Friday 12 September 2014 – Lunchtime seminar with Dr Alexander Boden (FIT, Germany)

Title: Help Beacons – Design and Evaluation of a lightweight, ad-hoc S.O.S. system for smartphones
Speaker: Dr. Alexander Boden, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT (Germany)

Alexander is a researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT. He holds a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Siegen as well as a Master in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Bonn. In his research, he focuses on how ICTs can support coordination and knowledge exchange in complex contexts such as global software development, cross-agency collaboration in emergency response, as well as in open source and maker communities. Alexander publishes in research communities such as CSCW, HCI and Software Engineering.

The availability of ICT services can be severely disrupted in the aftermath of disasters, when people rely most on the ability to communicate. We have developed Help Beacons, a lightweight system for smartphones that enables users to send emergency messages via ad-hoc networks. The talk will give an overview on our project BRIDGE ( as well as the design process from the initial idea to the implementation of our prototype. The main focus will be on findings from an evaluation of the system in a large-scale “terroist attack” exercise in Norway, which provided interesting insights into how the visibility and validity of emergency messages can become problematic in such a context.

1.00PM – 2.00PM

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email CCRC Administrator, Rachel Finch (R [dot] Finch [at] shu [dot] ac [dot] uk) to arrange for entry.