Outside the Box

Case Study & Paper

May 9, 2012 @ 09:30, Room: Ballroom E

Chair: Shahram Izadi, Microsoft Research, USA
Unlocking the Expressivity of Point Lights - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Small lights (e.g., LEDs) are used as indicators in a wide variety of devices. Although exceedingly simple in their output, varying light intensity over time, their design space can be rich.
Abstract » Small point lights (e.g., LEDs) are used as indicators in a wide variety of devices today, from digital watches and toasters, to washing machines and desktop computers. Although exceedingly simple in their output - varying light intensity over time - their design space can be rich. Unfortunately, a survey of contemporary uses revealed that the vocabulary of lighting expression in popular use today is small, fairly unimaginative, and generally ambiguous in meaning. In this paper, we work through a structured design process that points the way towards a much richer set of expressive forms and more effective communication for this very simple medium. In this process, we make use of five different data gathering and evaluation components to leverage the knowledge, opinions and expertise of people outside our team. Our work starts by considering what information is typically conveyed in this medium. We go on to consider potential expressive forms - how information might be conveyed. We iteratively refine and expand these sets, concluding with ideas gathered from a panel of designers. Our final step was to make use of thousands of human judgments, gathered in a crowd-sourced fashion (265 participants), to measure the suitability of different expressive forms for conveying different information content. This results in a set of recommended light behaviors that mobile devices, such as smartphones, could readily employ.
Virtual Projection: Exploring Optical Projection as a Metaphor for Multi-Device Interaction - Paper
Community: engineering
Contribution & Benefit: Describes the concept of virtualizing optical projections as a metaphor for interacting between handhelds and stationary displays. We present characteristics, implementation and evaluation of such virtual projections.
Abstract » Handheld optical projectors provide a simple way to over-come the limited screen real-estate on mobile devices. We present virtual projection (VP), an interaction metaphor inspired by how we intuitively control the position, size, and orientation of a handheld optical projector�s image. VP is based on tracking a handheld device without an optical projector and allows selecting a target display on which to position, scale, and orient an item in a single gesture. By relaxing the optical projection metaphor, we can deviate from modeling perspective projection, for example, to con-strain scale or orientation, create multiple copies, or offset the image. VP also supports dynamic filtering based on the projection frustum, creating overview and detail applications, and selecting portions of a larger display for zooming and panning. We show exemplary use cases implemented using our optical feature-tracking framework and present the results of a user study demonstrating the effectiveness of VP in complex interactions with large displays.
Creating and Using Interactive Narratives: Reading and Writing Branching Comics - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Describes the design and development of a novel form of interactive, multi-touch comics, which can facilitate the authoring of, and engagement with, interactive narratives.
Abstract » In this paper we describe the design and development of a multi-touch surface and software that challenges current approaches to the production and consumption of comics. Authorship of the comics involves drawing the 'top level' of the story directly onto paper and projecting lower-level narrative elements, such as objects, characters, dialogue, descriptions and/or events onto the paper via a multi-touch interface. In terms of the impact this has upon the experience of reading and writing, the implementation of paper is intended to facilitate the creation of high-level overviews of stories, while the touch surface allows users to generate branches through the addition of artifacts in accordance with certain theories about interactive narratives. This provides the opportunity to participate in the reading and authoring of both traditional, paper-based texts and interactive, digital scenarios. Prototype comics are used to demonstrate this approach to reading and writing top-level and low-level narratives.
TimeBlocks: "Mom, can I have another block of time?" - Note
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Presents the design, development, and evaluation of TimeBlocks. TimeBlocks is a novel tangible, playful object to facilitate communication about time between young children and adults.
Abstract » Time is a difficult concept for parents to communicate with young children. We developed TimeBlocks, a novel tangible, playful object to facilitate communication about concepts of time with young children. TimeBlocks consists of a set of cubic blocks that function as a physical progress bar. Parents and children can physically manipulate the blocks to represent the concept of time. We evaluated TimeBlocks through a field study in which six families tried TimeBlocks for four days at their homes. The results indicate that TimeBlocks played a useful role in facilitating the often challenging task of time-related communication between parents and children. We also report on a range of observed insightful novel uses of TimeBlocks in our study.
Canvas Presentations in the Wild - Short Case Study
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Examines evolving layout strategies in publicly available canvas presentations. Finds that the benefits of this format previously demonstrated in the lab setting can also be observed in real-life presentations.
Abstract » Most presentation software uses the slide deck metaphor to create visual presentation support. Recently, canvas presentation tools such as Fly or Prezi have instead begun to use a zoomable free-form canvas to arrange information. The effect of this change in format on the authoring process of presentations has been investigated previously in a formal lab study. We have now examined the evolving patterns of usage in publicly available canvas presentations and found that the benefits of this format that have been demonstrated in the lab setting also can be observed in real life presentations. This confirms the potential of canvas based tools to help authors improve the quality of their presentation visuals.