Background and Motivation

HCI/UX, innovation and strategy in a merging real and virtual world. Focus on AR and applied AI.

Background
Human computer interaction (HCI/UX), innovation and strategy in an increasingly merging real and virtual world with 14+ years of experience. I'm specifically passionate about augmented reality (AR) and the potential of AI (applied machine learning) from an HCI perspective. While being interdisciplinary at heart, I combine a strong background in IT and applied research, in-depth UX and design experience, with a proven start-up, innovation and leadership without formal authority track record:
PhD, Postdoc and Research at ETH Zürich and MIT 
Innovation and business consulting for international corporations at ETH and HSG 
Co-founder and developer of core computer vision technology of Scandit AG («Computer vision and AR for the modern enterprise», currently world technology leader in it's field)
Mandated foundation and CTO of start-up EyeFitU AG until 2014 (among Red Herring Top 100 Europe start-ups)
Lecturer HCI, AR & AI Innovation at HSR and HSLU
Founder and Head of User Experience, Founder and Head of Mixed Reality, Founder HCI Innovation Lab at Ergon Informatik AG (Switzerland's leading provider of customised software solutions and products, repeatedly awarded best employer in Switzerland in its category)
Besides a PhD in computer science from ETH Zürich, being a guest researcher at MIT and several advanced studies (e.g. microeconomics and communication at Flinders University in Australia), I hold a master’s degree in HCI Design from the University of Basel and a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Albert Ludwigs University, Freiburg. 
Merging of the real and virtual
I believe we entered a profound new era, in which the real and virtual world are increasingly merging. 30 years ago, most products were physical. Now, many of the products profoundly changing our lives are digital and reside on our screens (small and large). Enabled by pervasive connectedness and rapid progress in fields such as applied machine learning, AR, but also the slower IoT (infrastructure and standards) progress, the nearly unlimited possibilities of the digital are "leaving" the constraints of our screens and can be increasingly applied in the real world: with far-reaching implications.
Technology should adjust to humans, not the other way round
Due to technological progress, we reached a critical tipping point regarding human computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX) as well: Technology is increasingly advanced enough to be able to adjust to us as humans, not the other way round. We as humans evolved to be spacial and physical beings, grounded in the real world and tuned towards other humans - we want to have the advantages technology offers, but are extraordinarily ill equipped to understand the increasing complexity happening in the background. In the new age we entered, technology is finally capable to adjust to us humans, not the other way round. In certain fields it also changes from a passive tool to a more pro-active agent. This opens up an exciting new chapter in the topic of HCI and UX: From augmented reality, to conversational UIs, AI-enabled increasingly powerful context perception in complex environments, new generations of tools, to multi-modal interaction and much more. 
What drives me?
I'm passionate about rapid technology advancements and their potential to improve lives and generate new experiences. I take pleasure in simplifying things and ensuring that humans can benefit from these advancements, without having to deal with the underlying complexities of technology itself. How this is done depends and can change over time. For example, from researching and developing needed, but so far not available enabling technologies (e.g. the core computer vision technology of Scandit AG), to ensuring focus and promoting the customers' and end users' perspective as a UX designer or product manager, to empowering others to contribute towards this goal (e.g. by founding and empowering the Ergon Informatik UX and AR teams, by connecting people, companies and universities, or by teaching). I enjoy exploring new things, connecting people and topics, and working with friends from who I can learn myself. 

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