Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI

Building Interactive Systems (Sommersemester 2020)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch (Human-Computer Interaction)
Tutoren: Thijs Roumen Shohei Katakura

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 4
  • ECTS: 6
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 06.04.2020 - 22.04.2020
  • Lehrform: Vorlesung
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Deutsch

Studiengänge & Module

IT-Systems Engineering BA


Like most other HPI lectures this semester, this class will take place via Zoom. Please register for the lecture no later than April 22nd. Then, come onboarding with us on the 23rd and 24th, which means that we will make you install Zoom, Unity3D, and compile our hello world program (see our wiki on how to do this--your TAs are there to help you). If you should have any questions, please email teaching assistant Thijs.Roumen(at)hpi.de

"Building Interactive Systems" works with and without "Building Interactive Devices"
"Building Interactive Systems" is designed to complement our other undergrad class called "Building Interactive Devices"--yet both are independent of each other, so that you may take them in any order or just one of them. While "Building Interactive Devices" provides fifteen blocks of individual techniques and assignments, "Building Interactive Systems" puts it all together by picking a single software/hardware challenge and following through on it. If you think of our HCI undergrad curriculum as a tree, think of "Building Interactive Systems" as its root, while "Building Interactive Devices" forms the leaves.

Objective: The objective of this class is to teach you how to make successful interactive software systems.

Project: to allow you to apply the material learned in class, you will create your own application program. To make this interesting and challenging, we picked an application scenario that you probably not familiar with: blind users.

Platform: an interactive device that allows blind users to draw and play. DualPanto allows blind users to go past the traditional iPhone + voiceOver screen reader, in that it allows blind users to interact with spatial contents, such as maps, drawing, or shooter games. if Corona permits, we will provide each team with the parts for one dualPanto devce so you can make your own device. Questions about the dualPanto hardware? email Nico Boeckhoff.

Coding: You will program in C# in Unity3D as an efficient means for prototyping, as well as actual coding. You will approach the topic in steps: a hello-world app, an audio-only app, a haptics-only app based on dualPanto, and then you will combine what you have learned into your very own integrated speech and haptics app. To make coding tractable, we will provide you with a custom API that allows you to handle speech input and output and to control your dualPanto device. Questions about the API? email Corinna Jaschek.

Creative process: In parallel to building and coding, you will perform the logical steps necessary to make your software successful, i.e., you will brainstorm, sketch, present, prototyping, critique, and evaluate each other's apps in a studio format.

Demo fest: At the end of the semester, if Corona permits, there will be a demo-fest during which actual blind users will try out your applications.

Outlook: making a product: To round your project off, we will ask: what does it take to make an idea into a product in 2020? We think of this from a historical perspective: people wrote application programs in the 80's, web pages in the 90's, and phone apps in the 2000's. Today, the advent of cheap manufacturing in Shenzhen combined with crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter, enables people to create software/hardware systems, such as the pebble watch or robot arms. We think this through with you by looking at how to get not only software, but also electronics and hardware ready for manufacturing.


Participants have to be able to (and be willing to) share their video using Zoom in order to effectively participate in this class. This lecture is taught in English. 


We plan on having a 90 min final exam. If Corona permits, we may also have a midterm 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.


Lectures take place on Mondays from 09:15 to 12:30 via zoom*, this includes time to work on the assignments we give out each week.

Before the lecture starts, please check out our dokuwiki with all logistics and information on how to get going for the class. Follow the set-up guide to get your system up to speed for this. 

*You will receive the lecture password once you signed up on the mailing list