Ambient Learning Spaces


ALS Learning Applications

Current integrated ALS learning applications

InteractiveWall Logo

The InteractiveWall (IW) provides users, e.g. in schools and museums, with digital places for social cooperation and playful, explorative and incidental learning. The IW is a hypermedia platform and enables a learning environment on any number of mostly large multi-touch screens for contextualized, personalized and semantically rich interactive access to multimedia objects. IWs allow in this way room installations to access web pages, presentations, and media collections as well as many application modules of ALS like TimeLine, SemCor, or MediaGallery. Layout, settings, and management of IW content are done through the ALS Portal. IWs have been deployed in schools and museums.

A demo IW for museums
A demo IW for museums
The editor for editing the layout of an IW
The editor for editing the layout of an IW

Videos about the InteractiveWall

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for the InteractiveWall | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for the InteractiveWall | English.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Video of the IW at Carl-Jacob-Burckardt-Gymnasium (from 2013).

MediaGallery Logo

The MediaGallery is an ALS application module that allows a clear and simple management and presentation of media collections of images, videos, 3D objects or presentations in the context of the InteractiveWall. The media contained in a MediaGallery can be statically defined or of dynamic nature via semantic tagging.

Example of a MediaGallery
Example of a MediaGallery
The editor for creating a new MediaGallery
The editor for creating a new MediaGallery

Videos for the MediaGallery

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for the MediaGallery | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for the MediaGallery | English.

TimeLine Logo

TimeLine allows to create a horizontally oriented timeline in which sub-TimeLines can be displayed vertically on top of each other. The media (images, sound recordings, videos) can be taken from the semantically annotated ALS media database NEMO. New content can be entered into NEMO via the ALS portal. A timeline can be assigned a name, sub-TimeLines, and any number of events. Each event is assigned an appropriate name, description, some tags, and a date or time period. TimeLine is a medium for constructing chronologies. TimeLine has been used, for example, to create and present geological, political, or even biographical chronologies, often in distributed teams.

Example of a TimeLine
Example of a Timeline
The editor for creating a new Timeline
The editor for creating a new timeline

Videos about TimeLine

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for TimeLine | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for TimeLine | English.

SemCor Logo

SemCor is used for interactive visualization and playful exploration of information in a Semantic Web. Different topics can be explored in a self-expanding dynamic graph. Content is automatically arranged without overlaps. Information points are represented as nodes and their relationships as edges. The information and media can be taken from the semantically annotated ALS database or from other semantically structured databases. This was exemplified by the use of DBpedia and Wikipedia as well as the cultural database Europeana. SemCor is a learning system for understanding semantic relationships.

SemCor with the start node
SemCor with the start node "Thomas Mann" with search in DBpedia and Wikipedia
SemCor with the 'Thomas Mann' start node
SemCor with the start node "Thomas Mann

Videos about SemCor

TextToPreventDrupalStrip SemCor with the start node "Günther Grass".

HyperVid Logo

HyperVid is a web-based hypermedia system that can be used primarily to link self-created video fragments (images, standard video, 360 degree videos) to a video in a hyperstructure. The created hypervideos can then be viewed web-based. HyperVid promotes networked thinking, multiple perspectives, storytelling, and supports collaborative learning of complex knowledge. HyperVid features a hyperstructure editor and accesses the ALS media archive. Finished HyperVid productions can be made available via any website in addition to an IW.

Example of 360 degree HyperVideo
Example of a 360 degree HyperVideo
The network editor for connecting multiple videos
The network editor for connecting multiple videos

Videos about HyperVid

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video to HyperVid | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for HyperVid | English.

MoLES Logo

MoLES (Mobile Learning Exploration System) is a web-based learning environment on smartphones that supports learning at out-of-school locations. With MoLES, tasks can be created via the ALS Portal, which are then accessed and answered on field trips with MoLES. In the process, media (texts, photos, sound recordings, videos, 3D objects) are generated and collected, which can be semantically annotated semi-automatically and subsequently reused in all ALS applications through automatic storage in the NEMO framework. The discovery tours in MoLES can be created by users themselves. For example, tours have been created by older students for younger students.

