Face of Dr. rer. nat. Simon Völker

Dr. rer. nat. Simon Völker

Deputy Head / Researcher

Room 2204
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Research Publications Teaching Projects


I am the deputy head (Akademischer Oberrat) of the Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen University. My work and research interests are in a wide range of topics within the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), including but not limited to ubiquitous computing, personal fabrication, touch input, interactive surfaces, and tangible user interfaces.

Before I started as a researcher, I received a Ph.D (2016) and a Diploma (2010) in computer science at RWTH Aachen University. 

For more details, take a look at my personal site: simonvoelker.net
I am also the coordinator of the board of examiners of the computer science department at RWTH Aachen University.
If you have any questions regarding the board of examiners please contact me via the online form of the computer science department.


Research Projects

CutCAD - An Open-Source Tool to Design 3D Objects in 2D:CutCAD is an application to design 3D objects from 2D faces. It automatically aligns sides ans computes finger joints to connect the faces of the structure, which can then be laser cut and assembled for rapid prototyping. (read more)
Paper at DIS 2018.

Use the Force Picker, Luke: Space-Efficient Value Input on Force-Sensitive Mobile Touchscreens: Value pickers on smartphone occupy significant gesture and display space. Instead, Force Picker allows for bidirectional force control to select values and requires no more space than the initial touch. (read more)
Paper at CHI 2018. Received Honorable Mention Award.

Tangible Awareness: How Tangibles on Tabletops Influence Awareness of Each Other’s Actions: Players are significantly more aware of other players’ actions using tangibles than those using pure multitouch interaction. (read more)
Paper at CHI 2018

Sketch&Stitch: Interactive Embroidery for E-Textiles: Sketch&Stitch is an interactive system for creating e-textiles quickly and iteratively. It enables a new design workflow that combines physical sketching with an embroidery machine, offering users the benefits of direct making and the power of digital tools. (read more)
Paper at CHI 2018

Release, Don't Wait! Reliable Force Input Confirmation with Quick Release: Modern smartphones, like iPhone 7, feature touchscreens with co-located force sensing. This makes touch input more expressive, e.g., by enabling single-finger continuous zooming when coupling zoom levels to force intensity. Often, however, the user wants to select and confirm a particular force value, say, to lock a certain zoom level. The most common confirmation techniques are Dwell Time (DT) and Quick Release (QR). While DT has shown to be reliable, it slows the interaction, as the user must typically wait for 1 s before her selection is confirmed. Conversely, QR is fast but reported to be less reliable, although no reference reports how to actually detect and implement it. In this paper, we set out to challenge the low reliability of QR (read more)
Note at ISS 2017

BackXPress: Using Back-of-Device Finger Pressure to Augment Touchscreen Input on Smartphones:BackXPress lets users create pressure input with six fingers at the back of landscape-held smartphones to augment their frontal touchscreen interaction. We present design guidelines derived from three studies. (read more)
FullPaper at CHI 2017

Knobology Revisited: A Comparison of User Performance between Tangible and Virtual Rotary Knobs: We present an experimental comparison of tangible rotary knobs and touch-based virtual knobs in three output conditions: eyes-on, eyes-free, and peripheral. Twenty participants completed a simple rotation task on a interactive surface with four different input techniques (two tangibles and two virtual touch widgets) in the three output conditions, re- presenting the distance from the locus of attention. We found that users were in average 20% faster using tangible knobs than using the virtual knobs. We found that tangible knobs retains performance even if they are not in the locus of attention of the users. We provide four recommendations of suitable choosing knobs based on tasks and design constraints. (read more)
Note at ITS 2015

PERCs: Persistently Trackable Tangibles on Capacitive Multi-Touch Displays: PERCs use the touch probing signal from capacitive touch screens to determine whether the tangibles are on- or off-screen. This allows robust capacitive tangible widgets regardless of being touched. (read more)
Paper and Demo at UIST 2015 and Demo at ITS 2015

