Professor Dr. Wolfgang Heiden


Invited Talk

Affiliation : Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences

Country: Germany

Title: Edutainment off-limits-Bridging gaps between media, front-ends, and usage metaphors



The kickoff for ubiquitous access to media came along with the birth of the World-wide Web. Since then, we have become accustomed to having a large variety of media documents at hand wherever we are, on an equally large variety of front-end devices. These devices have, however, one thing in common: they all speak the same language - HTML. In combination with scripting (JavaScript has developed to become a mature programming language, added by various API extensions) and style sheets (CSS), HTML5 has closed the gap to almost all wishes that had remained open. Even the contradiction between online and offline access has been dissolved lately, after bringing forth wrapper shells for web applications as Rich Client Applications.

In the past decades, the WWW has become part of daily life for millions of people, and not only new media have been developed, but also "old" media have adapted to new usage behaviour. Cross-platform, cross-media, and other "cross"-applications are being switched (more or less) effortlessly. With "gamification" of serious tasks and accessibility of business and personal documents of all kinds in the "Cloud", there is even a virtual hybridization of professional and private life, where various media become reusable for various purposes.

Early approaches to generic hypermedia structures (like, e.g. Hypermedia Novels) are complemented by new front-end devices and new interaction paradigms that adapt to the current requirements and possibilities.

The lecture will cover several historical aspects of the development of media in the WWW age, as well as some current technologies and their potential for future ubiquitous media applications, particularly in the field of education, entertainment, and their common offspring: info-/edutainment.

Wolfgang Heiden holds a diploma in Biology from Würzburg University and gained a PhD at the Department of Pysical Chemistry of the Technical University Darmstadt. After a post-doctoral project on distributed multimedia environments at the German Research Center for Information Technology, he became Professor in the Computer Science Department of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. Rooted both in natural sciences and non-linear information representation, his research interests include molecular modelling in particular and interactive sensualization in chemistry, biology, and medicine in general - as well as hypermedia edutainment and serious gaming.