‘Fun toys or maybe the next big technology thing’

Anja Merret , the mother of a collaboration partner of mine in the Digital Volvelles multi-touch project, Niqui Merret, wrote a blog entry about us while we were tinkering with the Nintendo Wiimote for our project (some time ago in April).

I really like that part:

‘The three whiz-kids converted our lounge/diningroom into a studio recently, with umpteen computers, a data projector, Wii remote perched on funky legs and other gadgets scattered randomly around. It’s a truly international collaboration with Johannes the multi-touch table developer coming from Germany, Mel the MA student from Austria and Niqui from South Africa. If this is what makes young adults happy, then the world is in a good space.’

Some pictures from that session:

Wiimote with legs

me and wiimote with legs

And a VIDEO:


Multi-touch hardware will come. But no one knows what to do with it.

Noch ist die Software allerdings zum Teil recht eingeschränkt und Forscher und Ingenieure sind sich längst nicht sicher, wie sie die großen Touchscreens am besten ausnutzen.

Hochschule RheinMain Lab Automation TimeTube Visualization

Our University’s PR for the LabAutomation Travel Award Palm Springs for TimeTube

Drei Studierende der Fachhochschule haben den "Travel Award" der "Association for Laboratory Automation" (ALA) gewonnen und reisen im Januar in die USA. Axel Emmer, Johannes Luderschmidt und Frank Masur werden vom 26. bis 30. Januar 2008 an der LabAutomation2008 teilnehmen und dort ihre Arbeiten präsentieren.

Auf der alljährlich im kalifornischen Palm Springs stattfindenden Konferenz nehmen zahlreiche Spezialisten aus aller Welt teil und präsentieren ihre Neuheiten auf dem Gebiet der Laborautomation. Der "Travel Award" umfasst die Reise- und Hotelkosten, die Konferenzgebühren und die Kosten für einen "Short Course", summa summarum rund 10.000 Euro. Die Gewinner bekommen die Gelegenheit, ihre Arbeiten auf der Konferenz vorzustellen.

Bewerber für einen der begehrten "Travel Awards" müssen ein Abstract ihrer geplanten Präsentation, ihren Lebenslauf, Empfehlungsschreiben sowie ein persönliches Bewerbungsschreiben einschicken. Die drei Informatikstudenten aus Wiesbaden bewarben sich mit folgenden Themen:

  • "Generic simulation and graphical display of arbitrary Lab-on-the-Chip platforms" (Axel Emmer)
  • "TimeTube: A Haptic 3D Visualization Technique for Assisting Laboratory Staff in Scheduling Tasks" (Johannes Luderschmidt)
  • "AnIML – Managing Vast Amounts of Analytical Documentation Data using Containers" (Frank Masur)

Die Arbeiten der Studenten wurden von Prof. Dr. Reinhold Schäfer und Prof. Dr. Ralf Dörner von der Fachhochschule Wiesbaden sowie von Dr. Gary Kramer vom National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA, betreut.

look also here.

Multi-Touch Portfolio Visualization

Volvelles Impressions from Final Degree Show 2008 MA Communication Design

Side view Digital Volvelles interface

We presented our Digital Volvelles multi-touch application during the ‘Final Degree Show 2008’ of the MA Communication Design study programme at Central Saint Martins London College of Art and Design. View the
Multi-touch Volvelles exhibition Flickr set

Announcement MySQL PHP Portfolio

Portfolio Website for the Designer Benjamin Bartels

For the website I have done all the frontend (xhtml, css, js) and the backend programming. One part of the website is Benjamin’s CV:


In another part Benjamin presents images and videos of portfolio projects that he has done so far. Those images and videos can be browsed easily with a paging navigation:


To be able to add and modify jobs, images and videos Benjamin wanted a backend in which he could easily upload pictures and videos of portfolio projects he has done so far. Thus, I have created a mini Portfolio CMS (written in PHP, using a MySQL database) in which Benjamin can edit his projects, can apply them to categories (e.g. advertising, editorial/print, illustration) and can finally upload images and videos with short descriptions:


Update: As has been intended to be used for his application tour Benjamin took most of the content offline after he has found himself a nice job. However, in this (very, very nice) gringografico job you can at least see how jobs have been intended to be used.