Indirect Touch is a multitouch system in which users indirectly manipulate objects on the vertical screen by with touches on the horizontal screen. This interaction improves ergonomics of interactions over an extended period by reducing gorilla arm (vertical screen) and stiff neck (horizontal screen). (read more)
Full paper at CHI 2013

Transporter Widgets are touch and vision transitive tangibles for capacitive touch screens. (read more)
Work in Progress at CHI 2015

Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets (PUCs) are simple physical widgets the can be detected by an unmodified capacitive touch screen without being touched by a user. They can be used on most existing projected-capacitive displays. (read more)
Note and demo at ITS 2013 and demo at UIST 2013

BendDesk is an interactive desk environment that merges a vertical and a horizontal display with a curve. The entire surface is touch sensitive and supports direct manipulation of digital objects. (read more)
Full paper and demo at ITS 2010.

Dynamic Portals is a light-weight touch-based technique that allows to transfer virtual objects to distant locations on an interactive tabletop. (read more)
Note at ITS 2011. Received Best Note Award.

FingerFlux is a haptic output technique that provides near-surface haptic feedback on interactive tabletops. It combines an electromagnetic display with a permanent magnet attached to the user's index finger. (read more)
Paper and demo at UIST 2011.



Teaching

SemesterCourse
SS 2018 PDUI Seminar
Lecturer with lectureship
WS 2017/18 iOS Application Development
Lecturer with lectureship
WS 2017/18 Proseminar: Human-Computer Interaction
Seminar organizer
SS 2017 Mulit Media Madness Project
Lab organizer, with Christian Cherek and Jan Thar
WS 2016/17 PDUI Seminar
Lecture TA
WS 2015/16 The Media Computing Project
Lab organizer with Christian Cherek
SS 2015 PDUI Seminar
Lecture TA
WS 2014/15 iPhone Programming
Lecture TA
SS 2014 PDUI Seminar
Lecture TA
WS 2013/2014 Programmierung für Alle (Java)
Lecture TA
SS 2013 Mulit Media Madness Project
Lab tutor, with René Bohne
WS 2012/13 Designing Interactive Systems I
Lecture TA and Lab tutor, with Christian Corsten and Chat Wacharamanotham
SS 2012 Mulit Media Madness Project
Lab tutor, with Jan-Peter Krämer and René Bohne
WS 2011/12 Designing Interactive Systems I
Lecture TA and Lab tutor, with Chat Wacharamanotham


Projects

FAB101 FLApp 3D-Kompetenzzentrum Niederrhein Personal Photonics Tabula Abend der offenen Tür / Open House Night until 2008
MACS: Maritime Control Systems of the Future until 2015

Publications

An arrow marks a major peer-reviewed archival publication.

    2019

  • Christian Cherek, David Asselborn, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Off-Surface Tangibles: Exploring the Design Space of Midair Tangible Interaction.  In to appear: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Krishna Subramanian, Ilya Zubarev, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Supporting Data Workers to Perform Exploratory Programming.  In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA '19, pages 6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Anke Brocker, Simon Voelker, Tony Zelun Zhang, Mathis Müller and Jan Borchers. Flowboard: A Visual Flow-Based Programming Environment for Embedded Coding.  In to appear: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker, Jürgen Steimle and Jan Borchers. Demonstration of Springlets: Expressive, Flexible and Silent On-Skin Tactile Interfaces.  In to appear: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker, Jürgen Steimle and Jan Borchers. Springlets: Expressive, Flexible and Silent On-Skin Tactile Interfaces.  In to appear: Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Philipp Wacker, Oliver Nowak, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. ARPen: Mid-Air Object Manipulation Techniques for a Bimanual AR System with Pen & Smartphone.  In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, pages 619:1–619:10, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Christian Corsten, Marcel Lahaye, Jan Borchers and Simon Voelker. ForceRay: Extending Thumb Reach via Force Input Stabilizes Device Grip for Mobile Touch Input.  In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '19, pages 212:1–212:10, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2019.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2018

