Roomware: Towards the next Generation of Human-Computer Interaction based on an Integrated Design of Real and Virtual Worlds

Norbert Streitz, GMD - German National Research Center for Information Technology, IPSI - Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute Darmstadt, Germany

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 21, 1999


In this talk, I will report about our new ideas on extending the scope of human-computer interaction and cooperation support not only from desktops to meeting room scenarios as we did in the past but taking a more comprehensive perspective resulting in highly flexible and dynamic work environments. This perspective is provided by the notion of "cooperative buildings" which addresses the issues of how to integrate information technology, new work practices resulting from organisational innovation, and the physical environment, the architectural structures and facility management. Our approach incorporates also ideas from augmented reality and ubiquitous computing resulted in the view that the world around us is the interface. In order to illustrate this, we have developed i-LAND: an interactive landscape for creativity and innovation. i-LAND integrates several so-called "roomware" components into a combination of real, architectural as well as virtual, digital work environments for creative teams. By "roomware", we mean computer-augmented objects in rooms, like furniture, doors, walls, and others. The current realization of i-LAND covers an interactive electronic wall (DynaWall), an interactive table (InteracTable), two versions of computer-enhanced chairs (CommChairs). Furthermore, we developed "Passage", a mechanism for connecting information structures in the virtual information world with real world objects allowing also for physical transportation of digital information. More components are planned.

i-LAND is an example application of our vision of the Workspaces of the Future. At the same time, it is a testbed for developing new forms of human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work.

Selected References:

Streitz, N.A., Geißler, J., Holmer, T. (1998). Roomware for Cooperative Buildings: Integrated Design of Architectural Spaces and Information Spaces. In Streitz, N.A., Konomi, S., Burkhardt, H.-J. (Eds.): Cooperative Buildings. Integrating Information, Organization, and Architecture. Springer LNCS 1370, 1998, 4-21.

Streitz, N., Geißler, J., Holmer, T., Konomi, S., Müller-Tomfelde, C., Reischl, W., Rexroth, P., Seitz, P., and Steinmetz, R. (1999). i-LAND: An interactive Landscape for Creativitiy and Innovation. To appear in: CHI '99 Print Proceedings and CHI'99 Video Proceedings

Dr. Dr. Norbert A. Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in psychology) is currently the manager of the new research division "AMBIENTE - Workspaces of the Future" of the Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute (IPSI) in Darmstadt. He was also the Deputy Director of IPSI (1992-1998) and the manager of the research division "Cooperative Hypermedia Systems" (1991-1997), before he initiated the new research division in 1997 which is now under his direction.

IPSI has about 100 employees and is one of the eight research institutes of the German National Research Center for Information Technology (GMD) which has a total of about 1100 employees. Norbert Streitz teaches also at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt. He has edited 12 books and published more than 70 technical publications. He is an associate editor of the journal ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) and a regular member of the program committees of the relevant national and international conferences in Hypermedia, Human-Computer Interaction, and CSCW. He is often asked to present seminars and tutorials, invited talks and keynote speeches in Europe, the US, and Japan. His general research activities include hypertext and hypermedia, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), and more recently augmented reality and ubiquitous computing. The latter results from his current activities where he is concerned with the relationship between new ways of organizing work, characteristics of information and communication technology and their implications for the design of innovative work and learning environments including the architectural structures of "cooperative buildings".


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