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PUTTING INNOVATIONS TO THE TEST MATERIALS FOR TOMORROW // Fire-­resistant magnesium alloys ACTIVE AND ASSISTED LIVING // Independent living with “RelaxedCare” SEEING AND UNDERSTANDING // Security for our digital society

Manfred Tscheligi, Head of ­Business Unit Technology ­Experience at AIT

01 16


PUTTING INNOVATIONS TO THE TEST Smartglasses can be used to ­simulate real-life situations.

Sensing interaction as a component in testing.

One current research project is „Bike‘N‘Play“.


It is also possible to simulate a working environment.

Haptics, gesture, language, eye movements – we unconsciously ­reveal many emotions when using technology, and interpreting them is the task of the new AIT Techno­ logy Experience Lab

Photos & Cover: Aris Venetikidis

What do you need to encourage people to exercise more, and help save the environment in the process? Does the concept of „hearing glasses“ – reading glasses with an integrated hearing aid – actually work? Would this be regarded by potential customers as necessary, and accepted? How would the guidance system work in a building complex that hasn‘t yet been built? How do technical solutions have to look, feel, and integrate into daily routines if they are to be accepted by their particular target groups? And which products and solutions are a pleasure to use, which annoy consumers, or waste their valuable time?

The eyes reveal much about true emotions and reactions.

In the competition to create the most successful technological innovations, it is no longer sufficient to consider their technical maturity and range of features alone. The reasons for success are far more likely to be found in positive experiences and effective interactions between human and machine. In the past, analysing these factors often involved building complicated and expensive prototypes. AIT now offers a more sensible alternative: the AIT Technology Experience Lab opens in spring 2016, providing a flexible „experimental space“ at the interface between humans and machines. Located within the Innovation Systems Department at AIT, the Technology Experience Business Unit, headed by Professor Manfred Tscheligi, is researching


A key factor is actively involving the test subjects.

This is all made possible by the multimodal nature of the laboratory: it is simultaneously a leisure zone, context environment and monitoring area. „We can very easily adapt the Technology Experience Lab to mirror a wide variety of scenarios, such as activities in front of the TV in a living room, working on the computer, in a traffic-related context, at work, in front of an automated teller machine, etc. This is a unique level of flexibility in Austria, and opens up completely new opportunities during very early phases of the innovation process,“ Tscheligi stresses. This portfolio is also supplemented by qualitative and quantitative research: special study situations and prototyping processes are combined with in-depth interviews,

focus groups and participatory methods. The researchers not only question and observe how people deal with technology, but also consider the emotions - a key parameter of the user experience - they engender, and why. The benefits of the AIT Technology Experience Lab will be of particular relevance to sectors including the telecommunications industry, the financial sector, industrial applications, and health and wellness. With the special combination of a practical approach and scientifically-based acceptance, user experience and quality of experience research, the AIT Technology Experience Lab offers unique comprehensive support for product innovation, from initial idea to market entry.

Making cycling fun. In tomorrow‘s mobility world, the bicycle will play an even more important role than it does today. However, ­not everyone is willing to get out of their cars or off public transport in order to hop on a bike. Designed to open up new cycling target groups, the Bike‘N‘Play project relies on an activity that doesn‘t immediately appear to have anything to do with cycling, and which is used as a form of entertainment by a wide range of people: by combining cycling with popular computer games, the aim is to reach non-cyclists and persuade them to change their behaviour so that they become more actively mobile. The project analyses popular computer games over a wide range of genres in order to design games which integrate cycling in a meaningful and motivating way. The project partners include ovos media GmbH, FH Oberösterreich ­Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH, Fluidtime Data Services GmbH, the Austrian Players League, and AIT. Technology Experience Lab: AIT TECHBase, Giefinggasse 2, 1210 Vienna. Contact: Univ.-Prof. Manfred Tscheligi

