Friday, 12 June 2009

Steve Hinske defents his PhD Thesis at ETH Zurich

"Sounds like a fun project" was my first reaction when I read some time back the first paper on Steve's work on augmented toys and augmented games. Reading through his thesis and seeing more of his papers it seems there was a lot of hard work, too.

Thinking more about it I was wondering how toys are really going to change in the future and to what extent this is going to happen. Technically a lot is feasible as it is well demonstrated by Steve in his thesis (photo from; if you do not have time to read the thesis I recommend to look at two of his papers: [1] and [2]. They give a good overview of the systems he created. In the discussion we could see that there can be very interesting business model involving third party developers for such toys.

… but nevertheless the playing experience is something very special and I would bet the augmented toys will come but the ordinary non-augmented dolls will stay.

PS: The cafeteria at ETH provided another example of my collection "if you need a sign/label - you have got the UI design wrong" - great example how gestalt law would have been so easy and arrows look so bad ;-)

[1] Hinske, S. and Langheinrich, M. 2009. W41K: digitally augmenting traditional game environments. In Proceedings of the 3rd international Conference on Tangible and Embedded interaction (Cambridge, United Kingdom, February 16 - 18, 2009). TEI '09. ACM, New York, NY, 99-106. DOI=

[2] Hinske, S., Langheinrich, M., and Lampe, M. 2008. Towards guidelines for designing augmented toy environments. InProceedings of the 7th ACM Conference on Designing interactive Systems (Cape Town, South Africa, February 25 - 27, 2008). DIS '08. ACM, New York, NY, 78-87. DOI=

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