Otto Hans-Martin Lutz

Doctoral Researcher

Otto Hans-Martin Lutz is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Before joining Weizenbaum institute, he worked in research on eye-tracking, gaze interaction and virtual reality therapy systems for stroke patients. He holds a MSc. in Human Factors (TU Berlin) and a BEng. in telecommunication engineering (DHBW Ravensburg). His current research focus is using sonification to raise awareness for online privacy issues.

Privacy Sonification

Online privacy threats are mostly invisible to the user. There are few opportunities in the life of an average person to directly experience the consequences and impact of online privacy and security incidents. This is due to the concealed nature of these incidents and the delay between privacy-critical event and consequence (e.g., fraud, price discrimination, targeted influencing). We design interventions which allow an experience of the characteristics and magnitude of privacy issues. Instead of purely cognitive explanations, we use sound as an affective medium which triggers an emotional reaction and call to action.
Sonification is an interdisciplinary research on the use of sound (usually non-speech audio) to convey information or perceptualize data. An illustrative example of sonification is the Geiger counter which transforms imperceptible events of radioactive decay into observable sound events. In HCI, sonification is useful to perceptualize background processes as it provides an additional modality. Users can keep their visual attention at their primary task while simultaneously obtaining supplemental information through the auditory domain.

Our research focuses on examining how sonic feedback on privacy-related concerns during user interaction can increase privacy awareness. A major challenge of this research is translating the complexity and richness of privacy-related data into meaningful sonic events which can be understood by the user without costing too much mental effort. We develop and study diverse sonification artifacts which transform data into sound, combining computer science with psychology and an artistic approach.

Current Research Projects are:

  • Mobile phone data leakage sonification (how often does my mobile phone "call home")
  • Password strength sonification providing a playful, exploratory way to learn about password strength and usage
  • Web tracker sonification providing real-time feedback of data exchanged with third-party hosts while surfing. This allows interactive comparison of different websites, browsers, tracker-blocking add-ons and apps

More details can be found here:

If you are interested in writing your Master's thesis in the field of privacy or security sonification, get in touch with us!





+49 30 3463-7568



Fraunhofer FOKUS


Lutz, O. H.-M., Kröger, J. L., Schneiderbauer, M. and Hauswirth, M. (2019).  Surfing in Sound: Sonification of hidden web tracking. Proc. International Conference on Auditory Display 2019, S. 306-309
Kröger, J. L., Lutz, O. H.-M. and Müller, F. (2019). What Does Your Gaze Reveal About You? On the Privacy Implications of Eye Tracking. Proc. AI & Privacy 2019
Kröger, J. L., Lutz, O. H.-M. and Raschke, P. (2019). Privacy Implications of Voice and Speech Analysis – Information Disclosure by Inference. Proc. AI & Privacy 2019
Lutz, O. H.-M. and Hauswirth, M. (2019). Sonic footprints of web tracking. Proc. Nordic Sound and Music Computing Conference 2019, p. 3-4
Lutz, O. H.-M., Burmeister, C., Ferreira dos Santos, L., Morkisch, N., Dohle, C. and Krüger, J. (2017). Application of head-mounted devices with eye-tracking in virtual reality therapy. Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering 2017, 3(1), 53–5.
Lutz, O. H.-M. and Krüger, J.: Assessing visual attention in virtual reality: Automatic one-point calibration for eye-tracking. Proc. IEEE International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation (ICVR) 2017
Lutz, O. H.-M., Venjakob, A., and Ruff, S. (2015). SMOOVS: Towards calibration-free text entry by gaze using smooth pursuit movements. Journal of Eye Movement Research 8(1):2, 1-11.
Cymek, D.H., Venjakob, A.C., Ruff, S., Lutz, O. H.-M., Hofmann, S., and Rötting, M. (2014). Entering PIN codes by smooth pursuit eye movements. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 7(4):1, 1-11.


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