Photo: Aris Venetikidis

questions of acceptance and interaction quality of technology. Under the title of „usability, experience and quality of experience“, this involves standardised experimental setups, acceptance tests, context and experience simulations, and similar. Research is carried out under strictly controlled and certified laboratory conditions. Psychologists, social scientists, designers and engineers already assist companies during the ideas phase of the innovation process, and create research environments which encourage innovation. „Here at the AIT Technology Experience Lab we can interpret a wide range of interactions between humans and technology,“ explains Tscheligi. This is all the more important considering that users are known to be increasingly critical, particularly when it comes to the quality of the user interface. This, in turn, is a response to the increasing complexity of the technologies themselves. „Our task is to reduce complexity, making technology quicker and more efficient to use. A user‘s perception of a device‘s usability is simultaneously an important source of further innovation.“

Performance & Success





Power grids, in their current form, will soon be unable to cope with the increased use of distributed and renewable energy sources. Reliable power networks, however, provide the basis for the business activities of industrial enterprises and energy suppliers. At AIT’s initiative, 18 major European research institutions have joined forces in the ERIGrid project to provide access to European research infrastructure and know-how to scientists and companies involved in the development of tomorrow’s smart grids. A key role is played by AIT’s SmartEST lab, which provides state-of-theart infrastructure for smart grid research and development.

A key factor in successfully meeting environmental and climate protection targets is to involve communities and public stakeholders. The aim of the EU-funded STRATEGO project is to close the gap between European and national policies. The project considers more than 20 towns, communities and regions in Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Germany, Italy and the UK. Partners from Denmark and Sweden contribute their valuable experience from national developments. In Austria, AIT scientists will work together with Swedish partners in four selected regions - Vienna, Graz, Großschönau and Lower Austria. AIT contributes its comprehensive expertise in renewable energy and district heating for supporting cities and district heating operators in five Croatian target regions. All relevant actors will be supported in determining local heating and cooling potentials, identifying relevant fields of action, and planning suitable implementation measures. The intensive support offered to these target regions includes measures for knowledge transfer as well as workshops on technical, economic and regulatory aspects such as the potential to lower return temperatures in order to increase system efficiencies, technical solutions for connecting renewable energy sources, optimising contractual conditions, and ideas for breaking down regulatory barriers. More information at:

Photos: AIT

„The focus of STRATEGO lies on


supporting an optimized heat


supply with knowledge transfer,

AIT Junior Scientist Stefan Gneiger is researching into metallic materials of the future at the Business Unit Light Metals Technologies Ranshofen. The focus of his research lies in fire-resistant magnesium alloys. Magnesium has a low density and high specific strength, making it particularly interesting for mobility applications such as aircraft manufacture in which reducing weight and emissions are especially important. However, the fire resistance of these alloys needs to be improved if they are to be suitable for a wider range of applications. That’s why Ranshofen is developing fire-resistant magnesium alloys which extinguish themselves in the event of fire. This particular property is achieved by adding elements which positively influence the material‘s oxidation behaviour. „Our research mainly focuses on calcium-containing alloys. They are particularly suitable for this application as they are easily available and inexpensive. Rare earth elements can also be added to the alloys. This has a positive ­impact on other material properties, apart from the oxidation behaviour,“ Gneiger explains.

energy efficiency and the share of

accompanying actions, increasing renewable energy sources.“ Petra Schöfmann, Junior Engineer, AIT Energy ­Department

„Magnesium alloys play a key role in many ­industries.“ Stefan Gneiger, Junior Scientist, AIT Mobility Department



EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL WITH A CUBE „People needing care don‘t wish to become a burden to others,“ says Martin Morandell, Senior Engineer at the AIT Health & Environment Department, who has been heading the EU‘s RelaxedCare project for the past two years. Project scientists from Austria, Spain, Switzerland and Slovenia are working on a solution to enable a more relaxed form of care without a carer needing to be on site at all times, and in turn enabling seniors and those in need of care to live independently. The result is a digital, interactive cube which informs relatives on an ongoing basis about the wellbeing of older people and those in need of care. The prototype was developed at AIT and won the audience prize for the best AAL project of 2015. The concept involves motion sensors that are installed in the patient’s home and pick up changes in routine. The prototype is currently being tested in field trials, in Salzburg and in Switzerland.