  • Philipp Wacker, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Physical Guides: An Analysis of 3D Sketching Performance on Physical Objects in Augmented Reality.  In Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI '18, pages 10, ACM, New York, NY, USA, October 2018.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Christian Cherek, Anke Brocker, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Tangible Awareness: How Tangibles on Tabletops Influence Awareness of Each Other’s Actions.  In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '18, pages 298:1–298:7, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2018.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Florian Heller, Jan Thar, Dennis Lewandowski, Mirko Hartmann, Pierre Schoonbrood, Sophy Stoenner, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. CutCAD - An Open-source Tool to Design 3D Objects in 2D.  In DIS '18: Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS '18, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2018.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Sketch&Stitch: Interactive Embroidery for E-Textiles.  In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '18, pages 82:1–82:13, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2018.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Christian Corsten, Simon Voelker, Andreas Link and Jan Borchers. Use the Force Picker, Luke: Space-Efficient Value Input on Force-Sensitive Mobile Touchscreens.  In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '18, pages 661:1–661:12, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2018.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Philipp Wacker, Adrian Wagner, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Physical Guides: An Analysis of 3D Sketching Performance on Physical Objects in Augmented Reality.  In Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA '18, pages LBW626:1–LBW626:6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2018.
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  • Krishna Subramanian, Johannes Maas, Michael Ellers, Chat Wacharamanotham, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. StatWire: Visual Flow-based Statistical Programming.  In Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA '18, pages LBW104:1–LBW104:6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2018.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2017

  • Christian Corsten, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Release, Don’t Wait! Reliable Force Input Confirmation with Quick Release.  In Proceedings of the 2017 ISS Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces, ISS '17, pages 246–251, ACM, New York, NY, USA, Oct 2017.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Christian Corsten, Bjoern Daehlmann, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. BackXPress: Using Back-of-Device Finger Pressure to Augment Touchscreen Input on Smartphones.  In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '17, pages 4654–4666, ACM, New York, NY, USA, May 2017.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2016

  • Simon Voelker. Towards Interactive Desk Workspaces. PhD Thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, September 2016.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2015

  • Christian Cherek, Simon Voelker, Jan Thar, Rene Linden, Florian Busch and Jan Borchers. PERCs Demo: Persistently Trackable Tangibles on Capacitive Multi-Touch Displays.  In Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 389–392, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2015.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Simon Voelker, Kjell Ivar Øvergård, Chat Wacharamanotham and Jan Borchers. Knobology Revisited: A Comparison of User Performance between Tangible and Virtual Rotary Knobs.  In ITS '15: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 35–38, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2015.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Simon Voelker, Christian Cherek, Jan Thar, Thorsten Karrer, Christian Thoresen, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. PERCs: Persistently Trackable Tangibles on Capacitive Multi-Touch Displays.  In UIST '15: Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, UIST '15, pages 6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2015.
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  • Simon Voelker, Andrii Matviienko, Johannes Schöning and Jan Borchers. Combining Direct and Indirect Touch Input for Interactive Desktop Workspaces using Gaze Input.  In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI '15, pages 10, ACM, New York, NY, USA, August 2015.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Florian Heller, Simon Voelker, Chat Wacharamanotham and Jan Borchers. Transporters: Vision & Touch Transitive Widgets for Capacitive Screens.  In CHI '15: Extended Abstracts of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pages 1603–1608,April 2015.
    HomepagePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2014

  • Simon Voelker, Christian Corsten, Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. An Interaction Model for Grasp-Aware Tangibles on Interactive Surfaces.  In ITS '14: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 279–282, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2014.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Simon Voelker, Christian Corsten, Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. An Interaction Model for Touch-Aware Tangibles on Interactive Surfaces.  In CHI '14: Extended Abstracts of the 2014 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems,April 2014.
    BibTeX Entry
  • Kosuke Nakajima, Yuichi Itoh, Simon Voelker, Christian Thoresen, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. PUCs: Detecting Transparent, Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets on Unmodified Multi-touch Displays.  In Proc. IPSJ Interaction '14: Proceedings of the Conference on Information Processing Society of Japan, pages 108–113, Information Processing Society of Japan, 2014.
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  • Jan Borchers, Christian Corsten, Max Möllers and Simon Voelker. Von der Fläche zur Kurve: Multi-Touch auf beliebigen Oberflächen und Objekten.  In Multi-Touch: Interaktion durch Berührung, Xpert.press, pages 369–392, Springer Verlag,  Incollection, February 2014.
    BibTeX Entry
  • 2013

