Jan Borchers's research while affiliated with RWTH Aachen University and other places

Publications (243)

Article
Toolkits like the Arduino system have brought embedded programming to STEM education. However, learning embedded programming is still hard, requiring an understanding of coding, electronics, and how both sides interact. To investigate the opportunities of using a different programming paradigm than the imperative approach to learning embedded codin...
Article
We present ANISMA, a software and hardware toolkit to prototype on-skin haptic devices that generate skin deformation stimuli like pressure, stretch, and motion using shape-memory alloys (SMAs). Our toolkit embeds expert knowledge that makes SMA spring actuators more accessible to human–computer interaction (HCI) researchers. Using our software too...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social interactions are multisensory experiences. However, it is not well understood how technology-mediated smell can support social interactions, especially in collaborative tasks. To explore its effect on collaboration, we asked eleven pairs of users to work together on a writing task while wearing an interactive jewellery designed to emit scent...
Book
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D-Drucker, Lasercutter, Mikrocontroller: Start-ups, Maker*innen und andere Kreative verwirklichen mit diesen Werkzeugen der digitalen Fabrikation heute eigene Produktideen. Fab Labs sind Offene Werkstätten, die erklären, wie diese Tools funktionieren. Inzwischen gibt es über 2000 Fab Labs, und ihre Zahl verdoppelt sich alle zwei Jahre, seit ein MIT...
Article
Inferential statistics is a frequent task in several fields such as HCI, Psychology, and Medicine. Research shows that inferential statistics is often used incorrectly because the underlying statistical concepts are misunderstood. From interviews with students in an HCI lab, we find that, in addition to theoretical knowledge of statistics, novice a...
Conference Paper
Fab Labs and "Maker" practices have been recognized in research and practice as contexts that facilitate creativity, knowledge sharing and collaboration [4], [10]. Personal digital fabrication is getting increasing attention from various fields like education, engineering, innovation, design, humanitarian aid or regional development [6], [1], [7],...
Conference Paper
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We introduce Springlets, expressive, non-vibrating mechano-tactile interfaces on the skin. Embedded with shape memory alloy springs, we implement Springlets as thin and flexible stickers to be worn on various body locations, thanks to their silent operation even on the neck and head. We present a technically simple and rapid technique for fabricati...
Conference Paper
With Maker-friendly environments like the Arduino IDE, embedded programming has become an important part of STEM education. But learning embedded programming is still hard, requiring both coding and basic electronics skills. To understand if a different programming paradigm can help, we developed Flowboard, which uses Flow-Based Programming (FBP) r...
Conference Paper
Modeling in Augmented Reality (AR) lets users create and manipulate virtual objects in mid-air that are aligned to their real environment. We present ARPen, a bimanual input technique for AR modeling that combines a standard smartphone with a 3D-printed pen. Users sketch with the pen in mid-air, while holding their smartphone in the other hand to s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present Springlets, expressive, non-vibrating mechanotactile interfaces on the skin. Embedded with shape memory alloy springs, we implement Springlets as thin and flexible stickers to be worn on various body locations, thanks to their silent operation even on the neck and head. We present a technically simple and rapid technique for fabricating...
Conference Paper
Tangibles on interactive tabletops are tracked by the surface they are placed on and have been shown to benefit the interaction. However, they are tied to the surface. When picked up, they are no longer recognized and lose any connection to virtual objects shown by the table. We introduce the interaction concept of Off-Surface Tangibles that are tr...
Conference Paper
Smartphones are used predominantly one-handed, using the thumb for input. Many smartphones, however, have grown beyond 5". Users cannot tap everywhere on these screens without destabilizing their grip. ForceRay (FR) lets users aim at an out-of-reach target by applying a force touch at a comfortable thumb location, casting a virtual ray towards the...
Conference Paper
Data science is an open-ended task in whichexploratory programming is a common practice. Data workers often need faster and easier ways to explore alternative approaches to obtain insights from data, which frequently compromises code quality. To understand how well current IDEs support this exploratory workflow, we conducted an observational study...
