New Information Displays in  Ubiquitous Computing

New Information Displays in Ubiquitous Computing

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Description: In this electronic presentation information displays in Ubiquitous Computing by Lars Erik Holmquist which is director of the PLAY research studio in the Interactive Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden. If I asked you to draw a picture, you would probably come up with something like this The Xerox Star was launched in 1980 and was the first computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). A few years later, Apple’s similar but more popular Macintosh made GUIs available to everyone.

A few years later, Apple’s similar but more popular Macintosh made GUIs available to everyone. The BubbleBadge, the ActiveJewel and the WearBoy are prototypes that explore the concept of turning a wearable computer “inside out. Computer displays do not have to be just screens anymore, but can use other modalitites and material, Screens do not have to stay on the desktop but can appear in different contexts, With ubiquitous computing, we will need to figure out new ways to present information in depending on the setting.

Smaller and less expensive projectors and screens will make it easier to project or display information where ever it is needed. New technologies (e.g. electronic ink) will allow construction of displays that are much better integrated within ordinary objects.

 
Author: Lars Erik Holmquist (Fellow) | Visits: 1659 | Page Views: 2067
Domain:  High Tech Category: Displays Subcategory: Big Picture 
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Contents:
Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

New Information Displays in
Ubiquitous Computing
Lars Erik Holmquist
PLAY research studio
The Interactive Institute
www.playresearch.com
www.interactiveinstitute.se

Computer displays
• What is a computer display?
• If I asked you to draw a picture, you would
probably come up with something like this…

About me
• I am director of the PLAY research studio in
the Interactive Institute in Gothenburg,
Sweden
• PLAY’s mission is to explore the design of
computer artifacts, applications and
interfaces outside the work setting
• We want to combine technological
innovation with techniques from art, design
and media

• The Xerox Star was
launched in 1980 and
was the first computer
with a graphical user
interface (GUI)
• A few years later,
Apple’s similar but
more popular
Macintosh made GUIs
available to everyone

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Displays in Ubiquitous
Computing
• Xerox PARCs first UbiComp experiments
(1988-94) included three types of units:
– Tabs -- very small handheld computers
– Pads -- palm sized, c.f. Palm Pilot
– Boards -- wall sized, c.f. SmartBoard

The need for alternatives
• If we imagine having computer
everywhere, we will often have to tailor the
output to the usage
• Some situations are not suitable for
traditional screens, for reasons like:
– Cost
– Size / space
– Attention
– Integration with environment

Widening the definition
• All the displays we have seen so far are
screens of some sort (LCD or CRT)
• According to Encyclopedia Brittanica a
computer display ”transforms computerstored data into analog form for human
viewing”.
• This includes screens, but should it not also
includes a lot of other things?

The Dangling String
• Created at Xerox PARC
by artist Natalie
Jeremijenko
• A wire hangs from the
ceiling is attached to a
motor
• Each data bit sent
through the network
makes the wire move

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Dangling String implications
• The dangling string is a display -- it
”transforms computer-stored data into
analog form for human viewing”
• But the information is not just seen!
• Because of the physical qualities of the
string, it is also (sometimes)
– Felt -- through air-flow or direct touch
– Heard -- if the movement is very strong

Some examples
• My group has worked with a number of
new displays
• I will show how computer screens can be
integrated in various situations and also
how displays that are not screens can be
constructed for various settings
• For more information, visit our web site:
www.playresearch.com

Calm technology
• The Dangling String has been used as an
example of calm technology
• Calm technology is characterized by the
ability to move between the foreground and
background of user attention
• The idea is that you could have something
providing information in the background
and only ”focus” on it when you need to

Subtle Notification
• The Reminder Bracelet links
to a PDA or mobile phone to
provide a subtle (but public)
alternative to annoying
beeps & buzzers

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Wearable Awareness
• The Hummingbird is a
“friend finder” that
“hums” when your
friends are in the
vicinity
• The device only gives
awareness that
someone is close, and
does not demand
action

Wearable Public Displays
• The BubbleBadge, the
ActiveJewel and the
WearBoy are
prototypes that explore
the concept of turning
a wearable computer
“inside out”

Background Displays
• WebAware gives a
continuously updated
visualization of the traffic
on the local web-site
using an “information
galaxy” metaphor

Informative Art
• An artwork (a painting, installation, etc.) is
typically designed to invite reflection over a
longer period of time
• We thought it might be interesting to use
some of the ideas behind traditional art to
construct computer displays
• Informative art pieces look like artworks,
but also display dynamic information of
some sort

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Informative Art exhibition
• We did an
exhibition of
some examples
of informative
art at Borås Art
Museum, May
2000

Abstract clocks
• Abstract clocks show
real and/or subjective
time
• At the exhibition, the
number of people
passing by was used
as a measure of
“subjective time”

Informative Mondrian
• Inspired by the style
of Piet Mondrian
• First version linked
size of color blocks to
e-mail traffic
• Exhibition version
used “Chest of
Drawers” as input

Miniatures
• Abstract ”egg
timers” that count
down to a specified
time
• Shows how small
stationary displays
can be used for
specific information

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Future directions

• The Chest of Drawers has a light sensor in each
drawer measuring the amount of light
• The Fan House has 9 fans affect the movement of
several layers of thin fabric
• The Sail House has a light sensor behind each
paper “sail” for input

Displays everywhere
• What happens
when we can put
graphics displays
everywhere?
• This setup of a
projector and a
mirror allows for
experimentation

• Smaller and less expensive projectors and
screens will make it easier to project or
display information where ever it is needed
• New technologies (e.g. electronic ink) will
allow construction of displays that are
much better integrated within ordinary
objects
• Here are some works in progress...

Information Curtain
• We are experimenting with
a new type of fabric that
changes color in ultra-violet
light
• This will allow us to use
traditional materials to
construct new types of
displays

Ubiquitous Computing – Vorlesung im WS 00/01 – Gastvortrag von Lars Erik Holmquist

Conclusions
• Computer displays do not have to be just
screens anymore, but can use other
modalitites and material
• Screens do not have to stay on the desktop
but can appear in different contexts
• With ubiquitous computing, we will need to
figure out new ways to present information
in depending on the setting

Thanks!
Questions?
www.playresearch.com