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Toolkit for Alternative User Interface Control for Android Applications

Type: Master thesis
Status: Finished
Begin: From May 2014
Student: Moritz Bürger

Research Area

The research topic of the working group Ambient Computing at the Institute of Telematics is the development of interactive, context-aware ubiquitous systems. A major application area is the so called Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), which focus on age appropriate assistive technologies as solutions for the challenges imposed by the ageing societies and the demands for an autonomous living at age.

The Thesis Topic

Mobile interaction are becoming increasingly rich with various types of gestures. In the last decade, the use of natural user interfaces for mobile device is increasingly adopted by the research and industrial communities. As a result, expanding possibilities for motion gestures appear strongly in the mobile market. New approaches also emerge to replace the hardwiring between applications and interaction resources, with a soft-wired approach (Altakrouri & Schrader, 2012). This approach foster deploying and instantiating interaction resources in realtime. Unfortunately most used mobile application development kits like the Android SDK do not o er a standard and simple way of accessing all available GUI elements. Therefore the implementation of soft-wired applications requires interface toolkits and platforms that expose conventional user interfaces to engines that facilitate NUI interactions for mobile platforms. A possible solution would be an Interface Manager that o ers a structured set of methods to abstract the standard use of the GUI elements in a programmatic way. Whereby, controlling the mobile GUI from external interaction devices (e.g., ambient cameras) with the least programming e ort becomes possible.

This thesis should:

  • Review existing work in the eld of interface toolkits for mobile applications.
  • Classify the most common GUI elements and their interaction semantics.
  • Automatically detect the GUI elements of applications.
  • Allow to control the available GUI elements by external interaction plugins.


Skills in Java programming under the Android platform and the Ambient Dynamix Context Framework. This work will engage the student in a number of interesting technical challenges by working with Android applications, Dynamix plugins and Stage interaction plugins. Design experiences for a simple and intuitive GUI would be ideal but are not mandatory. Supervision is organized in English. Therefore, the thesis should be performed in English as well. The software will be published under an open source license scheme.

Small Print

After introduction into the topic and implementation of the required tasks, a solid documentation has to be performed. The implemented code has to be completely commented and will be released under the Apache Open Source Licence. The rules for Writing Scientific Theses at the institute have to be followed.

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