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HCI: Building Interactive Devices & Computer Vision (Sommersemester 2011)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch (Human-Computer Interaction)


In this class, participants learn how to build interactive devices, as well as the underlying concepts. Students work in teams of two and each team is given a range of interactive components including a projector, a Kinect depth camera, a tripod, a mobile phone, and an Arduino electronics kit.

In teams of two participants

  1. build gesture recognizers and touch surfaces using the Kinect depth camera
  2. program user interfaces on touch screen smart phones.
  3. prototype in Hardware using Arduino, sensors, and motors
  4. prototype mechanical objects using rapid prototyping tools, such as laser cutters and 3D printers.
  5. learn the underlying concepts, in particular computer vision.
  6. follow additional overview lectures on interactive technologies, such as haptics and actuation, tangible computing, and ubiquitous computing.

Unlike the other introductory HCI class, this class teaches the engineering side of human computer interaction in a hands-on style. The class is held in a single 3h block each week. Most of the class uses a "studio class" format, i.e., extended periods where participants construct prototypes in class while advised by the teaching team (lecturers and three teaching assistants).

Students write code in C++ using the computer vision toolkit OpenCV and the Kinect driver to get depth and skeleton data. A large part of the implementation work will take place in class and participants are provided with skeleton code to bootstrap assignments.


No prerequisites. Interest in building and coding is clearly beneficial.

There is some value in having participated in the other introductory HCI class: ("Designing Interactive Systems"), but it is not a prerequisite.


Reading material will be provided in class.

Lern- und Lehrformen

Single 3h block once per week.

Alternation of "lecture" units and "studio class" units.


There will be a 45min mid term exam and a 45min final exam. In order to be admitted to the exams, participants need to successfully complete homework assignments. Students will solve problems in teams of two, implement a series of prototypes, and present their work in class.


Friday 10:30 am to 13:30 pm, HS 3

3.06.2011: HS 2

Class contents involving tool use (such as the laser cutter and 3D printers) will take place in the "HCI Shop" (= Werkstatt) in the new main building on the second floor.

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden : 4
  • ECTS : 6
  • Benotet : Ja
  • Einschreibefrist : 29.04.2011
  • Programm : IT-Systems Engineering BA
  • Lehrform : V
  • Belegungsart : Wahlpflicht
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl : 24