The deployment teams for the UbiChallenge 2011 have arrived in Oulu, Finland to make  Digifieds and FunSquare available to the public. After the initial deployment phase, services will go live on July 6th, followed by a 2 month evaluation phase. Evaluation is expected to continue throughout summer 2011 and the teams will submit their technical report to the MUM 2011 UbiChallenge track.

Prior to the deployment in Oulu, the Digifieds team has conducted a lab study on suitable interaction techniques for creating, publishing, and taking away content from public displays. Early insights have been submitted and accepted for the poster track of Pervasive 2011 in San Francisco (see Publication section).

The UbiChallenge

The UBIChallenge competition in Oulu, Finland will take place from June until August 2011. This competition is oriented towards creating, distributing, (June 2011) and examining (July, August 2011) public display applications in a real world setting, i.e., on eleven public displays in the city of Oulu. Our proposals for the ’Funsquare’ and ‘Digifieds’ systems were accepted.


The Funsquare application leverages the existing UBI Challenge deployment to generate locally relevant, easy-to-generate “fun facts” that not only educate and entertain citizens, but also improve social interaction between strangers and friends alike. It offers a sustainable business model through “funmercial” (sponsored “fun facts”), as well as minimal overhead in terms of administration and implementation.


Despite the advent of the Internet traditional paper-­‐based notice areas are still very popular due to their easy usage and high potential to reach a local community. However, they did not yet enter the digital domain due to the lack of easy means for creating and taking away content and as suitable display technologies are still costly (touch, vandalism proof). We take a first step towards establishing public displays as a communication medium of the future by exploring suitable interaction techniques (touch, mobile phone, web) for creating and taking away user‐generated content.

After almost a year of hard work results of the first International Ubichallenge were announced on December 9th during the Tenth International Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia Conference (MUM’11) in Beijing, China. We are very proud to say that the FunSquare service was the winner while Digifieds took the third place! The FunSquare [1] service creates autopoiesic, i.e., self-generated, content by matching information that comes form within display surrounding (e.g., current wind speed (12 m/s)) with information coming from without (e.g., the speed of a honey bee (6 m/s)) into novel content (The current wind speed (12 m/s) is two times more than the average speed of a honey bee (6 m/s)). On the other hand Digifieds [2] is an example of a digital shared public notice area that allows users to post classifieds on public displays.

More information about FunSquare and Digifieds can be found here and here.

[1] F. Alt, A. S. Shirazi, T. Kubitza, D. Bial, F. Zaidan, M. Ortel, B. Zurmaar, T. Lewen, and A. Schmidt, “Digifieds: Insights into Deploying Digital Public Notice Areas in the Wild,” in 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2011), 2011. (pdf)

[2] N. Memarovic, I. Elhart, and M. Langheinrich, “FunSquare: First Experiences with Autopoiesic Content,” in 10th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM 2011), 2011.(pdf)

Official press release: