Knowing what tomorrow’s user experience will look like.
Augmented Reality, i.e. the merging of the digital-virtual and physical world, is one of the mega trends in the industrial field. In a research project, which we performed in collaboration with our partner Inosoft, we combine classic machine operation by means of HMI with future interactive forms based on the smart glasses HoloLens from Microsoft. The AR glasses cause the user’s surroundings to expand to include context-specific holograms that appear three-dimensional on the real machine. The user is thereby clearly shown where to perform repair or maintenance work on the machine as well as what actions and tools are required to complete the task.
Not only since the launch of Apple Watch have wearables been on everyone’s lips. Of course, this field is not limited to smart watches; also eye glasses, rings or even clothing can now be linked and data about one’s own body and the environment are collected and displayed. In addition to well-known fitness devices, there are interesting developments in the health and industry context that show how one can support the use of complex systems with the help of wearables. We expanded our Quiri showcase with an Apple watch app in order to allow for regular and easy measurements.
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. From roller shutter controlling at home to intelligent power grids, digitization has arrived in ever more areas. As often there are no standards, especially not for UX, the control of these devices varies greatly and is complex. An integration with systems such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa or Google Home is often limited or not possible at all. 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.
From own experience we know that the cooperation of colleagues across sites poses a special challenge. In addition to communication efficiency, social and emotional components may not be neglected. We deal with requirements such as flexible working hours, home offices and open space offices and explore new possibilities of social networking between colleagues. In a hackathon, the Ergosphere was created – a digital connection between our offices, which also promotes the emotional connection between our colleagues.
For the prediction of future usage behavior we still need to draw on usability tests with real persons. Imagine, we could simulate user behavior! Just as the simulation of technical processes provides significant benefits, such a possibility would also be of great interest for user experience design. The aim of a project funded by BMBF (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research) and performed by industrial partners and research institutes, is the automated, predictive analysis of the usage behavior based on cognitive models.
Digitization can significantly contribute to the improvement of working conditions. Within the framework of a project funded by BMBF, the possibilities of reducing the negative conditions of shift work through attractive, digital contribution within the framework of a collaborative shift planning process were researched. In particular, the restrictions on the social life of employees in caring professions is being addressed. By participating in the collaborative shift planning process, the individual needs of the employees can be better and more efficiently coordinated with the operational needs. The possibilities of a digitized cooperation are therefore used for the promotion of a responsible, team-oriented organization of the daily work of care professionals.