[new window] OFFIS,
which is founded in 1991, is an application-oriented non-profit research
and development institute related to the Computer Science department
of the University of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony, north-western Germany.
Its primary mission is to:
- adopt the findings from university basic research in computer science
and other relevant disciplines
- stay in touch with new market demands through its many years of experience
in co-operation projects with the industry and
- bridge the gap between "basic research" and "application
demands" through application oriented research.
The content-related work at OFFIS is performed in projects within
fixed time scales. The institute has a wide spectrum of projects covered.
Among them are projects which are financed through state funding from
the Ministry for Science and Culture, publicly supported (e.g. by
the EU or Federal Science Ministry), partly internationally-oriented
third-party-funded projects or even specific development and consultancy
projects. At the end of 2002 OFFIS staff counted 215 employees, from
which 112 are scientists.
OFFIS now has six R&D activities:
- Healthcare information and communication systems (IG)
- Business information and knowledge management (BI)
- Multimedia and internet information services (MI)
- Embedded Hardware/Software Systems (HS)
- Safety Critical Systems (SC)
- Microsystems Technology and Nanohandling (MN)
The ENABLED project is located at the Multimedia and Internet Information
services division. The division “Multimedia and Internet Information
Services” places its focus on research and development in the
areas of mobile services and environments, delivery of information
on demand and virtual spaces.
Other keywords to describe the areas of expertise are:
- Human-Computer Interaction, Auditory User interfaces, multimodal
environments, User Interfaces for people with special needs (especially
blind and visually impaired).
- Usability Engineering, Requirements Analysis, experiments and
- Mobile applications, location based services, demand guidance
information on location, mobile GIS systems, distributed software
- personalization, user profiling, adaptive and context aware applications,
smart (multimedia) authoring for smart (multimedia) content.
At the moment we are working in the project “Internet access
for the blind”, which is a subproject within the large German
lead project consortium INVITE – Intuitive User Interfaces for
the Information Society of the Future, supported by the German Federal
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology for the period
1999-2003. The goal of the project was the development or adaptation
of a web browser with a normal graphical user interface extended with
an augmented auditory reality, in which the interactive objects of
the user interface are represented by spatialized sounds (hearcons).
We created an intuitive access to the semantics of the topographical
and layout information for a visually impaired person, including access
to the graphical objects, which have to be integrated into the auditory
- Susanne Boll received her diploma degree
with honors in computer science at the Technical University of Darmstadt,
Germany, in 1996. She won the best thesis award of German National
Research Center for Information Technology (GMD) in 1996. From 1995
to 2002 she has been working as a researcher at the Integrated Publication
and Information Systems Institute of the GMD in Darmstadt (Germany),
the University of Ulm (Germany) and the University of Vienna (Austria).
She received her PhD with honors in October 2001. Since 2002, Susanne
Boll is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oldenburg, Germany
in the field of Multimedia and Internet technologies in the Department
of Computer Science. Her research interest lies in the area of multimedia
information systems, personalized multimedia content, location based
multimedia services, and Web infrastructure for personalized multimedia
- Jochen Meyer studied Computer Science
at the University of Oldenburg from 1989 to 1994. He won the German
National Computer Science Contest for students in 1989 and was hence
awarded a scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation
. After finishing his diploma he worked as a software developer
for a software house. Since 1995 he works at the computer science
research institute OFFIS in Oldenburg. He first worked as a research
associate in the area of internet based information systems, where
he participated in various projects, also funded by the German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research. Since its foundation in 1998
he is director of the division “Multimedia and Internet Information
Services, where he now is responsible for the coordination of the
activities of more than 20 Scientist.
- Wilko Heuten studied computing science
at the University of Oldenburg and received his Diploma in 2001
in the Department of Information Systems. Since 2001 he works at
OFFIS in the division of Multimedia and Internet Information Services.
His research is focused on multimodal user interfaces, in particular
in developing auditory and tactile displays as well as physical
interaction for the non-visual exploration of real and virtual environments.
- Niels Henze studied computing science
at the University of Oldenburg and received his diploma 2006. Since
June 2006 he works at OFFIS in the division of Multimedia and Internet
Information Services. He is employed as a research associate and
his research focus lies on multimodal interfaces and accessibility.