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Courses > Embedded(Ubicomp) 2007S

Embedded Middleware (for ubiquitous computing and smart everyday objects)

Spring Semester, 2007
Computer Science and Information Engineering Department  (資訊工程學系與研究所)
Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia (資訊網路與多媒體研究所)
National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學)
Class Time: Monday 2:20 ~ 5:10
Room: switch to CSIE 310

Course Description:

This seminar-style course will teach how to use embedded middleware technology for creating ubiquitous computing applications and systems. Specifically, this seminar course will focus on smart everyday objects, which are traditional everyday objects (such as tables, chairs, lamps, cups, books, papers, sofas, picture frames, etc.) augmented with embedded digital technology to bring a new computing experience with users, i.e., the "UBICOMP Experience" of natural interaction with invisible and calm computing. This seminar course will cover two parts: (1) embedded middleware programming and (2) ubiquitous computing.


  • "Love" to verbally communicate your ideas
  • Some programming experiences (design and HW experience are plus but not necessary)
  • Passion and creativity

Teaching Staff and Office Hours:

  • Instructor: Hao-hua Chu (朱浩華), Room 518, email: hchu (at)
  • Teaching Assistant: Peggy Chi, Room 336/338, email: xpeggy (at)

Student Projects

ChroMirror ChroMirror:: by Chueh-min Cheng & Meng-fang Chung (in collaboration with Ming-yang Yu, Ming Ouhyoung, Yung-yu Chuang)

The ChroMirror system is a digital mirror that reflects real-time images of people with the colors of their clothes digitally adjusted for better harmony of clothing color. The goal is to provide people with “see-it-for-yourself” recommendation of harmonic clothing color, i.e., giving people mirror-like look and feel of their clothes with different matching color combinations. 

video (57 MB)



Eye:: by David Chawei Hsu and Li-lu Chen

After working for an extended amount of time in an enclosed space, people (such as office workers) often slowly build up a need to find momentary relieves or surprises by opening windows to see, hear, or reconnect with the outside spaces. Imagine during a break between intensive work periods, people open their office windows to find and see beautiful Hawaiian sunset that can momentarily discharging them from work pressure. EyE combines a real window frame, a digital display, and other outputs to create relaxing or surprising window-opening experiences to these office workers as if they are just a window away from these scenic places.

video (39 MB)


Smart poster:: by Pei-yao Hung

This is a smart poster to persuade young children to put things back to where they belong after they are done using them. This poster shows a virtual world which can be affected by the child's tidiness behavior in the physical world. When a child does not put things back and create a mess in his physical space, this untidy behavior is mapped to and reflected in the virtual world, shown in the smart poster, trash on the ground and unhappy animals.

video (110 MB)

Course Schedule

Lecture Topics Readings Weekly Questions
2/26 Introduction (ppt)  
3/5 Reading List    
3/12 Ubicomp Vision

- Mark Weiser. The computer for the 21th century, Scientific American. September 1991. (pdf)

- Mark Weiser. Some computer science issues in ubiquitous computing. Communications of the ACM, 36(7):75-85, July 1993. (pdf)

- Mark Weiser, John S. Brown. The coming age of calm technology. 1996. (pdf)

- Hiroshi Ishii. Bottles: A transparent interface as a tribute to Mark Weiser. in IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, Vol. E87-D, No. 6, pp. 1299-1311, June 2004. (pdf)

Questions for the week (txt)

3/19 Ubicomp Criticized

- (criticism #1) Yvonne Rogers. Moving on from Weiser's Vision of Calm Computing: Engaging UbiComp Experiences. ACM UBICOMP 2006. (pdf)

- (criticism #2) Kasim Rehman, Frank Stejano, George Coulouris. Visually interactive location-aware computing. ACM UBICOMP 2006. (pdf)

- (criticism #3) Donald Norman. Three Challenges for Design. Interaction, 2007. (pdf)

- (Overview) Jurgen Bohn, Vlad Coroama, Marc Langheinrich, Friedemann Mattern, Michael Robs. Living in a world of smart everyday objects - social, economic, and ethical implications. Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 2004. (pdf)

- Optional (Survey) G. Chen, D. Kotz. A survey of context-aware mobile computing research*, Technical Report TR2000-381, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, November 2000. (pdf)

- Optional (Smart cup) H. Gellersen, M. Beigl, H. Krull. The Mediacup: awareness technology embedded in an everyday object. HUC 1999. (pdf)


Questions for the week (txt)

3/26 Smart everyday objects I

- (Definition) Ted Selker, W. Burleson. Context-aware design and interaction in computer systems. IBM Systems Journal, 2000. (pdf)

- J. Scheirer, R.W. Picard. Affective objects. MIT Media Lab, March 2000. (pdf)

- Keng-hao Chang, Shih-yen Liu, Hao-hua Chu, Jane Hsu, Cheryl Chen, Tung-yun Lin, Chieh-yu Chen, Polly Huang. Diet-aware dining table: observing dietary behaviors over tabletop surface. Pervasive 2006. (pdf)

4/2 Smart everyday objects II

- John S. Gero, Udo Kannengiesser. The situated function–behaviour–structure framework. AI in Design, 2002. (pdf)

- (Digital-physical relationship) Pei-yu Chi, Jen-hao Chen, Shih-yen Liu, Hao-hua Chu. Designing smart living objects - enhancing vs. distracting traditional human-object interactions. HCII 2007. (pdf)



Project idea presentation

Questions for the week (txt)

