July 2013 Workshop on user interface development

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1.5-day face-to-face meeting in Stuttgart, hosted by Media University Stuttgart (HdM).

Location: Media University (side building), Nobelstr. 5, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany. Date: Mon July 1, 3pm until Tue July 2, 5pm


  • Andrej Grguric (Ericsson, project universAAL)
  • Christopher Mayer, Miroslav Sili (AIT, projects AALuis & ibi)
  • Christophe Strobbe, Alexander Henka, Andy Stiegler, Gottfried Zimmermann (HdM, projects Cloud4all, openURC)
  • Maurice Rekrut, Jochen Britz, Jan Alexandersson (DFKI, projects SUCH, mobia)
  • Kai Kreuzer, Thomas Eichstädt-Engelen (project OpenHAB) - by Google Hangout

Workshop Goals

  • To see how universAAL, GPII/Cloud4all and AALuis can benefit from each other and to define first action points to do so
  • Identify resources (tools, technologies, …) that could be reused in other projects
  • Satisfy our funding agencies

Target audience

  • User interface developers / technical partners of relevant projects in AAL
  • Not for general public, but public report would be good


Before the workshop: Distribute some general slides on the project’s technologies upfront

Monday, 3pm-7pm

  1. Introduction (Gottfried)
  2. Overview of technologies - short introductions, each <= 30min
  3. Remote presentation by OpenHAB (Google Hangout at 5pm)
    • openHAB: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-J9yOhe1sAdTlZURXliQ2hPVG8
      • openHAB Event Bus & binding to real hardware (e.g. KNX, RS-232, Bluetooth, MPD)
      • openHAB Item Registry
      • Automation Rules
      • User Interface
      • openHAB Consoles
      • DSL for persistence, connecting to databases
      • openHAB Designer:
        • Definition of items, item groups, active groups, icons, binding to hardware
        • Sitemap: Design of a user interface
        • Rules editor, using Xtext and Xtend project syntax, http://www.eclipse.org/Xtext/
      • REST-API to openHAB gateway
      • jetty as web server
      • Java API "Item Provider"
      • Quality assurance on open-source project releases
      • GPL, but may be EPL in future

Evening: Dinner at Römerhof

Tuesday, 9am-5pm (with lunch break)

Development of user interfaces: Show the development process and tools used in each project

  1. Overview of technologies (cont'd)
  2. Focus on backend
    • universAAL
    • URC+Cloudall
      • Resource Server
    • AALuis
  3. Focus on frontend
    • AALuis
    • URC+Cloud4all
      • UI Socket Builder
      • Webclient + URC-HTTP 
      • UI Options Panel + GPII Preference Set
    • universAAL
  4. Discussions: Identify potential items to be reused (tools or other resources) and opportunities for interoperability
  5. Other areas of interest (if time allows)
    • UsiXML
    • AALOA
  6. Next steps

Lunch break: STEP cafeteria

Discussion & Results

Candidates for re-use Benefits Constraints Actions?
GPII Preference Set & UI Options Panel (ISO/IEC 24751 future release)
  • Common format for persistent user preferences
  • Preferences need to get registered (defined) on GPII registry. 
  • Use preferences server or local storage for user profile.
  • Registry currently very sparse.
  • Gottfried: Invite workshop participants to 24751 editors call.
AALuis preference description
  • Currently based on VUMS cluster preference notion (ICF)
  • GPII: Create preference sets for personas (for initial setup)?
AALuis Multi-Modality (user interface generation)
  • User interface built at runtime based on actual context
  • Service provider must provide all necessary resources for user interface generation (e.g. sign language videos)

AALuis Service Binding & Task Description - ConcurTaskTree  (CTT)
  • Basis for user interface generation to cater for a broad range of users - get away from "one size fits all"
  • Ensure that all UI platforms have access to all services (e.g. every TV model can receive all TV channels)
  • Nice CTT editor with runtime simulation
  • Service providers must be familiar with task models
  • We need a mechanism for each UI platform to derive a user interface from  a given task model
  • Survey on service providers and their acceptance of task models?
  • Build a design tool that semi-automatically derives a task model from a more concrete user interface
  • Investigate if a URC socket can be derived from a task model
SUCH role concept
  • Make some tasks/actions available to selected users only
  • Users need to have a role assigned

universAAL AAL Studio (Eclipse-Plugin)
  • Integrated tool in Eclipse
  • Service-provided communication with user interface layer in an abstract way - just one abstract user interface needed
  • UML support
  • Runs on OSGi platform
  • UI Bus with pre-defined set of abstract controls

universAAL preferences & editor
  • Set of user preferences

  • GPII: Look at preference set
  • universAAL: Look at GPII preference set
openURC Resource Server
  • Market place for any digital resource
  • Makes user interfaces extensible by third parties
  • Commercialization of user interface resources
  • Openness of user interfaces wrt third parties
  • New project of a joint versatile secure resource server?
openURC UCH (discovery mechanism via UPnP RUI)
  • Making multiple user interfaces and protocols available for one service, dynamically at runtime
  • Discoverable on clients via Bonjour and UPnP discovery
  • Gateway approach
  • "Resource server" needed
  • New project for a revised UCH spec?
openHAB Event Bus & binding to real hardware & Java API to Item Provider

openHAB automation rules & designer (editor)

openHAB user interface description language & designer (editor)


  • Describe existing technologies in a systematic way (e.g. design time vs. runtime adaptation, adaptive vs. adaptable) and write a paper on it.  
    • Content: Intro to adaptation approaches, describe current architectures and platforms, compare platforms on the basis of some selected features, map of existing components and features, outlook toward a converging platform with reusable components.
    • Main author: Christopher Mayer.
    • Maybe submit to Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments.  JAISE, http://www.iospress.nl/journal/journal-of-ambient-intelligence-and-smart-environments/
    • And maybe to AAL conference in Jan.
  • GPII, universAAL & AALuis: Converge towards a common set of user interface preferences. AccessForAll registry?



For hotels elsewhere in Stuttgart, check if they are near the S-Bahn lines S1, S2 or S3.