Presented at the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2012), this work was conducted by PARC and Sony Corporation.
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Recent advances in ubiquitous technology have greatly changed the way people stay connected. We conducted an in-depth video shadowing study to observe how close-knit groups use all the technology at their disposal to stay in touch and share their lives.
We observed a pattern of related behaviors that we call "channel blending" -- the integration of interactions and content over multiple channels into one coherent conversation, often including both local and remote participants. Channel blending is the opposite of multitasking in that it involves merging many lines of focus into one, rather than switching attention between them.
We discuss ways technology could better support this emerging style of multichannel content-sharing and communication.