4/9 Ubicomp extensions

- E. D. Mynatt, J. Rowan. A. Jacobs. A., S. Craighill. Digital family portraits: supporting peace of mind for extended family members. ACM CHI 2001. (pdf)

- David Tennenhouse. Proactive computing. CACM May 2000. (pdf)

- (Ambient intelligence) Password, Philips Research technology magazine, May 2005. (pdf)



Project idea presentation

Questions for the week (txt)

4/16 Tangible interaction

- C. Wisneski, H. Ishii, A. Dahley, M. Gorbet, S. Brave, B. Ullmer, P. Yarin. Ambient displays: turning architectual space into an interface between people and digital information. in Proceedings of International Workshop on Cooperative Buildings CoBuild, 1998. (pdf

- Hiroshi Ishii, Brygg Ullmer. Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms. ACM CHI 1997. (pdf)

- The tangible UI talk from Hiroshi Ishii (MIT Media Lab) at NUS


Questions for the week (txt)
4/23 Tangbile interaction and beyond

- Lars Hallnas, Johan Redstrom. Slow technology: designing for reflection. PUC 2001. (pdf)

- Hayes Solos Raffle, Amanda J. Parkes, Hiroshi Ishii. Topobo: A Constructive Assembly System with Kinetic Memory. ACM CHI 2004. (pdf

- (I/O Brush) K. Ryokai, S. Marti, H. Ishii. designing the world as your palette. ACM CHI 2005. (pdf)


Questions for the week (txt)
4/30 No class



5/7 Embedded middleware

- S. Greenberg, C. Fitcheett. Phidgets: easy development of physical interfaces through physical widgets. ACM UIST 2001. (pdf)

- Amanda Williams, Eric Kabisch, Paul Dourish. From Interaction to participation: configuring space through embodied interaction. ACM UBICOMP 2005. (pdf)


Questions for the week (txt


Project plan presentation

5/14 Persuasive objects I

- (Intro) Phillip King, Jason Tester. The landscape of persuasive technologies. CACM, May 1999. (pdf)

- Garrry Martin, Joseph Pear. Behavior modification - what it is and how to do it. 7th Edition, Prentice hall, 2002. (first 4 chapters)

- Tung-yun Lin's master thesis on playful tray


5/21 Persuasive objects II

- (Intro) Sylvia Rodger, Jenny Ziviani. Play-based occupational therapy. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 1999. (pdf)

- (ViTo) Jason Nawyn, Stephen S. Intille, Kent Larson. Embedding behavior modification strategies into a consumer electronic device: a case study. ACM Ubicomp 2006. (pdf)

- (Persuasive Mirror) Ana Andres del Valle, Agata Opalach. The persuasive mirror: computerized persuasion for healthy living. Human Computer Interaction International, HCI International, July 2005, Las Vegas, (pdf)

Optional: (Toothtunes) Hasbro. toothtunes (url)


5/28 Persuasive objects III

- (CarCoach) Ernesto Arroyo, Shawn Sullivan, Ted Selker. CarCoach: a polite and effective driving coach. ACM CHI 2006. (pdf)

- (FishNSteps) James Lin, Lena Mamykina, Silvia Lindtner, Gregory Delajoux, Henry Strub. Fish'n'Steps: encouraging physical activity with an interactive computer game. ACM Ubicomp 2006. (pdf)

- (Live-in Lab) S. S. Intille, K. Larson, E. Munguia Tapia, J. Beaudin, P. Kaushik, J. Nawyn, R. Rockinson. Using a live-in laboratory for ubiquitous computing research. Pervasive 2006. (pdf) Video (pdf)


6/4 Intimate objects

- (Intro) Joseph Kaye, Liz Goulding. Intimate Objects. ACM DIS 2004. (pdf)

- (Lover's cups) Hyemin Chung, Chia-Hsun Jackie Lee, Ted Selker. Lover’s cups: drinking interfaces as new communication channels. ACM CHI 2006. (pdf)

- (ComSlipper) Chun-Yi Chen, Jodi Forlizzi, Pamela Jennings. ComSlipper: an expressive design to support awareness and availability. ACM CHI 2006. (pdf)

- (KU) Urico Fujii, Ann Poochareon. KU: iyashikei-net, ACM UBICOMP 2004. (pdf)

- (Smart portrait) Ortiz Zuckerman. Interactive portraiture: designing intimate interactive experiences. Master Thesis, MITmedia lab, 2005. (pdf)


Project progress
6/11 What's coming?

- William W. Gaver, Jake Beaver, and Steve Benford. Ambiguity as a resource for design, ACM CHI 2003. (pdf)

- (Smart tablecloth) W. Gaver, J. Bowers, A. Boucher, A. Law, S. Pennington, and N. Villar. The history tablecloth: illuminating domestic activity. ACM DIS 2006. (pdf)

- Eric Paulos, Chris Beckmann. Sashay: Designing for Wonderment. ACM CHI 2006. (pdf)

- Claudio Pinhanez, Mark Podlaseck. To Frame or Not to Frame: The Role and Design of Frameless Displays in Ubiquitous Computing Applications. ACM UBICOMP 2005. (pdf)

 - Optional (Hyperdragging) J. Rekimoto, M. Saitoh. Augmented Surfaces: A Spatially Continuous Work Space for Hybrid Computing Environments. ACM CHI 1999. (pdf)




Project demonstration


Project video submission


  • Class discussion (30%)
  • Final Project (70%)


  • 3/5/2007: course website is up and running.