Conference Paper
Visual impaired people can, depending on the impairment grade, detect changes on a game board by haptic or audio clues. This scanning process of the game area requires both time and cognitive load to remember the setup. This decreases the intended relaxation through games. As an alternative we propose to use a matrix of vibration motors on the huma...
Conference Paper
With 3D-printers becoming more available, affordable, and easy to use, they can be used as a tool to produce more flexible textures and even more complex tangible objects for visually impaired people. Similarly, the Arduino system allows to end-users to easily create electronic devices, both for learning as well as hobby approaches. With these Pers...
Conference Paper
Besides sketching in mid-air, Augmented Reality (AR) lets users sketch 3D designs directly attached to existing physical objects. These objects provide natural haptic feedback whenever the pen touches them, and, unlike in VR, there is no need to digitize the physical object first. Especially in Personal Fabrication, this lets non-professional desig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wearable toolkits simplify the integration of micro-electronics into fabric. They require basic knowledge about electronics for part interconnections. This technical aspect might be perceived as a barrier. We propose YAWN, a bus-based, modular wearable toolkit that simplifies the interconnection by relying on a pre-fabricated three-wire fabric band...
Conference Paper
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This contribution describes the current state of the ongoing German federal research project 'FAB101' which explores Fab Labs and their role in German academia for three years by way of a real-world, action-oriented research infrastructure of four existing (Fab) Labs at universities. Currently, the results point to infrastructure, collaboration asp...
Conference Paper
Laser cutters are 2D tools, but their speed and compatibility with a variety of affordable materials also makes them a frequent choice to create 3D objects. We propose CutCAD, a tool to easily construct simple 3D objects from 2D faces, inspired by the process of paper modeling and magnetic construction kits. The user creates her 3D model by drawing...
Conference Paper
Picking values from long ordered lists, such as when setting a date or time, is a common task on smartphones. However, the system pickers and tables used for this require significant screen space for spinning and dragging, covering other information or pushing it off-screen. The Force Picker reduces this footprint by letting users increase and decr...
Conference Paper
Tangibles on multitouch tabletops increase speed, accuracy, and eyes-free operability for individual users, and verbal and behavioral social interaction among multiple users around smaller tables with a shared focus of attention. Modern multitouch tables, however, provide sizes and resolutions that let groups work alongside each other in separate w...
Conference Paper
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E-Textiles are fabrics that integrate electronic circuits and components. Makers use them to create interactive clothing, furniture, and toys. However, this requires significant manual labor and skills, and using technology-centric design tools. We introduce Sketch&Stitch, an interactive embroidery system to create e-textiles using a traditional cr...
Conference Paper
Augmented Reality (AR) lets users sketch 3D designs directly attached to existing physical objects. These objects provide natural haptic feedback whenever the pen touches them, and, unlike in VR, there is no need to digitize the physical object first. Especially in Personal Fabrication, this lets non-professional designers quickly create simple 3D...
Conference Paper
Statistical analysis is a frequent task in several research fields such as HCI, Psychology, and Medicine. Performing statistical analysis using traditional textual programming languages like R is considered to have several advantages over GUI applications like SPSS. However, our examination of 40 analysis scripts written using current IDEs for R sh...
Conference Paper
Modern smartphones, like iPhone 7, feature touchscreens with co-located force sensing. This makes touch input more expressive, e.g., by enabling single-finger continuous zooming when coupling zoom levels to force intensity. Often, however, the user wants to select and confirm a particular force value, say, to lock a certain zoom level. The most com...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ubiquitous computing strives to reach the calm computing state where sensors and actuators disappear from the foreground of our surroundings into the fabric of everyday objects. Despite the great progress in embedded technology, artificial interfaces, such as remote controls and touch screens, remain the dominant media for interacting with smart ev...
