Kai @ Miraikan Science Quest

The eye as window to the mind

Kai @ Miraikan Science Quest

On the 9th August I had the opportunity to take part in a Miraikan Science Quest. It’s an open event at Miraikan, the Science Museum in Tokyo, to encourage a dialog between the public and researchers. This Science Quest was a premier, as it was the first ever held in English ;)

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Kai @ Siggraph

My second Siggraph was pretty amazing again. Unfortunately, we had another emerging technology exhibit, so my time joining the main conference was limited.

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ISWC and UbiComp in Heidelberg

It’s a strange feeling to have UbiComp and ISWC so close to my home. Amazing organization and impressive research and meeting old friends.

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Kai at CHI 2016

back @ this year’s CHI 2016. We just have 3 Late Breaking Work submissions accepted and it seems they are currently for free download at the ACM website

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Super Human Sports: Augmenting Blind Soccer

I’m getting more and more fascinated by augmenting Blind Soccer. After 3 blind soccer trainings, we had now a couple of meetings to discuss how to extend and enhance the play experience.

stretch kick

For me there are 3 interesting points about blind soccer:

  1. It’s very hard to learn. Can we make it easier for blind people to learn it? If you can play it, it’s very fast and empowering. We train with a soccer player from the Japanese national team. He plays better than me without being blind folded (ok … that’s maybe not really an achievement, I’m terrible at soccer).
  2. Can we make it easier for seeing people learn blind soccer and in turn understand more about the blind and improve their hearing skills?
  3. Can we level the playing field making it possible for blind and seeing to play together using tech?

However, the most interesting point, I think blind soccer can teach us that “disability” is a question of definition and the environment.

If you can play it, it’s very fast and empowering. We train with a soccer player from the Japanese national team. He plays better than me without being blind folded (ok … that’s maybe not really an achievement, I’m terrible at soccer).

The biggest take-away for me, I rely too much on vision to make sense of my environment. The training made me more aware of sounds. I find myself to listen more and more. Sometimes in a train on the street etc., I now close my eyes and explore the environment just by sound. It’s fascinating how much we can hear. This opened a new world for me. Looking into it more, I believe sound is an underestimated modality for augmented and virtual realities, which is worth exploring more. I stumbled over a couple of papers about sonic interface design. Looking forward to applying some of the findings we get out of the blind soccer use case to our lives ;)

If I have some more time, I’ll write a bit more about the training and the ideathlons we did so far. In the mean time, I recommend you try it sometime (if you are near Tokyo, you can maybe also join our sessions).