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HCI: Building Interactive Devices and Computer Vision (Sommersemester 2015)

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 projector, a Kinect depth camera, a tripod, and an Arduino electronic kit, among other materials.


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 and bootstrap assignments. 



No prerequisites. This class is independent off our introductory class on usability ("Designing Interactive Systems"). In contrast, an interest in building and coding is certainly beneficial.

Lern- und Lehrformen

Single 3h block once per week. Alternation of "lecture" units and "studio class" units.


There will be 45 min midterm exam and a 45 min 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.


fridays, 10.30 - 13.00, H-2.57.

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

Allgemeine Information

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


  • Human Computer Interaction & Computer Graphics Technology
  • Operating Systems & Information Systems Technology
  • Software Architecture & Modeling Technology