Overview page of a tour in MoLES
Overview page of a tour in MoLES
Choice of a location where a tour in MoLES will be conducted
Selection of a location where a tour should be conducted in MoLES

Videos about MoLES

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video of MoLES | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for MoLES | English.

InfoGrid Logo

The augmented reality app InfoGrid allows creators, such as curators in museums, to deposit digital text, photos, videos or 3D objects without programming via the ALS Portal, which can then be displayed in the form of Augmented Reality (AR) by mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Triggers for the display of the digital enrichments are images (so-called targets), for example photos, graphics, or even real-physical objects, which are captured via image recognition using the camera of the mobile device. With the use of InfoGrid, digital and interactive enrichments can be viewed in various forms of augmented reality. The InfoGrid app could be installed by users through the Apple and Google App Stores and found 2,390 active installations over the 4-year period. This involved nearly 60,000 interactions with the app and the interactive augmented reality enrichments. By means of an evaluation system, the use of InfoGrid tours can be reconstructed, e.g., with regard to sequences, frequencies of use, or forms of interaction used, in order to show the creators of the tours (e.g. curators in the museum) the particular interests of the users, so that the augmented reality tours can then be further optimized.

Display of 3D objects in augmented reality
Display of 3D objects in augmented reality
Editing 3D objects in augmented reality

of 3D objects in augmented reality

Number of users and interactions with InfoGrid over time
Number of users and interactions with InfoGrid over time
Floor plan of an exhibition with interaction heat map
Floor plan of an exhibition with interaction heatmap

Videos about InfoGrid

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video of InfoGrid | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for InfoGrid | English.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demo video for the InfoGrid Analytics | German.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Demovideo for the InfoGrid-Analytics | English.

InteractiveDome Logo

Similar to an InteractiveWall and InteractiveTable, an InteractiveDome is an application for creating interactive presentations. However, these can be displayed in an immersive presentation environment such as a full dome. The InteractiveDome can be connected to ALS in planetariums or at film festivals, for example. For example, 360° video productions from HyperVid can be used as content.

InteractiveDome in the star chamber of the primary and comprehensive school St. Jürgen in Lübeck
InteractiveDome in the star chamber of the St. Jürgen elementary and comprehensive school in Lübeck,


Control of the InteractiveDome from the ALS portal
Control of the InteractiveDome from the ALS portal

InteractiveTable Logo

Similar to an InteractiveWall, an InteractiveTable is an application for creating interactive presentations or learning games on multitouch tables. With an InteractiveTable, physical objects, so-called Fiducials, can be recognized on the surface of the table. In order to display any content from different media on a multitouch table using fiducials, the ObjectRecognizer was developed for ALS. This enables physical objects that are placed on a multitouch table to be learned. If these objects are subsequently placed back on the multitouch table, they are recognized and media previously assigned to the object can be presented interactively on the multitouch table.

SemCor on the InteractiveTable

Fiducial on the InteractiveTable for semantic filtering

Further ALS research systems (still without complete platform integration)


Students during a performance with ActEMotion

ActeMotion first allows setting media and determining recognizable gestures, web-based in the browser. Subsequently, during a performance, it is possible to have these body gestures recognized by the digital system (a PC registering data from a Microsoft Kinect 2) and then play media or visual effects.

In addition to a PC, a projector and/or speakers, the Kinect equipped with a 3D camera is also required. ActeMotioncan also be connected to smartphones worn on the body. The smartphones can be used to recognize further body gestures, such as a rotation around one's own body axis.

Interactive performance "Think Gobal Act Local" by students of the Carl-Jacob-Burckhardt-Gymnasium with the help of ActEMotion


If Tangibles (touchable minicomputers like our Tangicons) are used together with a multitouch screen of an InteractiveWall, this results in cross-device interaction (XDI for short). Alternatively for the Tangicons, which now have a browser and WLAN, smartphones or tablets can also be used with our learning applications AlgoFrogs, SpelLit, and CollMath.

With the AlgoFrogs learning game, children in preschool or elementary school can train algorithmic thinking together. Gross motor and fine motor movements in physical space take on an important role in the educational game.

