Research Areas

Human-Computer Interaction

The goal of Human-Computer Interaction is to design products and spaces to support the way people communicate and interact in their everyday lives and working environments. At Fraunhofer AICOS, we specially address areas wherein current mainstream solutions do not serve the purpose yet, e.g., products for senior citizens. Within this particular scientific area, Fraunhofer AICOS focuses its research in the following topics:

 

User & Social Experience

User experience is about how the consumer feels about using a product in dimensions of affection, emotion or/and experience. Engagement with the product itself and the social setting where this product exists, as mediated by technology, involves a design challenge that is not pure design, nor single sociology and neither straight forward engineering. At Fraunhofer AICOS, we approach these challenges by combining different scientific areas interdisciplinary to generate meaningful experiences, which are fun and pleasurable on one side and aim to enhance sociability and quality-of-life on the other side.

 

Mobile & Future Devices

Nowadays, mobile phones are more prevalent than cars and credit cards and there is a whole new set of upcoming devices emerging every day. These ever-pervasive, natural and intuitive devices appear in a variety of settings, targeting a wide variety of users with diverse intentions constantly moving between different contexts and environments. Our goal is to explore these new devices and technologies in a way to improve the user experience. From the TV to smartphones, tablets and tabletops, our goal is to seemly blend them into peoples’ lives to an extent they become unnoticeable while being still quintessential.

 

Evaluation & Usability

Designing devices and user interfaces closely relates to the evaluation of the same. In fact, the evolution that takes place from the first prototype and idea to the final and commercialized product always includes a number of iterations, which should always occur as a result of evaluations. These evaluations, that should be as systematic as possible, can be done by experts or with final users, or in ideal conditions, with both. During these evaluation phases an internal tool named Fraunhofer Usage Mining (Fusami) is used, to record the user interaction and to analyze the gathered data using advanced statistical methods and visualize the results. In short, nothing justifies an untested product and we should always make sure that nothing is commercialized without being tested and iteratively redesigned first. At Fraunhofer AICOS, our researchers keep a close contact with the end-users, who we consult and work with on a regular basis in order to evaluate our designs. This is possible through a number of partnerships with end-user institutions.