about the object’s status as a result of reasoning operations. For example, using the eGlasses, it will be possible to control a device, which is recognized within the field of view using the interactive menu, associated with the identified device. Other examples include presentation of a recognized person name, recognition of people with abnormal physiological parameters, protection against possible head injuries, etc.

The platform will use currently available user-interaction methods, new methods developed in the framework of this project (e.g. a haptic interface) and will enable further extensions to introduce next generation user-interaction algorithms. Furthermore, the goal of this project is to propose and evaluate new and intelligent user interactions, which are particularly useful for healthcare professionals, people with disabilities or at risk of exclusion, and to create and evaluate behavioural models of these mobile users.

The main scientific and technological objectives of the project are to design and evaluate the following:

- eye-tracking hardware and algorithms for a user, who is mobile in a noisy real world environment, – algorithms for perceptual media and for super perceptual computing, – methods for locating objects and guiding vision towards the identified objects,

- methods of interactions with users and objects (menu of activities for the identified person or object), – a haptic interface in a form of a peripheral proximity radar, – methods for the recognition of the user’s own gestures and recognition of gestures of the observed person,

- methods for context-aware behavioural studies, – methods for reference applications. The result of the project will be an open platform in the form of multisensory electronic multimedia glasses and a set of new methods for intelligent user interactions, especially in the context of perceptual media.

Women may again face Stoning in Afghanistan

I hope as many people reading this blog will be as disgusted as I am by the fact that women may again face stoning for adultery in Afghanistan. According to a report in The Guardian a draft of the penal code drawn up by a sub-committee (not yet in the final full draft) this sick and evil punishment may make a return to the laws of the land. It should be noted that it requires just four witnesses (who are certain of the act) for such a punishment to be carried out. Also there is likely to be little resistance to the proposed law as it is seen as part of the Sharia. Personally I am sick and tired of any government (UK included getting away with spying on people and torturing them in foreign jails ) constantly claiming that basic human-rights are a local matter. In my opinion a basic level of respect for others is international and when such evils as what is proposed in Afghanistan are brought up again they should be dealt with much more harshly than the current political pussy footing around the subject.

Paper- Driver Diaries: A Multimodal Mobility Behaviour Logging Methodology

By Martin Kracheel, Rod McCall and Vincent Koenig

Abstract: The Driver Diaries are a mobility behaviour logging methodology, consisting of an online survey, a mobile application and focus group interviews. They are used to collect data about mobility behaviour, routines and motivations of commuters in Luxembourg. The paper focuses on design and development of the Driver Diaries and it explores the use of the application as a requirements capture and an integral element of an infotainment application that can change the standard routine driving behaviour of mobility participants in order to reduce traffic congestion.

Downloads

 

Blog problems – server failure

Due to the server where this blog is hosted totally failing until 31/10 and the subsequent backup being a few days old some of the more recent posts may be missing, in particular recent papers. I will try to rectify this as soon as possible.

There was also some problems last week with an update to WordPress which promptly broke several plugins; this also caused many problems.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Driver Diaries IOS App Available Soon

Having successfully launched the Android version of the Driver Diaries Application earlier this year we are pleased to say that the IOS version is now nearly ready for release. Development has been advancing well recently and we will shortly submit it to Apple for verification. If you are interested in signing up or want more information on the project please visit: www.igear.lu

Please note the application is intended for those commuting to work in Luxembourg. The application is being released as part of the FNR funded IGEAR project which explores gamification as a method of reducing traffic congestion. The work is being conducted at the SnT Research Centre at the University of Luxembourg. For more information on the research team behind the project please download the IGNITE flyer.

As this forms part of a research project only a limited number of people can take part.

New Publications Coming Out This Month

The following papers are scheduled to be presented at two different conferences later this month, I will make them available after the events are over on this blog.

  • Assessing In-Vehicle Information Systems application in the car: a versatile tool and unified testing platform. Louveton N., McCall, R., Avanesov, T., Koenig, V., and T. Engel. Automotive UI 2013, Eindhoven.
  • Driver Diaries: A Multimodal Mobility Behaviour Logging Methodology. Kracheel, M., McCall, R., V. Koenig and T Engel. Automotive UI 2013, Eindhoven.
  • (Semi-) Pervasive Gaming Educational and Entertainment Facilities via Interactive Video-to-Video Communication over the Internet, for Museum Exhibits. Chochliourous, I., McCall, R., Popleteev, A., Avanesov, T., Kamarauskas, T., Spiliopoulou, A., Sfakianakis, E., Georgiadou, E., Liakostravrou, N., Kampourakis, I. and I Stephanakis. AIAI Conference

The work in  above publications were partially funded either by the FNR, Luxembourg or the European Commission under the I-GEAR and LiveCity projects respectively.

Deadline Extended for Autonomous Driving Workshop @ AutoUI 2013

—————
Call for Papers
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Position Paper Submission Deadline: Wed, Sep 30th, 2013
Workshop Date: Sunday, October 27th, 2013

This workshop will explore the emerging themes of autonomous driving, social driving and novel user interface approaches. The aim being to define the future landscape for research within and across each these areas.

It aims to collect different, radical, innovative, versatile and engaging works that challenge or re-imagine human interactions in today’s automobile space. It will seek to challenge existing thinking by exploring what is possible both now and by the time the autonomous vehicle is a standard feature of our roads. Participants will be encouraged to suggest alternative concepts whether low fidelity, high fidelity, or both. Especially encouraged will be works that are experiential and can be demonstrated hands on.  The workshop will be an opportunity to re-shape the conversation of automobile technology by introducing the community to a new way of thinking.

Topics
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Submissions are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

- Autonomous vehicles, including specific issues such as handover, legal, ethics and trust
- Novel user interface approaches from haptics to subliminal information
- Usability testing and user acceptance, including metrics and analysis approaches.
- The social car, from a current human centred social networks perspective to one where cars have greater control.
- Entertainment for drivers and passengers, including gamification

Submissions
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Interested workshop participants will be requested to submit a 1 page position paper by Sep 30th, 2013 describing their project and how it fits to the workshop topic. Projects can be theoretical or empirical (prototypes, studies, applications, or interaction concepts) and should be innovative in nature. The paper should also contain a short bio of the author highlighting the relevant areas of interest and current work or research.

Please submit your work via email to autoui2013@hciunit.org
Workshop Website

We look forward to your contribution!

Workshop organizers:
Roderick McCall (University of Luxembourg)
Alexander Meschtscherjakov (University of Salzburg)
Carlos Montesinos (Intel Labs)
Alexander Muir (Microsoft)
Rabindra Ratan (Michigan State University)
Dalila Szostak (Intel Labs)
Manfred Tscheligi (University of Salzburg)
David Wilfinger (University of Salzburg)