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 Norbert Streitz

HCIL Other Speakers - Fall 2005

HCIL is also hosting several speakers this semester.  

These lectures are free and open to the public.  No reservations are needed.

For questions or comments, contact HCIL information at  hcil-info@cs.umd.edu.

August 2, 2005

Tuesday, 11:00am, A.V. Williams Bldg, Room 3258

Norbert Streitz


Research Division "AMBIENTE - "Smart Environments of the Future,"
Fraunhofer IPSI, Darmstadt, Germany


From Interaction Design to Experience Design: Smart Artefacts and the Disappearing Computer


It seems like a paradox but it will soon become reality: The rate at which computers disappear will be matched by the rate at which information technology will increasingly permeate our environment and our lives. Computers are increasingly becoming an important part of our day-to-day activities and determine many physical and social contexts of our life. The availability of computers is one step, soon to be followed by the integration of information, communication and sensing technology into everyday objects resulting in “smart artefacts”.

 I will present and critically comment the associated visions and resulting challenges for the design of future smart environments. To this end, I will present an approach that exploits the affordances of real objects augmenting their physical properties with the potential of computer-based enrichment. Combining the best of both worlds requires an integration of real and virtual worlds resulting in hybrid worlds. In this approach, the computer “disappears” and is almost “invisible” but its functionality is ubiquitously available and provides new forms of interacting with information. I will also comment on related issues that cause a change from designing primarily interaction with information to designing experiences by being exposed to ambient displays and/or immersed in smart environments.

 An example of a comprehensive effort addressing these issues is the EU-funded proactive initiative "The Disappearing Computer" (DC), a cluster of 17 related projects designing new people-friendly environments in which the "computer-as-we-know-it" has no role.  The general discussion will be illustrated by an example, the DC-project "Ambient Agoras". It aims at transforming places into social marketplaces ('agoras') of ideas and information. One application scenario is the support of informal communication between remote teams at different locations using combinations of ambient displays and mobile devices. I will present examples of the corresponding smart artefacts (Hello.Wall, ViewPort, Personal Aura). In this context, I will also address the possibilities and implications of sensing and being sensed in smart environments and related issues of privacy. I will conclude with an outlook on new developments as, e.g., in the Amigo-Project “Ambient Intelligence for the Networked Home Environment” and our activities on Interactive Hybrid Games.


Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph. D. in physics and Ph.D. in psychology) is the head of the research division "AMBIENTE – Smart Environments of the Future" at the Fraunhofer institute IPSI in Darmstadt, Germany, where he also teaches at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt.  He was a post-doc fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC and at the Intelligent Systems Lab of ETL-MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan. He is the Chair of the Steering Group of the EU-funded research initiative "The Disappearing Computer" and was/is involved in many other EU-funded projects and efforts. His research interests include Ambient/Pervasive/Ubiquitous Computing, Interaction and Experience Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext/ Hypermedia, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, and Cognitive Science. He has published/edited 16 books and (co)authored more than 100 technical papers, e.g., recently in IEEE Computer and guest-edited a special issue of Communications of the ACM. He serves regularly on the program committees of national and international conferences and on several editorial boards and is often invited to present keynote speeches to scientific as well as commercial events in Europe, USA, South America, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.

Selected recent publications on this topic:

 N. A. Streitz, P. Nixon (2005).  The Disappearing Computer. Guest Editors' Introduction to Special Issue. In: Communications of the ACM, Vol. 48 (3), March 2005. pp. 33-35.

D. M. Russell, N. A. Streitz, T. Winograd (2005). Building Disappearing Computers. In: Communications of the ACM, Vol. 48 (3), March 2005. pp. 42-48.

 N. A. Streitz, C. Röcker, Th. Prante, D. van Alphen, R. Stenzel, C. Magerkurth (2005). Designing Smart Artefacts for Smart Environments. In: IEEE Computer, March 2005. pp. 41-49.

 N. A. Streitz, C. Magerkurth, Th. Prante, C. Röcker (2005).  From information design to Experience Design: Smart Artefacts and the Disappearing Computer. In: Special Issue on Ambient intelligence, ACM interactions, 12 (4) July + August 2005. pp. 21-25.