The general focus this quarter is on ubiquitous computing. We will spend half of our time looking at work outside of Georgia Tech and the other half focussing on particular efforts within the FCE Group.
Emerging themes in ubiquitous computing at FCE
On alternate weeks this quarter, we are going to have a discussion on work inside of FCE by one of the various FCE Lab researchers. To kick-start things this quarter, Gregory will provide an overview FCE research activities outlining a number of emerging research themes.
Ubicomp papers at CHI'97
The analogy to salvage is a good one. Just as physical objects become set in a linear geologic strata over time, so do media artifacts. By uncovering these layers in a meticulous fashion, and under a strict methodology, context may be observed and information gleaned. By capturing media with many time stamped contextual cues, one can later sift through the layers with much more speed and accuracy. This research focuses on the creation of tools to accurately capture the fluid communication of a meeting, and then utilize the multimedia records within a larger work process. By observing a subject at PARC over a period of several months (after he had been given time to become familiar with the system), they observed the development of multiple salvaging strategies. These strategies became extremely integrated with both the act of capture and retrieval. This integration of activity may be the most compelling results to emerge from the study.
We touched on some of this research the other day, speaking about the string which wiggled in response to network activity. While the original implementation of the Live Wire was done by an artist in residence at Xerox PARC, this is a good example of Ishii and Ullmer's concept of background information display. Pushing the idea of foreground/background communication, they propose the three key concepts of Tangible Bits: interactive surfaces, graspable physical objects, and ambient media. There is some very interesting associated with this research, with no key concept receiving more attention than the other. Graspable icons (phicons) are being used to symbolize real world objects, as well as store data. They are being associated with ubiquitous environments as well as with traditional optical displays as alternatives to wimp input. particularly interesting is their allusion to the use of light, shadow, and transparency in future displays.
During the seminar we were talking about the "Sound of the Net Breathing" site and I also mentioned a book on ambient noise/music called "Elevator Music." Here are more detailed references.
Sound of the Net: http://park.org/Japan/Theme/sware/
Joseph Lanza, "Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening and Other Moodsong" (Picador: New York), 1995.
Design/Representation issues for Ubicomp
So come to class Tuesday where the topic will be : "Fitting 20 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound bag" or "Everything I ever wanted to know about the PI calculus, but was afraid to ask".
Auditory representation of data
Traditionally, data sonification has been concerned with creating interfaces for the visually impaired and for providing means of monitoring data when the user's vision sense is otherwise preoccupied (as in a jet cockpit or in a surgical environment). While none of the writings below address ubiquitous computing, per se, I think the research suggests many ways that we can reach the goal of an "invisible interface" with the world in a future computing environment. Sonified data has many advantages over visualized data that seem appropriate for an interface that has no physical characteristics. I'd like to highlight some of the ways that data sonification could benefit (and, in fact, could be inappropriate for) a ubiquitous computing device or environment.
Classroom 2000: Ubiquitous computing in education
Readings for each week will either be included on this page as links or will be made available a week in advance and announced to the FCE mailing list.
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