Research :: Projects

These are examples of student projects I supervised between 2006 and 2010 that are related to my own research interests.
Abbreviations used:

  • B = Bachelor student;
  • M = Master student;
  • USI = Post-master student in User-System Interaction;
  • ID = Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology;
  • HTI = Human-Technology Interaction, Eindhoven University of Technology;
  • CS = Computer Science-University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland

  • Hidden Agenda
    Hidden Agenda: An interactive agenda was implemented on a digital tabletop with different sets of tangible artifacts representing appointments or tools for searching through the agenda. These two sets of artifacts were compared in a comparative evaluation, together with a third version combining the two sets. It turned out that the personality trait introversion-extraversion was related to the preference of the participants. Extravert personalities preferred the set representing the appointments, while the introvert personalities preferred the combination set.
    Collaboration: Thierry Blanc (CS-M), Koen van Boerdonk (ID-M), Xavier Gachet (CS-M), Thomas de Wolf (ID-M), Elena Mugellini PhD (CS-staff) and Francois Kilchoer PhD (CS-staff)

    Digital Photo Sharing interaction Co-located Digital Photo Sharing: We found that when watching digital photos together with friends behind a pc the person owning the computer determines what will be viewed and for how long, he is in control of the keyboard and mouse. This occurred in both situations: story-telling (when the visitor was not present when the photos were taken) and reminiscing talk (when the visitor was present when the photo owner took the photo). To distribute control more evenly over photo owner and visitor with respect to the digital photo sharing activity a tangible user interface was designed which requires input from both photo owner as well as visitor to move to the next or previous photo. In a user study we found that this decreased the control of the photo owner and increased the control for the visitor, while increasing the fun for both parties in both types of photo sharing.
    Collaboration: Tom van Bergen (ID-M)

    Marbowl Old Skool Games: This project analyzed the strengths of the age-old marble game, which is still popular today. Knowing these strengths, e.g. the social interactions during the game, but also the possibility to improve your skills, several concepts were created to enhance the traditional marble game. Through several user studies and design iterations, this resulted in the Marbowl. This is a moving marble hole that can detect marbles entering the hole and from which direction. After a marble hits home the bowl starts moving away from the direction where the marble came. Marbowl also contains light sensors and will steer away from obstacles. We found that this addition of technology increased the fun experience but also opportunities for open-ended play.
    Collaboration: Jabe Piter Faber (ID-M)

    Flourishing Future Flourishing Future: Flourishing Future is a digital tabletop game for children built as a carrier for three studies. One study looked at the potential of physical sounds, meaning tangible artifacts that make their own sounds (without using electronics, but through physical elements inside the artifact that can move, collide, scrape). Physical sounds depend on the way the artifact is manipulated. Another study looked at how two ways of designing the tangible play pieces can support collaborative interactions. One set of tangibles was designed to support cooperative gestures and the other one not. We found that the first set resulted in more collaborative interactions between the playing children. The third study focused on the design of an individual artifact and more specifically the effect of the hardness of the artifact on the opinion the children had of the artifact. E.g. children think hard objects are more boring, sad and old-fashioned, while the soft objects are more cute, speedy and warm.
    Collaboration: Kim Bohre (ID-B), Jeanine Kierkels (ID-B) and Imke Schouten (ID-B). This project took place at the Synaesthetic Media Lab, GVU, GeorgiaTech.
    Download 1.0 MB [pdf]

    Totti Totti: This project consisted of two studies based on the design of the digital tabletop game Totti, which was designed for children. One study focused on the design of the play pieces and the level of abstractness of these designs. It turned out that children as well as adults understood the more abstract game artifacts better than the more realistic artifacts. The second study focused on supporting children to collaborate during the game by increasing the level of collaboration needed when the game progresses. We showed that children indeed used more collaborative interactions in later levels of the game, in particular verbal and gestural interactions. The children did not look at each other more (another type of collaborative interaction), since their eyes were focused on the digital tabletop.
    Collaboration: Marigo Heijboer (ID-B) and Manon Spermon (ID-B). This project took place at the Synaesthetic Media Lab, GVU, GeorgiaTech.
    Download 1.0 MB [pdf]

    Touch Me Dare Touch me dare: This interactive installation was specifically designed to facilitate a meeting between two strangers at a festival. If people on both sides of the installation touch the same location a music sample is played. By increasing the surface of contact the music is influenced. We found that even though people cannot see each other, they still thought that after some interactions they really knew the person on the other side.
    Collaboration: Koen van Boerdonk (ID-B), Sietske Klooster (ID-staff) and Rob Tieben (ID-B)
    Download 2.6 MB [pdf]

    Overcoming the Distance: For people in a long-distance relationship, e.g. expats or asylum seekers, it can be difficult to stay in touch. Through user research it was found that it is hard to communicate problems for people that are physically separated. One reason is there's no implicit communication, as in face-to-face communication. Therefore an interactive device was implemented that facilitates implicit communication about moods over a distance, using personal photos, music and colors.
    Collaboration: Johanna Renny Octavia (USI) and Hans de Mondt (Alcatel-staff)
    Download 0.3 MB [pdf]

    Weathergods Weathergods: The digital tabletop game Weathergods was implemented to study different designs of tangible interaction. Two sets of physical play pieces were designed: iconic (there is a relation between the physical appearance and the associated digital information) and symbolic (there is no relation between physical appearance and digital information). It turned out that the fun experience and understanding of the game was similar for both sets, but the understanding of the play pieces was higher with the iconic play pieces and participants preferred to play with the iconic play pieces.
    Collaboration: Saskia Bakker (ID-B), Tom Bergman (Philips Research-staff), Gerard Hollemans (Philips Research-staff) and Debby Vorstenbosch (ID-B)
    Download 0.4 MB [pdf]
    Download 0.3 MB [pdf]
    Download 0.7 MB [pdf]