The InteractiveWall can also communicate with tablets, smartphones and smartwatches

Since the learning game was realized browser-based from version 3 of the Tangicons, smartphones or tablets can also be used, as can be seen in the picture here, although the individual devices do not recognize their spatial position in relation to each other on their own, as is the case with the Tangicons. The special feature of these learning applications is that the children learn independently with each other without sitting and that the teachers (related to AlgoFrogs also with children) can create new game sequences with the respective GameCreator.


InfoGrid4Glass in usage

In addition to InfoGrid, InfoGrid4Glass also existed as a prototype. InfoGrid4Glass differs from InfoGrid, which was developed for smartphones and tablets, by using the GoogleGlass interface, a wearable in the form of data glasses. Data glasses are ideal for ambient learning environments.


The MysteryGames learning application was developed. In the ALS-GameGreator, any number of mysteries on any subject-related or interdisciplinary topics can be generated in a simple way. These can then be played by 3-4 people together at a multi-touch table.

Each MysteryGame supports the understanding of global contexts and the recognition of complex interactions behind seemingly simple actions.

Students playing a MysteryGame on an InteractiveTable

The mystery shown here on bee mortality was created in the ALS-GameCreator at the Museum of Nature and Environment Lübeck by people working there themselves. The picture shows how it is subsequently played by visitors on the museum's multitouch table.

Two educational games for the PixelSense/Surface multitouch table from Microsoft were developed for the Museum of Nature and Environment. The simulations, such as the Baltic Sea Simulation to save the Baltic Sea from environmentally harmful influences, promote networked thinking and support the joint solving of complex problems.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Video of the educational game "Save the Baltic Sea" at the Museum of Nature and Environment.

The game "Save the Baltic Sea" on a multitouch table


Students learning to read and write with SpelLit.

SpelLit supports learning to read and write at preschool and beginning elementary school age. The educational game can be played together by three to six children. An earlier version (SpelLit 2.1) uses a laptop, tablet and Sifteo-Cubes to create a playful, body- and space-based shared interaction space (see image above).

Children learning together with SpelLit.


For ALS learning media, which we primarily control through small objects, we developed specific so-called tangibles. We call these tangibles, which contain a small computer, tangicons. These miniature computers, connected to NEMO via web technology, are equipped with touch screens, position sensors and magnetic sensors. Since these are currently not available for purchase on the market, small mobile devices can be used as an alternative.

The figure shows the 3rd generation of Tangicons in use with two educational games using Sifteo Cubes.

The first Tangicons consisted of wooden cubes. Their position in space and orientation were recognized via image recognition. The second generation consisted of plastic with embedded microcontrollers and various sensors, as well as a radio module. For the third generation, which worked in conjunction with a screen for the first time, Sifteo Cubes were used.

Children at a Lübeck elementary school test the AlgoFrogs cooperative learning game with the fourth generation of Tangicons


Pupils of the Carl-Jacob-Burckhardt-Gymnasium perform a play with interactive, self-programmed clothing.

Clothing and jewelry (fashion) are expressions of cultural codes and trends. If electronic components are integrated into fashion, the result is smart fashion. By electronic components we mean small microcomputers, sensors and actuators capable of communication. SmartFashion is an application for interactive clothing or jewelry that can easily establish communication links to other ALS applications via NEMO. An early form of realizing cross-device interaction between smartphones and clothing has already been realized with WeWrite.

TextToPreventDrupalStrip Video of the students of the Carl-Jacob-Burckhardt-Gymnasium producing interactive shirts.


A SmartPlushie, here in the form of a dragon.

A Plushie is a small stuffed animal or plush fantasy creature made of fabric. When not only small microcontrollers, batteries, pressure switches, buzzers or LEDs are integrated into one, but also a wireless connection, we call this SmartPlushie. SmartPlushie is an application that can be used to establish a connection between SmartPlushies and NEMO or other ALS learning applications. This uses the same technology as SmartFashion, but to make small plushies interactively controllable.


For SmartPainting, similar technology is used as for SmartFashion or SmartPlushies, but to make self-painted pictures interactively controllable using web technology.