Conference Paper
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Devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness trackers enable runners to control music, query fitness parameters such as heart rate and speed, or be guided by coaching apps. But while these devices are portable, interacting with them during running is difficult: they usually have small buttons or touchscreens which force the user to slow down...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Haptic input is a common input method for navigation aids for visual impaired people, leveraging an otherwise unused sensory channel depending on the body region, but building systems with large numbers of vibration motors is rather complex. For this purpose we developed a system to easily and quickly build systems with largen numbers of vibration...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Smart Interactive Textiles combine the warmth and omnipresence of textiles in our everyday lives with the benefits of modern information and communication technologies. The potential of innovation is not only based on technical ingenuity, but also on the consideration and embedding of peoples’ fears, requirements, desires, and wishes regarding thes...
Conference Paper
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Learning to play the transverse flute is not an easy task, at least not for everyone. Since the flute does not have a reed to resonate, the player must provide a steady, focused stream of air that will cause the flute to resonate and thereby produce sound. In order to achieve this, the player has to be aware of the embouchure position to generate a...
Conference Paper
Statistical analysis is a crucial part of many research fields: it is used by the researcher to validate her hypothesis and to communicate her findings to the community. Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST), a commonly used statistical analysis approach in many research fields, has been criticized over the years due to the prevalence of misc...
Conference Paper
When people hold their smartphone in landscape orientation, they use their thumbs for input on the frontal touchscreen, while their remaining fingers rest on the back of the device (BoD) to stabilize the grip. We present BackXPress, a new interaction technique that lets users create BoD pressure input with these remaining fingers to augment their i...
Conference Paper
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This paper investigates the pinch angle as a menu selection technique for two-dimensional foldable textile controllers. Based on the principles of marking menus, the selection of a menu item is performed by grabbing a fold at a specific angle, while changing value is performed by rolling the fold between the fingers. In a first experiment we determ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mobile audio augmented reality systems (MAARS) simulate virtual audio sources in a physical space via headphones. While 20 years ago, these required expensive sensing and rendering equipment, the necessary technology has become widely available. Smartphones have become capable to run high-fidelity spatial audio rendering algorithms, and modern sens...
Conference Paper
Using a smartphone touchscreen to control apps mirrored to a distant display is hard, since the user cannot see where she is touching while looking at the distant screen. Tactile landmarks at the back of the phone can mitigate this problem, especially in landscape mode [3]: By moving a finger across these landmarks, the user can haptically estimate...
Conference Paper
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Textile controls so far, have mostly been envisioned to be integrated to clothing. In our environment, however, much more textile interaction surfaces are available. In this paper, we present a capacitive textile sensor, seamlessly integrated into a motorized curtain. While the basic functionality is simply to open and close the curtain, its design...
Conference Paper
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In order to support interdisciplinary collaboration in a large organization, providing opportunities to meet new collaborators is essential. Besides offline approaches (e.g., conferences, colloquia, etc.) data driven and online approaches can be considered. Using the publication data and the additional profile information of researchers on a scient...
Conference Paper
Animations are an essential part of many modern user interfaces. They are often defined programmatically, which allows for parametrization and reuse. Two programming paradigms to define animations are common: Procedural animation programming allows the developer to make explicit updates to object properties at each frame, allowing maximum control o...
Conference Paper
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Traditional audio guides in museums and similar spaces typically require the visitor to locate a track number at each exhibit and enter it on a keypad. These guides, however, provide no information on the amount of content available. Current mobile devices provide rich output capabilities, and indoor location tracking technology can simplify the se...
Conference Paper
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Textile interfaces can be ubiquitously integrated into the fabrics that already surround us. So far, existing interfaces transfer concepts, such as buttons and sliders, to the textile domain without leveraging the affordances and qualities of fabric. This paper presents Grabrics, a two-dimensional textile sensor that is manipulated by grabbing a fo...
Conference Paper
Today, persons with a visual impairment use a cane to explore their surroundings and sense objects in their vicinity. While electronic aids have been proposed to aid them, they communicate limited information or require a fixed position. We propose VibroVision, a vest that projects information about the area in front of the wearer onto her abdomen...
