Robert Walter

HCI Researcher

I am researcher in Human-Computer Interaction. My interests are focused on whole body interaction with large interactive public displays, concentrating on immediate comprehension and usability. I am PhD candidate at the Quality and Usability Lab of Telekom Innovation Laboratories and Berlin Institute of Technology.


  • GelTouch


    Together with Viktor Miruchna, we synthesized an environmentally sensitive hydrogel (Smart Gel), which tactile properties can be controlled using heating. We use it to construct a tactile feedback layer for touch screens.

  • Glimpse


    In this work we use a head-mounted eye tracker to record visual behavior of 25 users interacting with a public display game that uses a silhouette user representation, mirroring the users' movements.

  • Tracs


    With David Lindlbauer, we constructed a see-through display with adjustable level of transparency to benefit from properties of both transparent and traditional non-transparent screens.

  • Squint


    Together with Viktor Miruchna, we explored 3D interaction in virtual reality and built an eyetracking-enabled head-mounted display.

  • Cuenesics


    We propose a design space for hand-gesture-based mid-air selection techniques on interactive public displays, along with four specific techniques that we evaluated.

  • MyPosition


    The project with Nina Valkanova allows for a great and novel way of urban participation: passers-by get the opportunity to place a vote on local topics by performing body gestures in front of a large public display installation.

  • StrikeAPose


    We investigate how to reveal an initial mid-air gesture on interactive public displays. This initial gesture can serve as gesture registration for advanced operations.

  • LookingGlass


    In this project with Jörg Müller we investigated how passers-by notice the interactivity of public displays. We designed an interactive installation that uses visual feedback to the incidental movements of passers-by to communicate its interactivity.

  • Kinect Finger Counting


    In this project with Gilles Bailly we present the adaptation of three menu techniques for free hand interaction: Linear menu, Marking menu and FingerCount menu.

Publications Extract

Viktor Miruchna, Robert Walter, David Lindlbauer, Maren Lehmann, Regine von Klitzing, Jörg Müller. (2015) GelTouch: Localized Tactile Feedback Through Thin, Programmable Gel. In Proceedings of 28th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’15)

Robert Walter, Andreas Bulling, David Lindlbauer, Jörg Müller. (2015) Analyzing Visual Attention During Whole Body Interaction with Public Displays. In Proceedings of 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp ’15)

Robert Walter, Gilles Bailly, Nina Valkanova, Jörg Müller. (2014) Cuenesics: Using Mid-Air Gestures to Select Items on Interactive Public Displays. In Proceedings of 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI ’14)

David Lindlbauer, Toru Aoki, Robert Walter, Yuji Uema, Anita Höchtl, Michael Haller, Masahiko Inami, Jörg Müller. (2014) Tracs: Transparency-control for See-through Displays. In Proceedings of 27th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST ’14)

Nina Valkanova, Robert Walter, Andrew Vande Moere, Jörg Müller. (2014) MyPosition: Sparking Civic Discourse by a Public Interactive Poll Visualization. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW ’14)

Robert Walter, Gilles Bailly, Jörg Müller. (2013) StrikeAPose: Revealing Mid-Air Gestures on Public Displays. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’13)

Jörg Müller, Robert Walter, Gilles Bailly, Michael Nischt, Florian Alt. (2012) Looking Glass: A Field Study on Noticing Interactivity of a Shop Window. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12)

Maurice Ten Koppel, Gilles Bailly, Jörg Müller, Robert Walter. (2012) Chained displays: configurations of public displays can be used to influence actor-, audience-, and passer-by behavior. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12)

Gilles Bailly, Robert Walter, Jörg Müller, Tongyan Ning, Eric Lecolinet. (2011) Comparing free hand menu techniques for distant displays using linear, marking and finger-count menus. In Proceedings of the 13th IFIP TC 13 international conference on Human-computer interaction – Volume Part II (INTERACT ’11)

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During my time at T-Labs, I conducted the exercises and the projects of the Mobile and Physical Interaction module (2011 to 2014) and the Multimodal Interaction course (2015) of Quality and Usability Lab of TU Berlin. Each year, 50 to 70 students attended our lectures. Besides, I supervised a series of master theses in Human-Computer Interaction.

