2012-2013 senior project ideas

Here is a list of senior project ideas I would be very interested in working on. I’m looking for teams or individuals from the ECE and CS departments.

  1. Augmented reality (AR) on the cheap. Work in our lab has shown that in-vehicle AR navigation aids can effectively guide drivers, that they do not distract, and that drivers like them [1] – see video below. However, they’re expensive to make. In this senior project students will build a device that will augment the speech output of a personal navigation device/app (e.g. Google Navigation) with LED displays indicating upcoming turns. The device will be tested in driving simulator experiments.

  2. Instrumented steering wheel. Today’s vehicles have myriad buttons, many on the steering wheel [2]. This project will build on our work with a push-to-talk glove [3, 4] to explore how drivers could interact with in-vehicle devices by tapping the steering wheel. Additionally, sensors on the steering wheel will produce feedback about the driver’s state (e.g. a stressed driver might squeeze the steering wheel much harder than a relaxed driver). Multiple driving simulator experiments will validate the design of the instrumented steering wheel.
  3. Video call. Work in our lab has shown that video calling can be a real distraction from driving [5] – see video below. This project will explore how different topics of conversation (e.g. playing word games vs. arguing), different relationships between conversants (e.g. friends vs. strangers), and different driving conditions (e.g. city vs. highway) influence driver’s ability to operate a simulated vehicle while video calling.
  4. Tangible user interfaces that support exploring large, time-sequence data sets. The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) is a web-based data visualization application. It visualizes geo-coded time series, without requiring users to know how to access specialized databases, or overlay data from these databases on virtual maps. ERMA was developed at UNH, under the guidance of the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC). Nancy Kinner is the co-director of the UNH Coastal Response Research Center. Building on Nancy’s experiences with ERMA, she and I are interested in exploring how a tangible user interfaces utilizing a multi-touch table could be used to access and manipulate geo-coded time series. In this project students will develop a user interface on a multi-touch table. The interface will allow a human operator to access remote databases, manipulate the data (e.g. by sending it to Matlab for processing) and display the results on a virtual map or a graph.
  5. Tangible user interfaces for children. How can we entertain and teach kids using technologies such as the Microsoft Surface and tangible interfaces? Students working on this project would seek opportunities to collaborate with other researchers on the UNH campus to further explore this question.
  6. Your ideas related to user interfaces in vehicles and on multi-touch tables. Do you have an idea you’d like to explore? Tell me more about it!
If this sounds interesting send me email and let’s talk.


[1] Zeljko Medenica, Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Oskar Palinko, “Augmented Reality vs. Street Views: A Driving Simulator Study Comparing Two Emerging Navigation Aids,” MobileHCI 2011

[2] Dagmar Kern, Albrecht Schmidt, “Design Space for Driver-based Automotive User Interfaces,” AutomotiveUI 2009

[3] Oskar Palinko, Andrew L. Kun, “Prototype Wireless Push-to-Talk Glove,” IET 2008

[4] Oskar Palinko, Andrew L. Kun, “Comparison of the Effects of Two Push-to-Talk Button Implementations on Driver Hand Position and Visual Attention,” Driving Assessment 2009

[5] Andrew L. Kun, Zeljko Medenica, “Video Call, or Not, that is the Question,” to appear in CHI ’12 Extended Abstracts