I am a researcher in the Sensors & Devices Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge and a Morgan Fellow at Downing College . My research focuses on embedded sensing systems for Ubiquitous Computing and Human-Computer Interaction. In particular, I investigate new ways of perceiving the environment with unobtrusive modalities like capacitive sensing. My scientific results are applied in several commercial and open-source projects in the fields of natural interaction, activity and behaviour analysis. I obtained my PhD from TU Darmstadt, Germany, working at Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD .

  • New paper on energy-harvesting displays
    Our new paper on energy-harvesting displays was accepted at UIST'16 .
    4/16
  • New paper on passive electric field sensing
    I am happy that our new paper on indoor localization and identification using passive electric field sensing was accepted at MobiSys '16 .
    4/16
  • Ambient Intelligence Paper
    Originating from his Master's thesis, Florian Kirchbuchner's study on technology acceptance by senior citizens has now been published at AmI!
    11/15
  • Two new iWOAR papers
    I am very happy that two papers were accepted at iWOAR : One paper is about ultrasound sensing on mobile phones, the other one discusses wearable displays for traffic safety.
    6/15
  • New sensors for OpenCapSense
    Our new electric potential sensors based on Plessey Semiconductors ICs will be published soon on www.opencapsense.org . We are currently working on an indoor localization system using static electric field sensing.
    6/15
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Projects


Capacitive Near-Field Communication

Smart objects within instrumented environments offer an always available and intuitive way of interacting with a system. Connecting these objects to other objects in range, or even to smartphones and computers, enables substantially innovative interaction and sensing approaches. Capacitive Near-Field Communication enables ubiquitous interaction with everyday objects in a short-range spatial context. CapNFC is extremeley energy-saving compared to RF wireless communications while offering many exciting benefits in interaction design.

Rainbowfish: Visual Feedback on Gesture-Recognizing Surfaces

In recent years, gesture-based interaction methods are supported by a wide variety of devices, such as capacitive trackpads and capacitive 3D gesture recognition systems. When interacting with such proximity-sensing surfaces, users face the challenge that the supported gestures are not directly apparent. Rainbowfish tackles this problem by combining a semi-transparent capacitive proximity-sensing surface with an LED array. The LEDs are used to visually indicate possible gestural movements and provide feedback on the current interaction status.

OpenCapSense: Rapid Prototyping with Capacitive Sensors

OpenCapSense is a rapid prototyping system for designing and evaluating pervasive interaction systems based on capacitive proximity sensing. The platform was introduced in 2013 and employs state-of-the-art embedded processing capabilities with high extendability. The whole system is licensed as open-source (Hardware licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0, software licensed under GPL v3), allowing researchers to experiment with capacitive sensing applications. Using OpenCapSense, one can obtain a spatial resolution of less than 1 cm at object distances of 35 cm.

Wearables for Traffic Safety

Safety is a major concern for non-motorized traffic participants, such as cyclists, pedestrians or skaters. Due to their weak nature compared to cars, accidents often lead to serious implications. In this project, I investigate how additional protection can be achieved with wearable displays attached to a person's arm, leg or back. The device can recognize braking behaviour and turn gestures used to trigger custom visualizations on the display.

Wearables for Activity Recognition

Activity recognition with an accelerometer is a common investigated research topic and enables the detection of basic activities like sitting, walking or standing. Recent work in this area adds different sensing modalities to the inertial data to collect more information of the user's environment to boost activity recognition. Our work presents a sensor prototype consisting of an accelerometer and a capacitive proximity sensor that senses the user's activities based on the combined sensor values. The sensor is connected to a wearable Hedgehog activity sensor from Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Capacitive Sensing for Home & Industrial Automation

Capacitive sensors enable to unobtrusively sense humans in proximities up to 50 cm. However, this sensing modality has not yet pervaded the field of home automation. A PLC-compatible capacitive proximity sensor enables new interaction possibilities in automation appliances, such as in this beautiful art installation at San Francisco Airport realized by Rocket Science.

Capacitive Indoor Localization & Fall Detection

At Fraunhofer IGD I was responsible for the technical development of CapFloor - a commercial capacitive indoor localization system able to detect emergency situations, such as falls by the elderly. CapFloor comprises three main components: (1) a capacitive sensor array deployed near the walls, (2) a subcontroller for sensor data aggregation, and (3) a maincontroller for data analysis and home automation. CapFloor basically acts as a giant touchscreen underneath many types of floor surfaces, such as wood or carpets.

