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Human Centered Ubiquitous Media group

Research Direction:

We conduct research at the crossroads of human computer interaction, media technology, and ubiquitous computing. Our research interests are in challenges that pose hard questions for basic research, but at the same time have a clear application to specific domains or impact on society. The overall research question is: how can we enhance human abilities through digital technologies. In a recent IEEE Computer article, we have outlined this vision of amplifying the human mind through digital technologies [1]. With increasing automation and with autonomous systems becoming ubiquitous, the challenges for keeping the human in the loop and in the center becomes even greater and more important. We have suggested a novel interaction paradigm “Intervention user interfaces” to reflect this [2].

Specific technologies and topics that we work on include:

· physiological sensing for human computer interaction (EMG, EEG)

· interfaces that adapt to the user’s cognitive load

· measuring and understanding cognitive load in the context of interactive systems

· interaction with automated and autonomous systems

· interaction with big data and interactive exploration of complex data

· augmented reality (AR) and its applications

· virtual reality (VR) and interaction in virtual reality, e.g. haptics in VR

· emotions in user interface

· accessibility of ubiquitous computing systems

· wearable computing user interfaces

· automotive user interface in the context of automated driving and with a focus on secondary tasks


[1] A. Schmidt, “Technologies to Amplify the Mind,” (PDF) in Computer, vol. 50, no. 10, pp. 102-106, 2017. doi: 10.1109/MC.2017.3641644

[2] Albrecht Schmidt and Thomas Herrmann. 2017. Intervention user interfaces: a new interaction paradigm for automated systems. (PDF) interactions 24, 5 (August 2017), 40-45. DOI:


Abstract: Current technical sensor systems offer capabilities that are superior to human perception. Cameras can capture a spectrum that is wider than visible light, high-speed cameras can show movements that are invisible to the human eye, and directional microphones can pick up sounds at long distances. The vision of this project is to lay a foundation for the creation of digital technologies that provide novel sensory experiences and new perceptual capabilities for humans that are natural and intuitive to use. In a first step, the project will assess the feasibility of creating artificial human senses that provide new perceptual channels to the human mind, without increasing the experienced cognitive load. A particular focus is on creating intuitive and natural control mechanisms for amplified senses using eye gaze, muscle activity, and brain signals. The overall objective is to systematically research, explore, and model new means for increasing the human intake of information in order to lay the foundation for new and improved human senses enabled through digital technologies and to enable artificial reflexes.

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