blog and memories of

Extended Reality (XR) School

In the XR summer school we welcomed 60 international PhD students and 11 speakers and instructors from around the world. During the summer school participants learned about technical foundations of XR (from Tobias Langlotz), basic interaction concepts in XR (from Ken Pfeuffer), eye-based interaction in XR (from Hans Gellersen), fundamental concepts and qualities of XR (from Mar Gonzalez-Franco), audio in XR (from Stefania Serafin), and dilemmas in XR (from Jan Gugenheimer). The lectures were accompanied by practical exercises, where the participants could try out and evaluate some of the theoretical concepts in praxis. Part of the summer school was also a dinner on the evening of the first day. Furthermore, the summer school participants presented their research in the XR symposium in Copenhagen on the third day of the summer school. Here, they had the opportunity to get in touch with local and international researchers and practitioners working with XR.

blog and memories of

Automotive User Interfaces and Future Mobility School

The Post-CHI Summer School on Automotive User Interfaces and Future Mobility, held from May 2 to May 5, 2023, took place at two leading universities in automotive research: Ulm University and Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt and was co-organized by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and Cerence GmbH. The event allowed participants to gain insights from various leading experts in the field. Attendees learned about human factors, methodology, and voice interfaces, and experienced demonstrations of the latest research prototypes. Keynotes presented an overview of automotive user interfaces, automated driving, and the inclusion of vulnerable road users. Speakers from industry were invited to present their approaches and solutions. Attendees had the opportunity to pitch their ideas in poster sessions and develop prototypes in hands-on sessions. The event also covered topics regarding other forms of mobility from the viewpoint of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians or bicyclists. Additionally, informal activities and social events provided opportunities for networking and connection.

blog and memories of

Sketching with Hardware School

Prototyping Tangible AI Summer School Empowers Participants to Create Innovative Balloon-based Tangible AI Projects

The summer school on Sketching with Hardware: Prototyping Tangible Artificial Intelligence recently concluded in Munich, Germany, leaving participants inspired and equipped with the skills to bring their AI ideas using hardware prototyping to life. The two-day program offered an immersive learning experience, combining interactive sessions and hands-on workshops focused on prototyping tangible AI using balloons as a medium.

The summer school aimed to introduce participants to the exciting world of hardware prototyping, empowering them to create interactive and responsive physical systems through microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. The thirteen attendees were immersed in an environment that fostered rapid prototyping, allowing them to test their ideas quickly and effectively. They were taught how to connect sensors and actuators to microcontrollers and explored various programming techniques to create interactive systems. The unique approach of utilizing balloons as a tangible interface brought a refreshing twist to the prototyping process, stimulating creative thinking and encouraging innovative designs.

The opening keynote by Prof. Albrecht Schmidt provided valuable insights into the emerging trends and challenges in the intersection of hardware prototyping and tangible AI, setting the stage for an engaging and enlightening event. The keynote encouraged participants to explore new possibilities and think outside the box.

Four instructors guided participants through various engaging activities, including introductory sessions on hardware prototyping fundamentals. These sessions provided a solid foundation, explaining the role of microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators in tangible AI projects. Here, Dr. Sebastian Feger said, "Using balloons as a tangible interface brought a new level of interactivity and excitement to the prototyping process. We are thrilled about the innovative projects."

The culmination of the summer school was the project presentation session, where participants showcased their balloon-based tangible AI prototypes. Each participant had the chance to explain their project's concept, design, and implementation, highlighting the challenges they encountered and the lessons they learned along the way. The presentations demonstrated the participants' remarkable creativity and technical prowess, showcasing the potential of tangible AI projects.

blog and memories of

Digital Technologies for Women’s Health and Wellbeing School

The Post-CHI summer school on „Digital Technologies for Women’s Health and Wellbeing” was held from May 2nd to 4th at OFFIS – Institute for Information Technology in Oldenburg, Germany. The event was organized as a mix of talks, discussions, and practical exercises.
The two opening keynotes discussed experiences and opportunities arising from long-term self-tracking (Jochen Meyer) and how personal informatics can assist with Sisyphean health challenges, such as getting enough sleep or exercise, by providing positive feedback and encouraging self-reflection (Judy Kay). A lecture by Sarah Homewood on how the body is not a neutral design space set the stage for an afternoon of lively discussions and a deep dive into FeministHCI. Participants critically reflected on how to design (or not design) technologies to best support women’s health and then set out to develop their own ideas and prototypes before coming together again for a joint dinner event at the Oldenburg’s city harbor.

The second day opened with an excursion into the realm of start-ups: Violetta Wacker introduced LOVIS, a female-led start-up from Oldenburg, and discussed her experiences when developing a sex-education chat-bot for young adults. On the third day, participants learned about “Designing Menstrual Care as a Feminist Posthuman Practice” (by Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard and Nadia Campo Woytuk) and presented the results from three days of intense work on their group projects on stage at CORE, a local co-working and innovation space. They presented, for instance, a Zine on research ethics, an artifact that supports (re-)connecting with one’s bodily sensations, and a concept to de-stigmatize societal perspectives on everchanging (female) bodies.
The summer school also included a guided city walk focusing on women’s safety in urban environments and breaks, networking, and creative exchange. Participants stated that they enjoyed how the summer school created a safe space to jointly discuss how to tackle sensitive research challenges.