Selected Publications


2016

Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Hodges, S., Chen, N., Helmes, J., Taylor, S., Scott, J., Fromm, J., Sweeney, D.: Exploring the Design Space for Energy-Harvesting Situated Displays. In: 29th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST). ACM (Accepted for publication, 2016)

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Sweeney, D., Chen, N., Hodges, S., Grosse-Puppendahl, T.: Displays as a Material: A Route to Making Displays More Pervasive. In: IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 77-82, July-Sept. IEEE (2016)

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Dellangnol, X., Hatzfeld, C., Fu, B., Kupnik, M., Kuijper, A., Hastall, M., Scott, J., Gruteser, M.: Platypus - Indoor Localization and Identification through Sensing Electric Potential Changes in Human Bodies. In: 14th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications and Services (MobiSys). ACM (2016)

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2015

Kirchbuchner, F., Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Hastall, M., Distler, M., Kuijper, A.: Ambient Intelligence from Senior Citizens’ Perspectives: Understanding Privacy Concerns, Technology Acceptance, and Expectations. In: Ambient Intelligence. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer (2015)

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Fu, B., Karolus, J., Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Herrmann, J., Kuijper, A.: Opportunities for Activity Recognition using Ultrasound Doppler Sensing on Unmodified Mobile Phones. In: iWOAR 2015 – 2nd international Workshop on Sensor-based Activity Recognition and Interaction. ACM (2015)
Best Paper Award

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Bechtold, O., Strassel, L., Jakob, D., Braun, A., Kuijper, A.: Enhancing Traffic Safety with Wearable Low-Resolution Displays. In: iWOAR 2015 – 2nd international Workshop on Sensor-based Activity Recognition and Interaction. ACM (2015)

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T.: Capacitive Sensing and Communication for Ubiquitous Interaction and Environmental Perception. Dissertation. Technische Universität Darmstadt (2015)

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2014

Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Herber, S., Wimmer, R., Englert, F., Beck, S., Wichert, R., Kuijper, A.: Capacitive Near-Field Communication for Ubiquitous Interaction and Perception. In: 2014 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing – UbiComp. ACM (2014)
Best Paper Nominee

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Beck, S., Wilbers, D., Zeiss, S., von Wilmsdorff, J., Kuijper, A.: Ambient Gesture-Recognizing Surfaces with Visual Feedback. In: HCI International 2014 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer (2014)

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Beck, S., Wilbers, D.: Rainbowfish: Visual Feedback on Gesture-Recognizing Surfaces. In: CHI '14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM (2014)

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2013

Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Braun, A., Kamieth, F., Kuijper, A.: Swiss-cheese Extended: An Object Recognition Method for Ubiquitous Interfaces based on Capacitive Proximity Sensing. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM (2013)

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Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Berghoefer, Y., Braun, A., Wimmer, R., Kuijper, A.: OpenCapSense: A Rapid Prototyping Toolkit for Pervasive Interaction using Capacitive Sensing. In: IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications. IEEE (2013)

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2012

Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Berlin, E., Borazio, M.: Enhancing Accelerometer-based Activity Recognition with Capacitive Proximity Sensing. In: Ambient Intelligence. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 17-32. Springer (2012)

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2011

Grosse-Puppendahl, T., Marinc, A., Braun, A.: Classification of User Postures with Capacitive Proximity Sensors in AAL-Environments. In: Ambient Intelligence. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 7040, pp. 314-323. Springer (2011)

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Teaching


I had the pleasure to supervise the following students with their Bachelor and Master thesis.

2015

Xavier Dellangnol
Master Thesis (Electrical Engineering), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Indoor Localization based on Electric Potential Sensing

Julian von Wilmsdorff
Master Thesis (Information System Technology), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Electric Potential Sensing in Ubiquitous Computing

2014

Alexander Pavlov
Master Thesis (Electrical Engineering), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Ubiquitous Activity Recognition using Wireless Capacitive Sensing Nodes

Lukas Strassel
Bachelor Thesis (Computer Science), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Sensing Interactions on Body-worn Low-resolution LED-Displays

Oskar Bechtold
Bachelor Thesis (Computer Science), Technische Universität Darmstadt
An App-driven Interaction Concept for Body-worn Low-resolution LED-Displays

Florian Kirchbuchner
Master Thesis (Computer Science), Technische Universität Darmstadt
User Tracking and Behavior Analysis based on a Capacitive Indoor Localization System

Patrick Gottschämmer
Bachelor Thesis (Computer Science), Technische Universität Darmstadt
User Location Modelling based on Heterogeneous Data Sources

2013

Silvia Rus
Master Thesis (Electrical Engineering), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Recognition of Lying Postures using Capacitive Proximity Sensing

Sebastian Herber
Bachelor Thesis (Information System Technology), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Tangible Interaction using Capacitive Near-Field Communication

Sebastian Beck
Bachelor Thesis (Information System Technology), Technische Universität Darmstadt
A Gesture Recognition Device with Visual Feedback using Capacitive Proximity Sensing

Yannick Berghöfer
Master Thesis (Information System Technology), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Human-Machine-Interfaces in Automotive Environments using Capacitive Proximity Sensors

2012

Steeven Zeiss
Bachelor Thesis (Electrical Engineering), Technische Universität Darmstadt
Development of a Contactless Closing Mechanism for Automatic Doors

Contact


Tobias Grosse-Puppendahl
Microsoft Research
21 Station Road
Cambridge CB1 2FB
United Kingdom

tobias (at) grosse-puppendahl (dot) com