Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in psychology) is a Senior Scientist and Strategic Advisor with more than 30 years of experience in information and communication technology. He is the founder and scientific director of the Smart Future Initiative (SFI) which was launched in January 2009. From 1987 - 2008, he was at the Fraunhofer Institute IPSI (previously GMD-IPSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, where he held different positions as Division Manager and Deputy Director. At IPSI, he initiated and managed research efforts in multiple areas (see Research Topics). A prominent example is the research division "AMBIENTE - Smart Environments of the Future" founded by him in 1997. He also taught at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt for more than 15 years. Before joining IPSI in Darmstadt, he was an Assistant Professor at the Technical University Aachen (RWTH), Germany, teaching and doing research in cognitive science and human-computer interaction and founding the ACCEPT-Group (AaChen Cognitive Ergonomics ProjecT). This was preceded by his work in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel, Germany. Furthermore, he was a post-doc research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC, USA, and at the Intelligent Systems Lab of MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan. He is regularly asked to present keynote speeches and tutorials at scientific as well as commercial events. (for his publications consult Google Scholar and ResearchGate)

Special Issue in the International Journal Universal Access in the InformationSociety published by Springer:  “The Streitz Perspective: Computation is Ubiquitous, Yet Must be Designed for Human Use - A Festschrift for Norbert Streitz”. Guest Editor: Daniel M. Russell

"An Interview with UbiComp Pioneer Norbert Streitz" by Nigel Davies (editor in chief).
published in IEEE Pervasive Computing, January-March 2012, pp. 62 - 66.
(special issue on 20 years after Mark Weiser's vision was published as "The Computer for the 21. Century" in Scientific American, September 1991),

Research Topics

His research activities cover a wide range of areas*: Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext/Hypermedia, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, Interaction and Experience Design, in general, but especially in the context of Hybrid (real and virtual) Worlds, Smart Cities and more recently Smart Airports.

After his work in cognitive science (1978-1983), he became interested in human-computer interaction since 1984 and helped to establish the corresponding area of "Software-Ergonomics" in Germany. Furthermore, he launched one of the first prominent research efforts in hypertext and hypermedia in Germany (since 1987) resulting in the SEPIA-system which was developed together with his WIBAS-Group. This was followed by work in CSCW (since 1992) resulting in the DOLPHIN electronic meeting room system. Since 1997, he and his AMBIENTE-Team became well-known for the development of Roomware®, the integration of walls and furniture with information technology and for the design of Smart Artefacts in ambient environments. The roomware components were developed in close cooperation with industry and won several design prices. Some of them, e.g., the InteracTable, are available as commercial products via the spin-off company foresee. The Roomware® components were the first steps towards the design of Cooperative Buildings proposed and published by Norbert Streitz already in 1998. Since 2007, he is working on Smart Hybrid Cities where the guiding objective is the ambition to develop a Humane City.

(* This list does not cover his research as a physicist working on general relativity theory, differential geometry and elementary  particle physics and no details about his initial research as a psychologist working in cognitive science focusing on memory and perception, dual task performance, problem solving and knowledge representations.)

Publications and Talks

Norbert Streitz has published/edited 20 books and authored/coauthored more than 150 papers presented at the relevant national and international conferences or in journals in his areas of interest. For an overview of most of his publications along with their citations please check Google Scholar and ResearchGate.
He serves on program committees of international conferences and several editorial boards, e.g, JAISE (Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments), MTI (Multimodal Technologies and Interaction), UAIS (Universal Access in the Information Society) and previously ACM TOCHI (ACM Transactions on Computer-Human-Interaction). He was also appointed as a member of juries for design and software competitions. He is regularly asked to present keynote speeches, invited talks and tutorials at scientific as well as commercial events in Europe, USA, South America, Middle East (Qatar), Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, China, Korea and Japan.

Working Groups and Committees

Norbert Streitz is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Joint Conferences on Ambient Intelligence series which was instrumental for organizing the last AmI Conferences, e..g., AmI-10 in Malaga, AmI-11 in Amsterdam, AmI-12 in Pisa, AmI-13 in Dublin, AmI-14 in Eindhoven, AmI-15 in Athens. He was the chair of the Working Group on "Ambient Computing and and Communication Environments" which is part of the EU-funded  InterLink Coordinated Action.
He was also the co-chair of the ERCIM Working Group "Smart Environments and Systems for Ambient Intelligence (SESAMI)". He was the Chair of the Steering Group of the EU-funded proactive initiative "The Disappearing Computer", a cluster of 17 projects, and the co-chair of CONVIVIO: the EU-funded Network of Excellence on People-Centred Design of Interactive Systems.  He is on the Advisory Board of the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) and was on the Evaluation and Review Board of the Keio-NUS CUTE Center in Singapore, which is operated by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Keio University, Japan. He participates in the Frankfurter Zukunftsrat, a future think tank based in Frankfurt.

He was and still is active in various special interest groups (some of them were initiated and chaired by him) on Software-Ergonomics, Human-Computer Interaction, Hypertext/Hypermedia, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Work and Organisation Psychology in different scientific organizations, e.g.,

  • GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik),
  • DGPs (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie),
  • ACM (Association for Computing Machinery),
  • EACE (European Association for Cognitive Ergonomics).

Selected Research Projects

He and his interdisciplinary team have carried out a number of research and consulting projects for various clients and sponsors in industry or via public funding agencies (e.g., European Commission). Examples of past and current projects (listed only since 1997) are:

  • Future Office Dynamics: R&D consortium funded by industrial partners
  • Ambient Agoras: Dynamic Information Clouds in a Hybrid World (EU-project)
  • InterSmart: part of project cluster “Living in a Smart Environment – Implications of Ubiquitous Computing” (Daimler-Benz Foundation)
  • InterSpace: Novel Group Interaction with Heterogeneous Displays and Devices (Microsoft Research, USA)
  • Amigo: Ambient Intelligence for the Networked Home Environment (EU-project)
  • Interlink: Coordinated Action exploring future trends in ICT, especially in the thematic area "Ambient Computing and Communication Environments" (EU-project)