„RelaxedCare“ prototype: mathematical models designed to recognise patterns allow conclusions to be drawn about daily activities and general wellbeing.


„These molecular machines work at the currently almost unimaginable scale of around 100 to 1,000 nanometres.“



MOLECULAR ROBOTS FIGHTING BACTERIAL INFECTIONS In the MARA project (Molecular Analytical Robotics Assays), AIT researchers are developing new technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections as part of a European consortium. AIT Scientist Ivan Barisic: „We plan to use pure DNA as an inexpensive sensor which recognises target molecules in water-soluble substances and reacts by changing colour, a reaction which can be seen by the naked eye.“ DNA will also be assembled in a modular approach to form artificial enzymes for a wide variety of applications. In a third step, this approach will be developed further to build functional DNA nanorobots that locate bacterial pathogens or tumour cells before destroying them by drilling through their cell walls. The use of these DNA robots in the human body would open up completely new possibilities in molecular medicine.

Digitisation impacts every area of today‘s life. ICT systems have become the ultimate critical and relevant infrastructure, offering huge potential for IT innovations designed to overcome major societal challenges. Against this background, AIT and the VRVis Centre for Virtual Reality and Visualisation presented their latest technological developments on 25 February 2016, together with the Digital City Wien initiative and the Vienna Business Agency. They include the latest strategies for detecting even unknown forms of cyber-attack, state-ofthe-art encoding methods for secure data exchange, and innovative communication systems for efficient crisis and disaster management, as well as security technologies for protecting critical infrastructure. Sehen und Verstehen (Seeing and Understanding) is simultaneously a conference, workshop and panel discussion, and presents trends and leading global technologies created by successful Austrian science and cutting-edge research. More information at:

Photos: AIT

Ivan Barisic, AIT Scientist


FORESIGHT PROJECT IN HEALTHCARE Increasing numbers of people suffer from non-communicable diseases: diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, psychological illnesses and cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 86 percent of all deaths. Treating these illnesses now consumes the majority of EU healthcare budgets. The AIT Innovation Systems Department and AIT Energy Department are taking part in the first EU-wide foresight project in this field. FRESHER (Foresight and Modelling for European Health Policy and Regulation) draws on external influencing factors to measure public health trends, futures and policy options, and will develop a public decision support tool. Using geographical data, microsimulations and stakeholder processes, the project will forecast health expenditure and determine the healthcare needs and wellbeing of the population. There will be an equal focus on identifying socio-economic inequalities and their impact on healthcare provision. More information at:

„We want to help develop a scientific basis and

INNOVATION CALENDAR 27/2/2016 // SAIL VIENNA 2035 “The 68 generation turns 68”: The SAIL Vienna 2035 project explores the city as a living space for an aging society together with Wiener Sargfabrik. Venue: Vienna AIT contact: Doris Wilhelmer Information: // 1-3/3/2016 // IT-TRANS IT trends and innovations for the public transport sector. Venue: Karlsruhe AIT contact: Silvia Azesberger Information:­ home/homepage.jsp // 3/3/2016 // EDAY: LEARNING ABOUT INFORMATION SECURITY IN A FUN WAY AIT develops interactive mini games to sensitise employees to issues of information security. Venue: Vienna AIT contact: Marc Busch Information: // 10–11/3/2016 // 3RD AUSTRIAN ­BIOMARKER SYMPOSIUM Every two years AIT invites representatives from research and industry to discuss the latest trends in the field of biomarker research. Topics: personalised medicine, early diagnosis, new sensor and biomarker technologies and Big Data Venue: Tech Gate Vienna Information: //

technical solutions to inform future healthcare policy decisions.“ Susanne Giesecke, Senior Scientist, AIT Innovation System Department

15-17/3/2016 // ESE (IRES) 2016 Energy Storage Europe, Expo and ­Conference. Venue: Düsseldorf

AIT contact: Atanaska Trifonova Information: // 15-17/3/2016 // PASSENGER ­TERMINAL EXPO The world’s leading international airport exhibition and conference. Venue: Cologne AIT contact: Silvia Azesberger Information: www.passengerterminal-­ // 15-18/3/2016 // MOSTRA CONVENGO EXPOCOMFORT International trade fair in the field of ­heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, plumbing, water treatment and renew­ able energy. Venue: Milan AIT contact: Christian Köfinger Information: // 5/4/2016 // PERSONALIZATION IN PERSUASIVE TECHNOLOGY Together with the MIT Media Lab, AIT organises a workshop as part of the Persuasive 2016 conference (International Conference on Persuasive Technology). Venue: Salzburg AIT contact: Marc Busch Information: // 11-14/4/2016 // CPS WEEK Top event on the topic of cyber-physical systems with four large-scale conferences and about 20 workshops. Venue: Vienna AIT contact: Michaela Jungbauer, ­Michael Mürling Information: //

AIT Top Journal Papers




Biochar is a pyrolysis product and is characterised by high porosity and a large number of reactive functional groups on the sorption surfaces. Biochar could be a promising, cost efficient sorbent for the removal of toxic metals and other foreign substances from liquid waste, waste water or contaminated water. Biological, chemical and physical aging leads to changes in the biochar surfaces caused by abiotic and biotic processes. Aging in turn influences the sorption capacity and bond strength. AIT researcher Vladimír Frišták and his colleagues investigated the potential of the oxidant hydrogen peroxide for the artificial aging of biochar using different physicochemical methods. This enables the development of new methods combining in-situ and in-silico analyses for predicting the sorption characteristics of biochar under consideration of aging processes.

This paper compares a deterministic channel model for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication with empirical measurement data collected during a V2V channel measurement campaign using a channel sounder. Channel metrics such as channel gain, delay and Doppler spreads, eigenvalue decomposition and antenna correlations are derived from ray tracing (RT) simulations as well as from data obtained from two different measurements in an urban four-way intersection scenario. The channel metrics are compared separately for line-of-sight (LOS) and non-LOS (NLOS) situations. Most power contributions arise from the LOS component (if present) as well as from multipaths with single bounce reflections. Measurement and simulation results show a very good agreement in the presence of LOS, as most of the received power is contributed from the LOS component. In NLOS, the difference is large as the ray tracer is unable to capture some of the multi bounced propagation paths that are present in the measurements. Despite the limitations of the ray-based propagation model identified in this work, the model is suitable for characterising the channel properties with sufficient accuracy.

This paper combines simulations and experimental methods with high resolution in order to model the complex flow phenomena in solar air heating collectors. All relevant heat transfer mechanisms have been integrated in the 3D CFD simulation. The numerical instabilities in the air gap between the absorber and the glass cover are investigated in more detail. “The consistent numerical description developed proves that CFD simulation is a suitable tool for designing and optimising solar air heating collector concepts”, says AIT researcher Christoph Reichl.

Frišták V., Friesl-Hanl W., Wawra A., Pipíška M., Soja G. (2015) “Effect of biochar artificial ageing on Cd and Cu sorption characteristics.” Journal of Geochemical Exploration 159 (2015), p. 178-184. Elsevier.

T. Abbas, J. Nuckelt, T. Kürner, T. Zemen, C. F. Mecklenbräuker, and F. Tufvesson, “Simulation and measurement based vehicle-to-vehicle channel characterization: Accuracy and constraint analysis”, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 63, no. 7, pp. 3208-3218, July 2015

Ch. Reichla, K. Kramerb, Ch. Thomab, P. Benovskya, T. Leméec , aAIT – Austrian Institute of Technology, Energy Department, Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems, Vienna, bFraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, cInstitute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Vienna University of Technology. “Comparison of modelled heat transfer and fluid dynamics of a flat plate solar air heating collector towards experimental data.” Solar Energy, Volume 120, October 2015, Pages 450-463

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