  • Simon Voelker, Kosuke Nakajima, Christian Thoresen, Yuichi Itoh, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. PUCs Demo: Detecting Transparent, Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets on Unmodified Multi-touch Displays.  In UIST EA '13: Extended Abstracts of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 1–2, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2013.
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  • Simon Voelker, Kosuke Nakajima, Christian Thoresen, Yuichi Itoh, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. PUCs Demo: Detecting Transparent, Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets.  In ITS EA '13: Extended Abstracts of the ITS '13: Proceedings of the 2013 ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 325–328, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2013.
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  • Simon Voelker, Kosuke Nakajima, Christian Thoresen, Yuichi Itoh, Kjell Ivar Øvergård and Jan Borchers. PUCs: Detecting Transparent, Passive Untouched Capacitive Widgets on Unmodified Multi-touch Displays.  In ITS '13: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 101–104, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2013.
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  • Fabian Hennecke, Simon Voelker, Maximilian Schenk, Hauke Schaper, Jan Borchers and Andreas Butz. Simplifying Remote Collaboration Through Spatial Mirroring.  In INTERACT '13: Proceedings of the 14th IFIP TC13 Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, INTERACT '13, pages 624-631, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
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  • Nur Al-huda Hamdan, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. Conceptual Framework for Surface Manager on Interactive Tabletops.  In CHI '13 EA: Extended Abstracts of 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing, pages 1527–1532, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2013.
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  • Simon Voelker, Chat Wacharamanotham and Jan Borchers. An Evaluation of State Switching Methods for Indirect Touch Systems.  In CHI '13: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pages 745–754, ACM, New York, NY, USA, April 2013.
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  • Fabian Hennecke, Simon Voelker, Maximilian Schenk, Hauke Schaper, Jan Borchers and Andreas Butz. PerspectiveTable: Blending Physical and Virtual Collaborative Workspaces.  In Workshop on Blending Interaction, Workshop Paper, Paris, France, April 2013.
    HomepageBibTeX Entry
  • 2012

  • Simon Voelker, Christine Sutter, Lei Wang and Jan Borchers. Understanding Flicking on Curved Surfaces.  In CHI '12: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI '12, pages 189–198, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2012.
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  • 2011

  • Simon Voelker, Malte Weiss, Chat Wacharamanotham and Jan Borchers. Dynamic Portals: A Lightweight Metaphor for Fast Object Transfer on Interactive Surfaces.  In ITS '11: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 158–161, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 2011.
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  • Malte Weiss, Chat Wacharamanotham, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. FingerFlux: Near-surface Haptic Feedback on Tabletops.  In UIST '11: Proceedings of the 24th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology, pages 615–620, ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, 2011.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2010

  • Malte Weiss, Simon Voelker, Christine Sutter and Jan Borchers. BendDesk: Dragging Across the Curve.  In ITS '10: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 1–10, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2010.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Malte Weiss, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. The BendDesk Demo - Multi-touch on a Curved Display.  In ITS '10: Adjunct Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, pages 317, ACM, New York, NY, USA, November 2010.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Simon Voelker. BendDesk: Seamless Integration of Horizontal and Vertical Multi-Touch Surfaces in Desk Environments. Diplomarbeit, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Jun 2010.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2009

  • Malte Weiss, Simon Voelker and Jan Borchers. BendDesk: Seamless Integration of Horizontal and Vertical Multi-Touch Surfaces in Desk Environments.  In Adjunct Proceedings ITS ’09. ACM, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2009.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry

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