Friday, 30 November 2012

Timo „Timppa“ Ojala talking about Ubicomp in the Wild

I learned from Hans Gellersen that inviting colleagues to give talks in your lecture is a good approach. You get interesting original content into the lecture and provide potential contact points for students to go abroad. Last year’s talks were quite successful, some of your students ended up to go abroad, e.g. to Lancaster in the UK. This week Timo "Timppa" Ojala from Oulu University is visiting.

In the first part of the talk Timppa was presenting several examples of trails in the wild from the Rotuaari project ( The work done over 10 years ago had many new ideas, ranging from location based guides [1] to contextual mobile advertising [2], that Timppa and his team explored in the wild. Many of these ideas are slowly entering the market today. Jürgen Scheible, one of Timppas PhD students and now a professor at the Hochschule der Medien (and into media arts, see, jointed into the presentation and discussed the findings of his 2005 paper on interactive video on public displays and phones [3].

In the second part he talked about “Open UBI Oulu” and about human city interaction and its project history and future. The research strategy is to do application led research that contributes to basic knowledge. Looking at the cost of the infrastructure it is amazing how cheap it is in comparison to other infrastructure provided by communities. He showed some example of interaction via Bluetooth access point, one of it is proximity marketing that will be published next week at MUM2012 in Ulm. With our European project pd-net (Florian, Nemania, Ivan, Thomas, and others) we where last year as participants in the finals of the first UbiChallenge showing  Funsquare (1st place) [4] and Digifieds (3rd place) [5]. The Challenge will be on this year again.

LightStories ( is project where anyone can book an hour long slot for programming LED stripes on street lights in the city of Oulu. I really wonder how the API of future cities will look like and what applications would become possible if developers have access to an open infrastructure in the city.

After the lecture we went to the Stuttgart Christmans Market :-)

[1] Markus Aittola, Pekka Parhi, Maria Vieruaho, Timo Ojala: Comparison of Mobile and Fixed Use of SmartLibrary. Mobile HCI 2004: 383-387
[2] Lauri Aalto, Nicklas Göthlin, Jani Korhonen, and Timo Ojala. 2004. Bluetooth and WAP push based location-aware mobile advertising system. In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on Mobile systems, applications, and services (MobiSys '04). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 49-58. DOI=10.1145/990064.990073
[3] Jürgen Scheible and Timo Ojala. 2005. MobiLenin combining a multi-track music video, personal mobile phones and a public display into multi-user interactive entertainment. In Proceedings of the 13th annual ACM international conference on Multimedia (MULTIMEDIA '05). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 199-208. DOI=10.1145/1101149.1101178
[4] Nemanja Memarovic, Ivan Elhart, and Marc Langheinrich. 2011. FunSquare: first experiences with autopoiesic content. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 175-184. DOI=10.1145/2107596.2107619
[5] Florian Alt, Thomas Kubitza, Dominik Bial, Firas Zaidan, Markus Ortel, Björn Zurmaar, Tim Lewen, Alireza Sahami Shirazi, and Albrecht Schmidt. 2011. Digifieds: insights into deploying digital public notice areas in the wild. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 165-174. DOI=10.1145/2107596.2107618

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