Hybrary - The Library of the future!

Libraries are the perfect environment for New Media applications, the focus area of the reseach at the ISNM. In several projects we analyze special aspects of libraries and develop research prototypes in co-operation with leading library equipment providers. The motivation is to break with traditional views on the role of the library and to develop new methods and interfaces, allowing an intuitive access to digital content in the physical space. The following projects have been realized with the help of the students enrolled at the ISNM study program Master of Science in Digital Media.

NEVA - Virtual Librarian Avatar

NEVA is a virtual librarian system based on a graphical character, called Avatar. The motivation is not to replace the librarian but to enhance the library database with a personalized, human-like intelligent virtual agent serving the user's needs for both detailed and complete database knowledge and social interaction. The NEVA system has been developed within a Master Thesis project in summer 2005.
Read more about NEVA on her personal page.

Tangible Archive

The Tangible Archive has been developed within the Digital Library course in Summer 2004. Visitors can browse through the collection of past and current ISNM projects by picking physical objects, equipped with electronic (RFID) labels and placing them onto the "smart desk". Each object is designed as a metaphor for the respective project and triggers the project web page documentation.


ALADIN is a software platform for mobile devices in a Ubiquitous Computing environment. The system is based on web services on PDAs or laptops and uses different methods for the query of locations (Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, Infrared), users (Fingerprint Scanner) and objects (RFID). Equipped with a streaming server, the ALADIN infrastructure allows for rich applications controlled and triggered by a smart environment. In the library, we use ALADIN for different purposes, e.g. remote control of the preview-station, tourguide system for book locations, supporting infrastructure for services at the book, etc. The ALADIN system has been developed within a Master Thesis project in summer 2005.

Tangible Books

Tangible Book project presents a novel tangible interface for virtual libraries using physical books in the real space to interact with digital books in the virtual space. The proposed approach was developed as an independent student work in the summer of 2006 and uses RFID sensors, cameras and OCR technology to realize a smart interactive workspace for library users. In an interactive table-top setting with augmented reality video projection, books are identified per RFID. Turning of pages and the number of opened page is identified by OCR using grabbed video frames. The system allows for using well-known usage patterns on books to interact with augmented virtual information in e-books.

Tour Guide

The Tour Guide is an example service instantiation of the ALADIN mobile service infrastructure and part of our Ubiquitous Computing research track. The system guides visitors, guests and staff at the Lübeck MediaDocks through the building and offers various helping functionalities. By using a mobile PDA equipped with Infrared and RFID location systems as well as Wireless LAN connections, users can get the location of offices, can leave messages for other users, and can even "look through walls". Beside the general concept, a first version of the graphical user interface has been designed during the Digital Film and Video Development course in summer 2004.

Interactive Library Desk

The Interactive Library Desk offers a complete new library interface based on the metaphor of a desk-top system. The active display is projected on the surface of the table using a beamer on the ceiling. The user interacts with the table using a tangible object, called the puck. The object contains an RFID label which can be detected by the RFID reader devices mounted below the table. The table supports a Content-Management-System based on XML as well as a FLASH-based interface to the table hardware. New content can be easily created and inserted into the system using most common media types for graphics, audio and video. We are constantly updating the list of services running on the table. The table design is based on the interactive table which was designed for the Museum of Castle Eutin.

Smart Browsing at the shelf

This project presents a novel user interface for library services on mobile devices. It supports library users with digital information for physical media items directly at the shelf, therefore enhancing the browsing process in physical media collections using related virtual information. PDAs, equipped with RFID or Barcode readers, allow for scanning media items and augmenting physical media items with additional information. The system is using wireless networks to perform realtime connectivity to the backend library database server and supports local and global information augmentation. The local information consists of media item related bibliographic entries, the current rental status and recommendations and ranking information. The global information access is realized using Internet based services, e.g., calling the respective AmazonTM page. The proposed system therefore presents a new method in using new media technology to enhance the learning process in physical libraries, bridging the gap between the physical and virtual knowledge space.

We are constantly enhancing the list of library research projects. For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader.