The Alexandra Institute // About Us // Labs // Interactive Spaces Lab

Interactive Spaces Lab

Pervasive computing and the integration of IT in the physical surroundings is a fast-growing R&D area on an international level. The Alexandra Institute’s Interactive Spaces Lab connects architects, engineers and IT researchers with the research mission to create new concepts for the future IT surroundings.

We provide the latest knowledge in the area of integration of IT in the physical surroundings to our customers and partners. Physical surroundings include the clothes and devices we wear, the rooms and buildings in which we live and work, and the landscapes and urban spaces in which we move. Among others, we have developed the WizeFloor, which received a Red Dot Award, as well as a number of interactive exhibitions: e.g. H2Interaction – an exploratorium for renewable energy in Lolland. Furthermore, we have developed solutions for the areas of art and culture including the Infogallery product which it being used today for communication in several libraries in Denmark.

A wide range of technologies are used including sensors and display technologies making IT functionality accessible in new ways in our working, leisure and educational environments.


Check out our portfolio of cases to see projects and tasks we have been involved in.
You can filter the cases by duration, expertise or field of application.

We work with a number of overall themes across the projects in which we are involved. A more detailed description of these themes can be found at the website of the centre.

Here you will find a short description of the themes:

  •  Space as interface – use of sensor actuator technology for interaction the physical space
  • Tangibility and palpability – development of comprehensible interaction for e.g. devices without displays
  • Context-awareness – interaction and services – making use of information about the location and context of the user
  • Augmenting reality – techniques for adding layers of digital information to the physical environment
  • Aesthetic interaction – sensuousness and experiences as part of interaction
  • Social computing – promotion of cooperation and communication beyond the work environment
  • Kinesthetic interaction – motion based interaction for e.g. sport, play and learning.

It is essential to us that the integration of it in the physical surroundings takes place in the context of the users. Experiments with software prototypes and spatial installations are therefore widely used working methods. With regard to research we work with technologies and concepts within a number of pervasive computing research areas as for example interaction design, augmented reality, ubiquitous hypermedia, mobile computing and context awareness. The areas cover a wide field as for example schools, libraries, homes, museums, attractions and public spaces.

The projects are based on a user-driven innovation model where the users are involved actively in the design process through workshops, scenario development, evaluation of prototypes etc. We work cross-disciplinarily and in cooperation with researchers from computer science, architecture/design, information and media science, and engineering. Furthermore, developers from the involved companies participate in cooperation with the user in the development of new concepts and technologies.

Our technological expertise comprise:

  • Architectures for interaction in JAVA, .NET, Python, FLASH etc.
  • Multitouch interaction: iPods, MultiTouch OY, Interactive floors
  • Visual Tag technologies: SemaCodes, QR-tags, ARToolKit Tags, SpotCodes, Amoebe Tags.
  • RFID tags, NFC technology
  • Sensor-actuator technologies: Phidgets, Arduino, Accelerometres, touch, bend and PIR-sensors.
  • Camera-based interaction: EyesWeb, Retina, OpenCV etc.
  • iPhone development
  • Development of mobile technology: JAVA, Python, etc.
  • Web technology: Web services, SOAP, XML, CMS,…
  • Positioning technologies: GPS, Galileo, WiFi, Bluetooth.
  • Bluetooth development: Stack development, proximity services based on BlipSystems

Our research activities take place in close cooperation with:

  • Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
  • Aarhus School of Architecture
  • Information and Media Sciences, Aarhus University.

The cooperation takes place in the interdisciplinary Centre for Interactive Spaces in which the Alexandra Institute constitutes an active partner. Furthermore, we have a frequent close cooperation with the following cultural and public institutions:

  • Teater Katapult
  • Aarhus Public Libraries
  • The Municipality of Aarhus

Our ambition is to make the area Interactive Spaces and Buildings a Danish position of strength with regard to research and commerce. We use the English term Centre for Interactive Spaces as we have international ambitions, and our website is maintained in English. Here you can find a general presentation of the projects and the activities and find material from workshops etc.

Since 2003 the Centre for Interactive Spaces has published more than 100 international papers and made presentations of research results at highly esteemed conferences and in journals. Furthermore, the centre has received 5 awards for best papers and best presentations. In addition, the centre has received the Danish Design Award in 2004 and a Red Dot Award for Best of the Best in the category of Education in 2007.

In addition, the conference presentations the centre has made more than 125 presentations primarily in Denmark. The presentations have been conveyed to a broad public. e.g. research colleagues, prospective users, people from industry (including the President for LEGO), politicians, ministers (including the Science Minister and Minister for Education), foreign delegations (e.g. the Bulgarian President) and the Danish Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

This comprehensive communication activity expresses broad interest, on a national as well as international level, for the work in the centre, and the centre attracts projects with funding from a wide range of sources: including the project “Every Day Special” from Microsoft Research and the “Locust project” and two postdoc scholarships from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

In addition to the research projects, the centre as a comprehensive portfolio of commercial projects both within the sale of expert advice and also from sale of standard and customized solutions for clients.

The InfoGallery is an example of such a solution, which is being used for communication today in large number of the libraries and cultural institutions in Denmark.

Furthermore, we have produced a number of customized solutions particularly for exhibitions and communication. A comprehensive example of this is the experimentarium for renewable energy in Lolland – H2Interaction.

Another case is the award-winning “WizeFloor” (formerly Wisdom Well). It was created on commercial conditions for the Municipality of Aarhus, based on grants from private foundations among others.

The centre has also had a commercial breakthrough by selling licenses to KMD A/S for eBag (the electronic school bag) and HyCon from the iSchool project.

Head of Interactive Spaces Lab
+45 40 19 45 38
Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N
Hopper building, 2nd floor room 234


See WizeFloor video