Supervised Theses

Viktor Miruchna. 2015 Exploring the Potential Usage of Hydrogels for Tactile Feedback Systems
Tiare Feuchtner. 2014 Interruptions in Interaction with Public Displays
Thor Bossuyt, Niklas Hillgren. 2012 Combining Touch and Gestural Interaction on Public Displays

Mobile and Physical Interaction Student Projects

Within 7 weeks, students go from brainstorming ideas and defining personas of the target audience, over storyboard, conducting interviews with potential users, paper prototyping, to the first iteration of a software prototype. The prototype is then redefined using methods of heuristic evaluation and a think-aloud user study. Students document the progress of their work in a project blog and submit a video demonstrating the design process and interaction with their prototypes. The following montage shows example projects of one semester.

In the exercise, students learn the basics of the famous creative coding environment Processing and get introduced to natural user interaction using the Kinect Camera and the OpenNI framework. Using these tools, students practically apply the interaction design process taught in the lecture and create small projects in groups. The task is to create an intuitive yet engaging interactive public display application.

The following projects on the topic Interactive Waiting Area Experience are examples of great projects. Note that the projects displayed here are not my work but the result of student projects of our HCI course!

Drunken Ed

You play a drunkard: shift your body and try not to tumble! The students later released an Android version of their prototype.


A Southpark-themed racing game that you control by bending your body. You can also throw snow balls!


Players have to place specific body parts on predefined, moving targets on a circle around their body.

Fore the sake of completeness, here’s a full list of all student projects blogs of our courses. Note that some links might be dead by now and again that this is not my work but the result of student projects that are credited in the corresponding blogs:

Mobile and Physical Interaction Winter 2013/2014
re:aktion KiMap ClimbOrDie Cool Playlist Editor C.R.I.M.E King Kong Journey SoundRocket Fashion App BubbleWars SonicBoom BeeDance
Mobile and Physical Interaction Winter 2012/2013
Moove Whack-a-Mole Drunken Ed GO gamewall 1,2,oder 3 Locatify Virtual Bongo Band Interactive Schedule MoveTheBeat TowerNinja gempitcher MultiGestures ISAG Memory Game
Mobile and Physical Interaction Winter 2011/2012
Bazinga! Terminaltainment ScaMPIs mpiinpublic Air BEnd PimpMyWall VolleyBall Public Display Interaction Waiting Area Experience Displaid LOGICO Mobile Interaction Project Enjoyinteraction
Multimodal Interaction Summer 2015
re:aktion Cooking Aid VeloTalk 1,2,oder 3 Drag and Destroy Virtual Media Library Multimodal File Browser SuperPowerPoint


14 Sep

Today, I had a really awesome time with the guys from SEGA R&D! First stop was Tokyo Joypolis, which is an amazing place! It exhibits the latest and most crazy arcade creations of SEGA. Everything there is fun and interactive[…]

11 Sep

I presented our note Analyzing Visual Attention During Whole Body Interaction with Public Displays at UbiComp today in the Public Displays session. I had a really hard time to concentrate during the talk, since we went to Karaoke until 4:00[…]

18 Apr

Today, I attended the Doctoral Consortium at CHI’15 in Seoul. It was a great opportunity to get feedback on my thesis work from important HCI people.

19 Dec

While it’s already quite easy to create videos from processing sketches using the saveFrame() function and a video converting tool like the FFmpeg command line tool, this approach comes with some drawbacks. You need relatively large amounts of hard disk[…]

5 Oct

I really enjoyed my stay at the UIST conference! It’s my favorite conference in HCI and it was situated in Honolulu close to Waikiki Beach. David presented our paper Tracs: Transparency-control for See-through Displays.

26 Sep

We just received an honorable mention award at MobileHCI’14 for our work Cuenesics: Using Mid-Air Gestures to Select Items on Interactive Public Displays.

26 Sep

I am talking at MobileHCI’14 in Toronto to present our paper Cuenesics: Using Mid-Air Gestures to Select Items on Interactive Public Displays

12 May

We deployed Drunken Ed in the framework of the Berlin Long Night of Science 2014. Drunken Ed is an Urban Game that was initiated by a very ambitious group of students of the Mobile Interaction course that we give at[…]

19 Jan

I discussed with David that it would be awesome to use some patches of OLED, or LEDs and PDLC panels to build together a volumetric display, that consists of cubic transparent, switchable voxels. I was fascinated by the idea and[…]

Contact Me

phone: +49 30 8353 58262
Robert Walter
Telekom Innovation Laboratories
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin