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Paper: Everyday Computing

Ubicomp Reading: Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing
Gregory Abowd and Elizabeth Mynatt
Georgia Institute of Technology

Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing
Gregory Abowd and Elizabeth Mynatt
Georgia Institute of Technology

Intro: Three (past) interaction themes of ubicomp:
- natural interfaces
   - problems:
     - first class natural data types
       - ability to manipulate raw data as first-class data
     - recognition errors
   - embodiments:
     - speech, gesture, pen input
     - perceptual interfaces (vision)
     - tangible user interfaces
     - error reduction
     - error detection
     - reusable infrastructurs for error correction (Mankoff)
   - examples:
     - Unistroke
- context-aware applications
   - problems:
     - location awareness
     - identity awareness
     - activity recognition
     - physical and computational context
   - embodiments:
     - GPS and GPS-like systems (e.g. car navigation)
     - augmented reality, "probing the world with a tool"
   - examples:
     - PARCTab
     - Active Badges
     - Fitzmaurice: see "inside" machines with handheld
     - Rekimoto and Nagao's NaviCam (recognize color barcodes on objects with handheld)
   - notes:
     - most context-aware systems do not incorporate knowledge about time, history, or
multiple users
     - 5 W's of context
       - Who: identity of one or more users
       - What: interpretations of human activity
       - Where: tailer information based on perceived location/path
       - When: using time/duration to interpret activity, e.g. brief visit=not interested,
deviating from normal schedule=interesting
       - Why: person's affective state. sensing body temp, heart rate, galvanic skin response
     - context fusion: combining multiple sensing sources to increase reliability
- automated capture and access
   - problems:
     - time association of data
     - raw vs. processed form of data
     - capture of raw input
     - Challenges according to Abowd:
       - capture problems
         - recording of special events in life and subsequent retrieval
         - critical insights/decisions not recorded properly
         - recording events as documentation (e.g. construction of building instead of blueprints)
         - determining focus of attention
       - access problems
         - accessing particular segments
         - intuitive UI for accessing multiple versions of same capture
         - synch of multiple streams
   - embodiments:
     - personal note-taking (strong focus)
     - meeting-room/classroom data capture
     - time indexing of content for future retrieval
   - examples:
     - Classroom 2000
     - StuPad
     - Audio Notebook, We-Met, Marquee, MRAS
     - Capture: Crosspad, Mimio
     - Access: Timewarp, time-machine computing


Thesis:
- propose "everyday computing" as a new theme of research
   - features of everyday computing:
     - daily activities rarely have clear beginning or end
     - interruption is expected
       - need to support multiple levels of intrusiveness
     - multiple activites act concurrently
       - desktop interfaces run into problem of user managing screen real estate
       - Rooms interface spatial organizes documents within persistent working spaces
     - time is an important discriminator
     - associative models of storage required
   - synergy among ubicomp themes in everyday computing
     - Ishii: using natural interfaces to support communication and background awareness
     - Roomware: table-like interaction areas for a wide-range of informal interactions
     - Audio Aura: using location to trigger information delivery
   - research directions in everyday computing
     - continuously present computer interface
       - information appliance: convergence of consumer electronics and traditional GUI
         - typically is not context-aware
       - agents: context-aware
         - includes talking head interfaces
       - continously worn interfaces: currently limited by input capability, usually text-based
       - peripheral interfaces
       - connecting events in physical and virtual worlds
         - Digital Desk
       - modifying traditional HCI methods to support designing for informal, peripheral, and
opportunistic behavior
- focus on scaling interaction with respect to time
- continuous interaction with systems
   - constant companion instead of localized interactions with desktop systems
   - designing for interruption and discontinuity
   - representing passages of time
   - providing associative storage model
   - informal and unstructured activities
- everyday computing activities
   - organizing taks
   - managing info
   - communicating with family and friends

Application-centered research in ubicomp
- emphasis on traditional individual tasks, such as e-mail
- augmenting memory
- information sharing between groups

User-centered research in ubicomp

Ubicomp systems discussed:
- Tivoli project (PARC)
- LiveBoard (PARC)
- PARCTab

My notes:
- Photoshop Album is a good practioner of some of the problems/solutions posited.
It is a capture and access tool with a good awareness of time and associative
storage. Continous interaction is fairly simple because the system is mostly
stateless.

Related paper:
Classroom 2000: An experiment with the instrumentation of a living educational environment

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