Conference Paper
This work provides first insights into supporting hierarchical micro-navigation in the physical world in a manner relevant to AR systems. In this paper, we study the performance of two presentation strategies in tasks that involve navigating to an object inside a hierarchy of physical containers within the user's reach. We consider two types of nav...
Conference Paper
Exploring source code history is an important task for software maintenance. Traditionally, source code history is navigated on the granularity of individual files. This is not fine-grained enough to support users in exploring the evolution of individual code elements. We suggest to consider the history of individual elements within the tree struct...
Conference Paper
Documentation and unit tests increase software maintainability, but real world software projects rarely have adequate coverage. We hypothesize that, in part, this is because existing authoring tools require developers to adjust their workflows significantly. To study whether improved interaction design could affect unit testing and documentation pr...
Code
This dataset contains the task descriptions and task templates used in the study presented in the paper "An empirical study of programming paradigms for animation".
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present an experimental comparison of tangible rotary knobs and touch-based virtual knobs in three output conditions: eyes-on, eyes-free, and peripheral. Twenty participants completed a simple rotation task on a interactive surface with four different input techniques (two tangibles and two virtual touch widgets) in the three output conditions,...
Conference Paper
Tangible objects on capacitive multi-touch surfaces are usually only detected while the user is touching them. When the user lets go of such a tangible, the system cannot distinguish whether the user just released the tangible, or picked it up and removed it from the surface. We introduce PERCs, persistent capacitive tangibles that "know" whether t...
Conference Paper
Tangible objects on capacitive multi-touch surfaces are usually only detected while the user is touching them. When the user lets go of such a tangible, the system cannot distinguish whether the user just released the tangible, or picked it up and removed it from the surface. In this demo we demonstrate PERCs , persistent capacitive tangibles that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most presentations are given with supporting visuals and driven by specialized presentation software. Today, this software either follows the classic slideware metaphor, presenting a series of discrete screens—or it implements the more recent canvas presentation metaphor, using a zoomable free-form canvas to arrange information. Both paradigms were...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When thinking of textile interfaces, these are often imagined as being integrated into clothing. While this is the most prominent use of fabric, we present a standalone interface that builds on the natural set of interactions a piece of fabric affords, and that is feasible for industrial production. By integrating stitched patterns made of conducti...
Conference Paper
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Interactive workspaces combine horizontal and vertical touch surfaces into a single digital workspace. During an exploration of these systems, it was shown that direct interaction on the vertical surface is cumbersome and more inaccurate than on the horizontal one. To overcome these problems, indirect touch systems turn the horizontal touch surface...
Conference Paper
Mobile audio augmented reality systems (MAARS) provide a new and engaging modality to present information or to create playful experiences. Using special filters, spatial audio rendering creates the impression that the sound of a virtual source emanates from a certain position in the physical space. So far, most of the implementations of such syste...
Conference Paper
Using a smartphone for touch input to control apps and games mirrored to a distant screen is difficult, as the user cannot see where she is touching while looking at the distant display. We present HaptiCase, an interaction technique that provides back-of-device tactile landmarks that the user senses with her fingers to estimate the location of her...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sound and its creation are an inherently physical process, yet in the age of digital audio the physical part disappeared. Instead of working with the medium itself as, e.g., with vinyl records, the media player introduced a new level of abstraction. This new abstraction layer, however, rarely made use of our manual skills and instead forced us to w...
Conference Paper
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Tangible widgets are one possible answer to the lack of haptic feedback on touch screens and tabletops. In this publication, we focus on tangibles that provide input and output channels by spatially relocating a part of the touch input and visual output area from the touch screen onto their own arbitrarily shaped surface. Optical fibers that transm...
Conference Paper
Each step of statistical analysis requires researchers to make decisions based on both statistical knowledge and the knowledge of their own data. For novice analysts, this is cognitively demanding and can lead to mistakes and misinterpretations of the results. We present Statsplorer, a software that helps novices learn and perform inferential stati...
