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Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye
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Locating Family Values: A Field Trial of the Whereabouts Clock by Barry Brown, Alex Taylor, Shahram Izadi, Abigail Sellen, Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye

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We report the results of a long-term, multi-site field trial of a situated …

We report the results of a long-term, multi-site field trial of a situated
device for families called the “Whereabouts Clock”. The Clock
displayed family members’ current location as one of four privacy-preserving,
deliberately coarse-grained categories (HOME, WORK, SCHOOL or ELSEWHERE).
In use, the Clock supported not only family co-ordination but also more
emotive aspects of family life such as reassurance, connectedness, identity and
social touch. This emphasized aspects of family life frequently neglected in
Ubicomp, such as the ways in which families’ awareness of each others’
activities contributes to a sense of a family’s identity. We draw further on the
results to differentiate between location as a technical aspect of awareness
systems and what we characterize as “location-in-interaction”. Location-in-
interaction is revealed as an emotional, accountable and even moral part of
family life.

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  • 1. Locating family values: A field trial of the Whereabouts clock Barry Brown1, Alex Taylor2, Shahram Izadi2, Abigail Sellen2, Joseph Kaye3, Rachel Eardley4 University of California San Diego1, Microsoft Research Cambridge2, Information Science, Cornell University3, Skype4 1
  • 2. 2
  • 3. 2
  • 4. 2
  • 5. A family positioning device Tracks location of family members and displays position on a clock like display Users are tracked by GSM positioning on their phone handsets, which they also used to register places as Home, Work and School The Whereabouts clock 3
  • 6. Demo 4
  • 7. Parsimonious design Fixed not mobile 5
  • 8. Longer term trial rather than lots of participants Tested the clock with five families over six months, with at least one month with each family Two families had the clock for 2 months Interviewed participants every week (more or less) collected message and location logs and used them in the interviews 6
  • 9. London & Cambridge families 5 families from the Cambridge area recruited through local school connections with Microsoft Idiosyncratic e.g. Vicar, nurse, IT consultant, retired, technical support, circuit board assembly, charity worker unemployment, religion, home working, father at home/mother at work, multi-home seperated families 7
  • 10. Uses of the clock 8
  • 11. Using the clock 72% of trial days were tracked Between 47% and 80% of trial days were tracked for participants 1.6 messages per participant per week Co-ordination, Reassurance, Connectedness & Identity 9
  • 12. Co-ordination Put the kettle on moments A few times Jon has not left a message and around about quarter to six-ish I’ve seen his photo move up to HOME and I’ve thought “ooh, Jon is coming home.” and I’ve had a cup of tea ready for him before he’s even walked in the house Messaging the house 10
  • 13. Reassurance Much more valuable: telling family members what they already know So I just come in and you know, ‘yep, everybody’s in the right place. All’s right with the world’, you know, just at a glance… It’s just umm, it is just nice. It’s not checking up on people. It’s just a nice little reassurance. Everyone’s where they should be and everything’s right, or at least their phones are in the right place [laughs]. I mean, you know, you can take these things too far… but you’re not using it as a security device like that. Chimes communicating routine 11
  • 14. When you haven't- When you can't visualise where your off-spring are, 12
  • 15. there's sort of a basic instinct about wanting to visualise where they are and actually I think in some way the Clock helps me think 'yes, they've definitely got there, and they're definitely there now, and they're on their way home. It's another- It's an additional tool to that visualisation really. 12
  • 16. Connectedness Connecting those inside the house with those outside Family members across different homes ‘Home’ as multiple places, but all still home 13
  • 17. Identity Home: Boyfriend’s home and family Work: Gardening home School: Walking the dog School: Train station where she picks boyfriend up after work Daughter Mother Work: Using the computer at home Home: Household home Home: Watching TV School: School Father Son 14
  • 18. Social touch Messaging used heavily to communicate ‘social touch’ messages Fitting into the emotional repartee of the home As with so many practical things in the home was used to play with the social organization of the home 15
  • 19. The clock and family life 16
  • 20. Privacy Despite repeated questioning, none of the families reported worries about privacy Yeah, so a lot of my friends have said “So your parents are checking up on you” like. I said nah this is not that. It’s not accurate enough. It doesn’t tell you exactly where I am so I can go places and they won’t know where I am. Level of detail failed to cause concern, even when we raised the possibility of hackers or phones being lost 17
  • 21. From location to location-in interaction Accuracy, resolution, coverage not as a technical feature of a system but for what they mean in interaction In interaction they have quite different features and this leads to different technical systems 18
  • 22. The production of family Families as a ‘work in progress’ The clock as a way of supporting ‘family geographies’ Helping to reveal the routines of those distant Family members ‘seen to monitor’ each others activity 19
  • 23. Family technologies Designing location technology for family life qualitative location tracking Indoor location tracking Rethinking the ‘smart’ in smart homes Technology to support families being families 20
  • 24. Happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (%om Anna Karenina) 21

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