The current state of Web needs a counter culture!

August 12th, 2016 19 comments

Since the publications of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, some of our worst worries became true. The Internet got infected by a few sources of power. Mass surveillance by governments and big corporates is the daily routine. People, who fight for transparency are chased (e.g. Netzpolitik.org, Eward Snowden, Aaron Swartz, and other whistle-blowers) or got into some weird trouble. For years, I have the feeling the public discussion about the importance of privacy is very abstract and disconnected for the normal "non-technic" crowd. Even more bad the Open Data movement  in the US got also kinda stuck, because there does not exist any really benefit for a goverment to be transparent. Failures (through bad management or even corruption) could be found easier by journalist, but that is not the intent of a running government. However, Edward Snowden tried to explain the problem with the mass surveillance with his famous tweet, which should emphasize why privacy is important and a basic right for a democratic system. Read more...

Use your Raspberry Pi as your local NodeJS Webserver

June 12th, 2016 11 comments

webtool_banner

A couple of months ago, I tinkered around with NodeJS on my local machine. After a while I got kinda addicted to the NodeJS Plattform for webservice (SOA) applications as well as Desktop Apps (Electron/NodeWebkit). Hence more complicated NodeJS experiments will start, I decided to set-up my own webserver environment for my (local) network with a Raspberry Pi 2 B. My tools of choice are:

  • Raspian Jessie Lite from 2016-05-27
  • GIT v2.1.4: Version control for source code
  • NodeJS v6.2.0: for REST APIs and Websocket applications
  • Nginx Webserver: Deliver static files, Reverse Proxy for NodeJS, and Load Balancing
  • MySQL Server and Client: for Relational Databases
  • CouchDB v1.6.1: as my NoSQL Database with strong JavaScript tools
  • PM2: NodeJS Process Manager for starting and stoping NodeJS Apps
  • Nodeadmin: Admin Tool for MySQL (like PHPmyAdmin)

Let's get started:

 

Download Raspian Jessie Lite from the foundation website and write the image on your class 10 SD Card. For more information please read this tutorial (in German).

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Gastvorlesung und Workshop Human Plant Interfaces

May 13th, 2016 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

Im Anfang Mai 2015 lud mich Myriel Milicevic für eine Gastvorlesung und anschließendem Workshop für Ihren Kurs Interfacing with Nature an der Hochschule Potsdam ein. Mein Themengebiet für diesen Tag waren die Artistic Human Plant Interfaces/Elektrobotanik. In der 90-120min Einführung bekamen die Studenten aus den Bereichen Produkt Design, Interface Design und Kommunikationsdesign einen ersten Eindruck, welche Überschneidungen zwischen Menschen und Pflanzen, sowie zwischen Pflanzen und Technologie auftauchen.

 

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Guestlecture and Workshop Human Plant Interfaces

May 12th, 2016 No comments

Plant Colour Patterns

On May 2015, Myriel Milicevic invited me for a Guestlecture & Workshop on Artistic Human Plant Interfaces/Elektrobotanik for her Interfacing with Nature class at University of Applied Science Potsdam. The starting 90-120min lecture provided the students (in that case communication, product, and interface designer) an introduction about interfaces with plants. This includes viusal approaches as well as bio sensing projects.

 

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Workshop Format: Create a Game (Art) Installation

May 7th, 2016 3 comments

During mid of 2013 until the beginning of 2014, Juliane Springsguth and me had the chance to develop a new game design hacking workshop format for teenagers (Mostly 8th graders around 13-15 years old) in cooperation with "Berufsorientierte Schulprojektwochen (BOP)" organized by the Media Education Institution WeTeK Berlin gGmbH.

Our objective was to generate a tangible and audiovisual output in shape of a Game (Art) installation during the workshop. Furthermore, our intention regarding those young participants was to empower them to express their ideas in a (media) technology driven environment. Officially the objective was that they get a first impression how a job as digital media worker could look like.

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Personalize the online platform medizintechnologie.de

May 3rd, 2016 1 comment

medtech_header

After launching the online guide for developing medical devices, our team had the chance to rest a little bit and dealt with some minor improvements for the platform in general (see our Kanban Board, other inspirations on Agile Board Hacks).

 

Medizintechnologie.de Kanban Board

We used and adapted the Kanban Board method for our coordination.

 

Beside of those minor tasks on our board, we had to explore these additional user needs for our next milestone:

  • Improve user engagement through a customized and personalized online guide
  • Increase the level of learning for the online guide without being too theoretical
  • Improve decision making  skills of a medical product development through online tools
  • Improve the quality of grant applications for medical products

After some internal meetings with our copywriters and the medical engineering team, we figured out some key features for our new service in a very abstract sketch.

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Prototyping an online development guide for medical devices

April 16th, 2016 No comments

medtech_header

At my last blog post, I have told you that it was not possible to launch the development guide for medical devices from the beginning of our online platform medizintechnologie.de. This blog post describes the design and prototyping process of our development guide for medical device engineers.

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An online platform for medical engineering: Vision, Information and requirement engineering

April 5th, 2016 No comments

medtech_header

Some time ago, I posted a ‘making of’ series about the low-budget project wasfuttern.de. This time I will blog about the development process of the current bigger (3-5 years) web project in the field of medical engineering in Germany. My writings intend to give Interaction Designer and User Experience specialist an insight view what I have learnt from this project.

 

Background

When I started end of 2012, the publication Website: Nationaler Strategieprozess "Innovationen in der Medizintechnik" appeared and stated Germany needs more informational transparency about the medical engineering industry. The medical engineer stakeholders should be better connected to each other. And on-going, start-ups, small and mid-sized businesses need more support during their certification process within EU.

As one solution for these problems an online platform for the medical engineering community in Germany was proposed.

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My Biosensing with Plants chapter is published in the book: The Green Thread Dialogues with the Vegetal World

December 10th, 2015 No comments

Some findings of my master thesis about biosensing are published in the new book:

The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World

Book about Plants

Edited by Patrícia Vieira; Monica Gagliano and John Ryan

Together with Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, we wrote the chapter 13 The Art of Human to Plant Interaction. If you want to see videos of these featured Human Plant Interaction, please check: Biosensing for Human Computer Interactions

Please feel free to post your Feedback about our chapter!

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Create speaker on the body of a leaf

November 27th, 2015 No comments

For almost more than a year I wanted to write a tutorial about how to create a speaker on a leaf. Unfortunately, I found no time to write one. I think it is now time to show you the video as an example and provide you the links for built your own leaf speaker

For several years, I am really excited about Hannah Perner-Wilson aka Plusea's textile circuits. Fortunately, I could join her workshop during the Schmiede 2013 and applied her textile speaker to a lead of a plant. First experiment worked well with conductive thread, which kinda harmed the leaf structure. Therefore, we experimented with conductive ink, too. The result was much quiter noise.

Information and tutorials for building your own leaf speaker:
highlowtech.org/?p=1372
kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2936
kobakant.at/DIY/?p=3794
plusea.at/?p=4161
instructables.com/id/Embroidered-Fabric-Speaker/?ALLSTEPS

Happy tinkering!