Prof. Beat Signer, Vrije Univ. Brussels

Beat Signer


Beat Signer is Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium, where he is co-director of the Web and Information System Engineering (WISE) laboratory. He studied Computer Science at ETH Zurich and completed his PhD thesis entitled Fundamental Concepts for Interactive Paper and Cross-Media Information Spaces in 2005. He is currently teaching courses on Databases and Web Information Systems. His research focuses on interactive paper solutions and cross-media information systems. He is investigating innovative conceptual link and document models for interweaving digital and physical information spaces. As part of his PhD, he developed the Resource-Selector-Link (RSL) metamodel for cross-media integration and implemented a cross-media server (iServer) based on this metamodel by extending the OMS Java object database system. The RSL metamodel is currently extended to deal not only with navigational cross-media linking, but also enable the structural representation of innovative forms of cross-media documents and information spaces. As part of the European Paper++ and PaperWorks projects, Beat Signer has developed the interactive paper (iPaper) framework for integrating paper and digital information and services. Different solutions for innovative forms of interactive paper document publishing have been realised and the iPaper framework has been applied in a variety of applications including PaperPoint, EdFest, Generosa Enterprise, the Lost Cosmonaut, Print-n-Link, PaperProof and other solutions. Based on the experience from realising these interactive paper applications, Beat is currently investigating general design patterns and paper widgets for this new type of paper-digital user interfaces. In addition to his research on cross-media information management, he is investigating novel forms of interactions for accessing information in these cross-media information spaces based on multimodal gesture recognition. He recently released iGesture, a general framework for gesture recognition under an open source license.