Michael Kipp's Blog

Category: Research (page 1 of 4)

Student projects: Interaction Engineering (2018/19)

Check out the latest Interaction Engineering team projects of last semester under interaction.hs-augsburg.de/projects.

15 students from all over the world with different backgrounds (computing, design, business, …) successfully completed the course and submitted a finished prototype. This year a number of projects dealt with reachability on mobile devices but we also saw gestural, touch and gaze interaction, one virtual reality project and interaction with a musical instrument.

Congratulations to all students for their excellent outcomes!

Click on the following screen shot to get to our project page where you can browse all projects. Each project comes with a short video, a written report and a set of slides.

Student projects: Interaction Engineering (2017/18)

Another round of fascinating  interaction engineering projects is completed. In this interdisciplinary course (computer science and design, Bachelor and Master students), we think up potential future human-computer interaction techniques based on current research publications.

This year we had 14 completed projects by 27 students. A new record after 12 projects of last year. Projects include interaction by gesture, full body, eye gaze, face, tangible object, Hololens and trampoline! We even had a Lego robot.

Check out all projects (video, report, slides) under


Optical Tracking / Motion Capture

We have acquired new equipment for optical tracking and motion capture at our Interaction Lab, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences. If you know the Kinect you can think of a much more accurate and faster Kinect. Our system consists of 12 high-speed infrared cameras (1280×1024, 240 fps) and the respective software (Motive), all by OptiTrack. It is capable of recording human motion sequences (e.g. fight or dance moves or everyday actions like walking or picking up an object). Actors have to be set up with small retroreflective markers. The system emits infrared light and computes the 3D position of each marker using triangulation. One can also mark up arbitray objects (tea cup, sword, wand) using at least three markers (these markers are then defined as so-called rigid bodies).

The recordings of human motion can be used for character animation in CG movies or computer games. The same data can also be streamed in realtime to external applications for interaction scenarios.

In human-computer interaction, the tracking data is used to interact with a computer via gestures and/or with your full body, depending on the application. Tracking is also interesting for VR applications where you want to interact naturally with your hands and body. The system is much faster and more accurate than e.g. the Kinect. The latency (time from original movement to visible reaction on screen) is around 5ms (depending on the processing time of the output). The spatial accuracy is around 1mm.

Our research interests target gestural interaction, e.g. comparing it with other forms of interaction like touch, mouse and other controllers.

The system  is part of a research grant called Labor zur Erforschung und Entwicklung von Interaktionsmodellen mit Virtuellen Realitäten (laboratory for research and development on interaction models for virtual realities) by Rose, Müller, Rothaug, Kipp which is funded by Hochschule Augsburg.

Multitouch 84

Update: I decided to return the monitor because the latency was too high. Latency is the time that passes between moving your finger and seeing a reaction on screen. This was somewhere between 150 and 180ms which made the device unusable for research purposes.

Please welcome our latest addition to our Interaction Lab at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, a 84″ multitouch display with a motorized stand which can be transformed into a table, a tilted table and a wall.

The monitor is part of a research grant called Labor zur Erforschung und Entwicklung von Interaktionsmodellen mit Virtuellen Realitäten (laboratory for research and development on interaction models for virtual realities) by Rose, Müller, Rothaug, Kipp which is funded by Hochschule Augsburg.

We intend to investigate the question of how efficiency and ergonomics of multitouch interaction can be measured to compare various input modalities (mouse, controller, gesture, touch). See the publications below to get an idea of our goals and methods. The new display allows to extend our previous work to large display sizes and multi-party scenarios.

Some technical data:

  • 84″
  • 4K resolution (3840×2160)
  • 50 touch points

Related Publications

Lehmann, Florian (2016) Ergonomie von Multi-Touch Oberflächen, Bachelorarbeit, Studiengang Interaktive Medien, Hochschule Augsburg. | Bachelorarbeit |Präsentation | Poster | Read the blog post about this work

Nguyen, Q., and Kipp, M. (2015) Where to Start? Exploring the efficiency of translation movements on multitouch devices. In: Proceedings of 15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference (INTERACT), Springer, pp. 173-191.

Nguyen, Q., Kipp, M. (2014) Orientation Matters: Efficiency of translation-rotation multitouch tasks. In: Proc. of CHI 2014. Link to Video.

Actuated Tangibles: ChainFORM

After the inFORM project (see my post from 2013) here is another spectacular research outcome from Professor Ishii’s Tangible Media Group at MIT.

The idea of tangible interaction goes back as far as 1997 when Ishii first formulated his idea of bringing back physical items to human-computer interfaces. He invented physical controls that allows you to manipulate digital data more intuitively.

Pushing this idea a step further Ishii wondered how to bring digital information back into the real world using actuated tangibles that can dynamically show the changes of the digital information. One problem is changing the position of physical controls (e.g. by air, vibration or magnetic control), more challenging is to change the shape of physical controls on the fly. Both inFORM and ChainFORM deal with the problem of changing shape dynamically.

Relevant Publications

Ken Nakagaki, Artem Dementyev, Sean Follmer, Joseph A. Paradiso, Hiroshi Ishii. ChainFORM: A Linear Integrated Modular Hardware System for Shape Changing Interfaces. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology (UIST ‘16).

Sean Follmer, Daniel Leithinger, Alex Olwal, Akimitsu Hogge, and Hiroshi Ishii. 2013. inFORM: dynamic physical affordances and constraints through shape and object actuation. In Proceedings of the 26th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 417-426.

Hiroshi Ishii and Brygg Ullmer. 1997. Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI ’97). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 234-241.

Microsoft Vision Video 2020

Another “Future vision” video from Microsoft that contains snippets of older vision videos. In this video, they added a gesture-controlled bracelet/smart watch (0:17) and a 3D holographic display (0:27).

See my older post for more videos.


Ontenna: Sound to Vibration Device

Tatsuya Honda developed a device that translates sound to vibrations (and light), making it possible for Deaf people to react to environmental sounds and even to differentiate between different sounds. The device is worn as a hairclip as can be seen in the video below. It is yet a prototype.

Read article on venturebeat.com


City Pulse: Circular multi-screen installation with gesture control

A new installation on the 100th floor of the 1 World Trade Center features circular screens with gesture control.

The project was realized by Local Projects.

Leap Motion v2: Much improved!

The leap motion controller lets you track your hands and fingers very much like Microsoft’s Kinect lets you track the whole body. This lets you create in-air gesture interfaces for e.g. controlling a robot hand (remote surgery), play games (shoot guns, fly planes) or musical instruments (pull strings).

However, when the leap motion device was released in 2013 it was quite a disappointment. The sensor plus software often loses track of individual fingers, usually when the hand is rotated (even by a small angle). This greatly limited its practical use in applications. It has never been clear whether this has been a software problem or a limitation of the hardware.

Now leap motion has released a new software which seems to indicate that this was a software problem. Even better: it has been fixed in the new v2 release. Look at this video. By the way, I’ve given it a try myself and the signals seem to be much, much more stable.

For downloading the beta version of the new software, go here: https://developer.leapmotion.com


Virtual arms: Combining Oculus Rift with Myo

Two arms are projected into Oculus Rift goggles and controlled by the Myo wristband controller (uses muscle activity). Developed by Thalmic Labs, the makers of Myo.


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