Hochschule RheinMain Lab Automation TimeTube Visualization

Our TimeTube poster at Laboratory Automation ’08 fair in Palm Springs

TimeTube poster miniature
I’ve been awarded a travel award by the Association of Laboratory Automation as a representative for our 3D interactive visualisation project TimeTube. Here’s a link to the poster program PDF of that fair: Laboratory Automation 08 :: Poster Program

Second Life

Make Ends Meet: Collaboration Opportunities in Second Life

Second Life Header

This report has been a coursework assignment for my classes in “People & Technology” at Royal Holloway Universiy of London.

Introduction:This report presents an overview of Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE) as a field of Computer Mediated Collaboration. CVE research activities will be introduced and their findings will be described. CVEs have been intensively researched since the mid 1990s. Second Life (SL) seems to be the first commercial Virtual Environment that has been adopted by a large community. As of September 2007 according to the company behind SL Linden Labs more than 9.5m users have registered for SL (Linden Labs, 2007 [1]). SL is a Virtual Environment respectively Virtual World where users interact with other users, objects or agents by means of a client called viewer on their computer that communicates with a central server grid. Second Life is a consumer VE that offers multiple possibilities for collaboration. This report applies findings of CVE research activities to Second Life and introduces some ideas how CMC activities like virtual meetings can be realised with Second Life. SL’s current monopoly on the field of Virtual Environments promises to be a salient platform to research and implement CMC activities on. In terms of successful CVE implementations it seems to be more likely that lacks in SL can be overcome to realise collaboration activities than that a VE environment solely for collaboration purposes will establish in the near future.

Read the complete report: CollaborationSL (pdf, 107 KB)

Second Life

Technological Foundations Of Second Life

This report has been a coursework assignment for my classes in “Networked Services” at Royal Holloway University of London.

Recently Second Life (SL) has been intensively discussed. SL is a virtual world where (geographically dispersed) users usually represented by an avatar interact with other users, objects or agents by means of a client called viewer on their PC that communicates with a central server grid. SL seems to be the first commercial virtual world that is used by a big community. As of March 2007 according to the company behind SL Linden Labs 9.5m users have registered for SL. Averagely 50k of them are concurrently active in 8k to 10k regions. These 50k users and 10k regions have to be served by a server grid. However, there is a forecast of 16 million regions, 2bn users and a concurrency of 50m users for virtual worlds in the future. To serve that amount of users and data sophisticated server concepts have to be employed.

This report will try to present and critically analyse the current technological background behind SL. However, for this topic only little information is available in papers and books because the SL server software is still a proprietary system. Alternatively the information provided in this report is mainly based on information given by Linden Labs themselves in their Knowledge Base, their blogs and their Wikis. As the viewer software’s source code is published under an Open Source licence plenty of documentation about it is available online. Despite efforts of Linden Labs to open their server protocols to the Open Source community as well documentation for the server software is currently hardly publicly available. Nevertheless, this report tries to interpolate the available online
information to give an overview of the current state of the art of SL’s technological foundations. This overview cannot be more than a snapshot of SL as it is developing quickly. In depth information is only presented if information was provided by LL. This report will present the most recent technological developments in SL even if they are still in a beta or Release Candidate phase at the time of this writing.

Download complete report: TechnolgySL (pdf, 435 KB)


Digital Volvelles project

early state of my multi-touch table

For my master’s thesis I’m doing some research work in the field of multi-touch applications. I’m trying to find out when multi-touch actually makes sense and what you have to keep in my mind when you’re designing and implementing a multi-touch application.

In order to accomplish this work I need to design, test and evaluate multi-touch applications. Therefore I will be working on a few projects throughout my master’s thesis.

One of those projects is the Digital Volvelles project: when I was in England for a term as a visiting student at the Royal Holloway University I met quite a few interesting people. With one of those, Mel, I started to work on the Digital Volvelles project, which will be a Flash application for the multi-touch table I’m currently building. So check out our Digital Volvelles project blog if you’re interested!

Announcement blog

Hi! This is the blog to my profession. I will use it to upload work related stuff.