|Phone:||+32 2 629 12 39|
|Fax:||+32 2 629 35 25|
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Dept. of Computer Science
1050 Brussels (Belgium)
Office: PL9.3.43 (Pleinlaan 9)
Beat Signer is Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium and director of the Web & Information System Engineering (WISE) laboratory. With his team (see Supervised Researchers on the right) he is investigating cross-media information spaces and architectures (CISA) and their use in information science, interactive paper, dynamic data physicalisation and tangible holograms, augmented reality as well as multimodal and multi-touch interaction frameworks. Thereby, they are developing innovative ways of representing and linking pieces of information across digital and physical information spaces based on the resource-selector-link (RSL) hypermedia metamodel . In addition to the representation, linking and storage of information, on the data level, Beat's team deals with the context-sensitive adaptation and cross-media transclusion of content. On the visualisation and navigation level they, for example, develop zoomable user interfaces, while multimodal cross-media interfaces are investigated on the human-information interaction level. Beat's work on CISA is situated at the intersection of these three domains as illustrated in Figure 1 with links to the relevant publications. His research team is interested in new cross-media document formats as well as innovative forms of human-information interaction that go beyond the classical WIMP metaphor and have improved various forms of human-information interaction . Beat has a strong expertise in cross-media solutions that bridge the gap between paper documents and digital services or media types [1,3,4,5,6,12,17,18,25,26,27,29,30,31] and was leading the development of various frameworks for multimodal and multi-touch interaction (Mudra) , gesture-based user interfaces (iGesture) , context-aware computing (CMT)  as well as tangible and augmented reality [15,28,31,32].
Beat has more than 20 years of experience in research on cross-media information management and multimodal interfaces . As part of his PhD thesis, he investigated fundamental concepts for interactive paper and cross-media information spaces and developed the resource-selector-link (RSL) hypermedia metamodel  which drives much of his ongoing research. With the interactive paper platform (iPaper) , he strongly contributed to the interdisciplinary European Paper++ and PaperWorks research projects and his seminal research on paper-digital user interfaces led to innovative cross-media publishing solutions and novel forms of paper-based human computer interaction, including PaperPoint, EdFest, Generosa Enterprise, the Lost Cosmonaut, Print-n-Link or PaperProof. Some of these applications were developed in collaboration with international publishers including Dorling Kindersley, Pearson Education, the Natural History Museum as well as the BBC.
With his team, Beat is currently researching information concepts for the representation of open and fluid cross-media information spaces where parts of documents can easily move between different mobile devices  and different heterogeneous data sources can be integrated via cross-device user interfaces as illustrated in Figure 2. Their data-centric approach leads to new possibilities for interactive visualisations  and data-driven storytelling . In addition to models and cross-media document formats for the flexible representation of heterogeneous distributed and decentralised media and information, Beat's team is interested in next generation user interfaces [8,14,24] for these cross-media information spaces. Thereby, their focus is on the development of software frameworks and toolkits, such as iGesture , Mudra , the Context Modelling Toolkit (CMT)  or MindXpres , that support the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community as well as information scientists in the rapid prototyping and investigation of innovative user interfaces, cross-media interactions and applications.
More recently, Beat and his team are investigating the potential of post-WIMP user interfaces for improving data exploration and the interaction with large datasets (Big Data) in particular. Thereby, they have an interest in tangible interfaces given that they support the collaborative exploration of datasets as illustrated in ArtVis . While tangible interfaces are nowadays mainly used as input devices, Beat's team is interested in data physicalisation. Therefore, in their Tangible Holograms (TangHo) project  they are currently developing a prototype for physically augmented digital objects (Tangible Holograms) based on the Microsoft HoloLens and a custom-built wearable device for tactile feedback (see Figure 3) in order to explore Ishii et al.'s vision on radical atoms and programmable matter. In the future, they plan to put a major effort into the investigation of these new forms of collaborative user interfaces for big data exploration and develop a framework for dynamic data physicalisation , where properties of the physical representation, such as the temperature, might provide information about additional dimensions of the underlying digital dataset. They further plan to investigate how the rich underlying cross-media data representation can enable new forms of data exploration and analysis, and empower domain experts to easily explore these data sources.
In their work on personal cross-media information management , Beat's team further tracks user interactions with digital as well as physical resources and uses the collected metadata to offer new user interfaces for searching and re-finding tasks of knowledge workers . In their more recent work on user-defined implicit human-computer interaction across smart environments, they are addressing a number of research questions in the content of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Web of Things (WoT). In the Internet of Things we are currently facing the problem of so-called independent "vertical silos" or isolated IoT solutions. As part of their research Beat is therefore investigating how to offer semantic interoperability of smart behaviour across different IoT platforms and the corresponding environments via a rule-engine based middleware solution.
Beat has been local organiser of the CAiSE 2001 conference, co-organiser of the EGMI 2014 workshop, proceedings editor of the EGMI 2014, CoPADD 2006 and CoPADD 2007 workshops and he is a member of the ACM and IEEE association.
Keywords: cross-media information spaces and architectures (CISA), cross-media technology, interactive paper, personal information management, human-information interaction, data physicalisation and tangible holograms, web information systems, internet of things and web of things, innovative presentation solutions (MindXpres), multimodal and multi-touch interaction, document engineering, ubiquitous and tangible computing.
Fundamental Concepts for Interactive Paper and Cross-Media Information Spaces
|While there have been dramatic increases in the use of digital technologies for information storage, processing and delivery over the last twenty years, the affordances of paper have ensured its retention as a key information medium. In this book we review a wide variety of projects and technological developments for bridging the paper-digital divide. We present our information-centric approach for a tight integration of paper and digital information that builds on a general cross-media information platform. Different innovative augmented paper applications that have been developed based on our interactive paper platform and Anoto Digital Pen and Paper technology are introduced. For example, these applications include a mobile interactive paper-based tourist information system (EdFest) and a paper-digital presentation tool (PaperPoint). Challenges and solutions for new forms of interactive paper and cross-media publishing are discussed. The book is targeted at developers and researchers in information systems, hypermedia and human computer interaction, professionals from the printing and publishing industry as well as readers with a general interest in the future of paper.|
|List Price: €34.90|
|Hardcover: 276 pages|
|Date of publication: August 2017 (second edition)|
|Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches, 22 x 15.5 x 2.2 cm|
Beat Signer studied Computer Science at ETH Zurich and did his Diploma Thesis (M.Sc.) in the Global Information Systems group. In his diploma project, he developed an object-oriented GUI for the object model multi-user extended file system (GOMES). A remote object mechanism was designed based on XML-RPC and employed in order to communicate in a machine and programming language independent manner allowing the Java-based GOMES application to use the whole functionality of the extended file system implemented in Oberon. He finished his PhD thesis on fundamental concepts for interactive paper and cross-media information spaces in August 2005.
During his spare time, Beat likes to travel and explore the world as a passionate wildlife and landscape photographer.