Knowing what tomorrow’s user experience will look like.
In addition to augmented and virtual reality, mixed reality, i.e. the combination of the digital-virtual with the physical world, is a promising trend — especially in the industrial environment.
In a research project, which we carried out together with our partner Inosoft, we combine classical machine operation via HMI with future forms of interaction based on Microsoft’s data glasses HoloLens.
Our scenario: The AR glasses extend the user's environment with context-specific holograms which appear three-dimensionally on the real machine. Thus the operator is clearly shown where he has to carry out repairs or maintenance on the machine and which steps and tools are necessary to solve the problem.
Imagine being able to validly predict the interaction efficiency of users with a future system — before a system is tested with users!
Just like simulations of technical processes offer decisive advantages, such a possibility would be extremely interesting for user experience design.
For the predictive analysis of user behavior in well-known human-technology-interactions, we therefore conduct research together with the Fraunhofer IDMT, the Broetje Automation GmbH and the Premium AEROTEC GmbH as part of the project SiBed - 'Simulation of the operation of user interfaces on the basis of a cognitive model’ (Funding reference 01IS16037B), supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research).
To give our teams the possibility to directly test interaction concepts — that’s the fundamental idea of our Ergosign IoT lab. In Saarbrücken, we can now not only create our own meeting room displays and timers but also smaller hardware elements for customer projects. They allow us to efficiently analyze and evaluate our interfaces and collect validated feedback.
Additionally, our creative minds can run free in the lab; also, design challenges are a big part of our lab projects.
You can find a more detailed description of our lab and our current projects in this article.
The GamOR project’s goal is a gamified collaborative service platform for nursing professions. We work closely with following partners: the working group of Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl at the University of Siegen, the Fraunhofer ITWM, the ITA (Institute for Technic and Work), the SIEDA GmbH as well as the PAW (Protestant Old People’s Welfare Western Palatinate).
In GamOR, we develop an innovative shift planning system for nursing care, which proactively includes nursing staff in the shift planning and respects their individual needs. The projects focuses on the human: all employees gain more influence on both their free time and work times. We support the conception of this innovative system with our expert knowledge about motivating design concepts, positive user experience and iterative practical development. The research and development project GamOR is supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF) and the Europäische Sozialfonds (European Social Fonds, ESF) within the program „Innovationen für die Produktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit von morgen“ (‚Innovations for Production, Service and Future Work“) (Funding reference 02L15A213) and maintained by the Projektträger Karlsruhe (Project Sponsor Karlsruhe, PTKA).
From our own experience, we know that cooperation between employees across locations represents a very special challenge. In addition to communication efficiency, social and emotional components must not be neglected. We take requirements such as flexible working hours, working from home and open space offices into account and explore new possibilities for social networking between employees. Hence, we organized a hackathon to create a digital link between our offices which also promotes the emotional bond between our colleagues — the Ergosphere was born.
The trend towards networking and intelligent control of one’s own four walls to large buildings, residential area or even entire cities is still gaining momentum. New devices from different manufacturers are released almost daily. As often there are no standards, the control of these devices varies greatly and is complex. At Ergosign Labs we research possibilities of developing a uniform and intuitive UX for breaking down barriers in the widespread introduction of intelligent control systems.