Conference Paper
Mobile audio augmented reality systems can be used in a series of applications, e.g., as a navigational aid for visually impaired or as audio guide in museums. The implementation of such systems usually relies on head orientation data, requiring additional hardware in form of a digital compass in the headphones. As an alternative we propose AudioTo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Touch-sensitive fabrics let users operate wearable devices unobtrusively and with rich input gestures similar to those on modern smartphones and tablets. While hardware prototypes exist in the DIY crafting community, HCI designers and researchers have little data about how well these devices actually work in realistic situations. FabriTouch is the...
Conference Paper
We report on the behavior of developers working with a live coding environment, which provides information about a program's execution immediately after each change to the source code. The live coding environment we used shows information about each individual source code line, e.g., changed variable values or truth values of conditions. In compari...
Article
Tangibles on interactive surfaces enable users to physically manipulate digital content by placing, moving, manipulating, or removing a tangible object. However, the information whether and how a user grasps these tangibles has not been exploited for input so far. Based on Buxton's Three-State Model for graphical input, we present an interaction mo...
Conference Paper
Audio augmented reality systems overlay the physical world with a virtual audio space. Today's smartphones provide enough processing power to create the impression of virtual sound sources being located in the real world. To achieve this, information about the user's location and orientation is necessary which requires additional hardware. In a rea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Location-based multiplayer games happen in real space so movement is not the location change of an avatar in a virtual world, but real change of a player's physical location. Additionally, movement is a core interaction of these games. This makes the distances between players a key element of the game dynamics. Annotating recorded movements require...
Article
Using the space above desktop input devices adds a rich new input channel to desktop interaction. Input in this elevated layer has been previously used to modify the granularity of a 2D slider, navigate layers of a 3D body scan above a multitouch table and access vertically stacked menus. However, designing these interactions is challenging because...
Conference Paper
Capacitive multi-touch displays are not typically designed to detect passive objects placed on them. In fact, these systems usually contain filters to actively reject such input data. We present a technical analysis of this problem and introduce Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets (PUCs). Unlike previous approaches, PUCs do not require power, they...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Capacitive multi-touch displays are not designed to detect passive objects placed on them—in fact, these systems usu- ally contain filters to actively reject such touch data. We present a technical analysis of this problem and introduce Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets (PUCs). Unlike pre- vious approaches, PUCs do not require power, they can be...
Conference Paper
Dedicated input devices are frequently used for system control. We present Instant User Interfaces, an interaction paradigm that loosens this dependency and allows operating a system even when its dedicated controller is unavailable. We implemented a reliable, marker-free object tracking system that enables users to assign semantic meaning to diffe...
Conference Paper
Capacitive multi-touch displays are designed to detect touches from fingers that often change the location. This is quite the opposite of our goal: detect passive objects placed on them. In fact, these systems usually contain filters to actively reject such inactive input data. We present a technical analysis of this problem and introduce Passive U...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Even though remote collaboration through telepresence is supported by a variety of devices and display environments, it still has some inherent problems. One of these problems is the definition of a unified spatial reference system for the shared workspace in combination with an immersive representa-tion of the collaborator. To mitigate this proble...
Conference Paper
In the homes of bleeding-edge tinkerers around the world, a revolution is happening that, as many predict, will overshadow the PC and internet revolutions that began with home computers in the 70's: Personal Fabrication. Sub-$1000 3D printers are a reality, and other computer-controlled digital fabrication tools such as lasercutters are close behin...
Conference Paper
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To date, most tabletop systems are designed with only a single application visible and accessible at any time, which is, in many cases, an underuse of the tabletop spacious surface, and counter-intuitive to the normal working environment of a table. Desktop window managers provide users facilities to launch and interact with concurrent applications...
Conference Paper
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This case study presents the design and evaluation of an end-user energy consumption display for an energy+ house. The goal of our application is to give an easy overview over the power balance and to provide the user with the necessary information to understand specific consumption patterns. We defined the unit of Counter Entropy points and used i...
Conference Paper
We introduce Fillables: low-cost and ubiquitous everyday vessels that are appropriated as tangible controllers whose haptics are tuned ad-hoc by filling, e