MIT Media Lab & Upper Austria University of Applies Sciences in Hagenberg Gadgeteer Workshop

Author – Michael Haller

From May 14th to 17th, a workshop on Tangible User Interfaces was conducted at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences in Hagenberg, Austria. Taught by Daniel Leithinger, a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, topics included basics of physical prototyping, sketching user experiences and an introduction to .NET Gadgeteer.

The group of workshop participants consisted of graduate students and researchers with prior .NET programming experience, who, after a lesson of modifying a simple stopwatch example, set out in teams to brainstorm their own user interface. Over the course of the next 2 days, 6 teams created prototypes of user interfaces with .NET Gadgeteer FEZ spider toolkits and sensors, various props, cardboard and 3D printed enclosures. The ability to rapidly build functioning user experience prototypes sparked a constant stream of hands-on user testing, ideation and iteration throughout the workshop.

On the final day, 6 prototypes where presented, an impressive feat of the participants and a testimony to the ease of use of the .NET Gadgeteer platform: 

Catch me if you can

To encourage physical activity, Eva Maria Schwaiger and Christian Grossauer demonstrate a shoe with built-in LED’s to support playing zombie tag throughout the workday.

Smart Watch

The smart watch created by Florian Perteneder, Christian Rendl, Yan Xu, and Nobuhiro Takahashi notifies the wearer of the weather and incoming messages.

Gesture Feedback Glove

Christoph Lipphart, Angelika Bugl, and Jakob Zillner demonstrate a glove to provide feedback for freehand gestures. 

LED Floor Tiles

Michael Bauer, Gerald Hauser, Sarah Steininger envision future stores equipped with LED floor tiles to guide customers. 

Activity Indicator

The activity indicator by David Lindlbauer, Kathrin Probst, Patrick Greindl mediates interactions between office co-workers through an actuated office wall.

Smart Drinking

Mikhail Efimov and Jesús Espejo envision a water bottle that reminds people to stay hydrated.

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