Seminar Embodied Interaction


User Interfaces Merge With the Real World

The physical world plays a central role in shaping human interaction. In contrast, standard Graphical User Interfaces separate the user from digital media by a virtual window. An emergent generation of user interfaces merges digital media seamlessly with the physical real world. Computers become aware of their physical environment and physical objects become smart, opening up an exciting space for novel ways of interaction with computers. In this seminar, participants will get to know the foundations of this area and will work in groups on a practical topic to deepen their knowledge. This involves developing a concrete interaction concept and realizing it as a prototype, using modern interaction technologies (e.g., Microsoft Kinect cameras, pico projectors, micro displays).


Gesture- and posture-enhanced interfaces:

  • Novel gesture-based interactions for public electronic billboards, advertisement screens, ATMs or ticket machines
  • Immersive remote collaboration using two big screens, enhanced by Kinect gesture and posture tracking
  • Co-located collaboration on-the-go with mobile phones that connect depending on how people are arranged in space (Proxemics)

Body-worn devices:

  • Monocle of the future: Physical prototype and interactions of a monocle-like screen
  • Wrist projector: Interaction concept for an always-available projected interface controlled by the user’s arm

Next-generation physical mobile devices:

  • Novel interfaces for mobile tablets / smart phones that are flexible and resizable

Novel physical materials for interacting with computers:

  • Interacting with computer-controlled liquid surfaces (using Ferro fluids, electromagnets and Kinect-tracking)


  • Klemmer, S. R.; Hartmann, B. & Takayama, L.: How bodies matter: Five themes for interaction design, Proc. of the conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 2006
  • Weiser, M.: The computer for the 21st century, Scientific American, 1991
  • Ishii, H.: Tangible bits: beyond pixels. Proc. of the international conference on Tangible and embedded interaction, 2008
  • References to further literature, specific for each topic, will be given in the seminar

Kick-off meeting: 23 January at 1 pm in E1.7-001.
Date: 25 February 2013 – 1 March 2013; date of final presentations t.b.a.
Language: English
Maximum number of participants: 20
Registration: The seminar has reached the maximum number of participants. Registration is closed.
Contact: Dr. Jürgen Steimle, <lastname>