ActiveMap: A Visualization Tool for Location Awareness to Support Informal Interactions (HUC99)
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ActiveMap: A Visualization Tool for Location Awareness to Support Informal Interactions (HUC99)

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ActiveMap is a visualization tool that enables users to gain greater awareness of the location of people in their workplace environment, increasing each person's ability to seek out colleagues for......

ActiveMap is a visualization tool that enables users to gain greater awareness of the location of people in their workplace environment, increasing each person's ability to seek out colleagues for informal, face-to-face interactions. Our initial implementation of the tool places images of each person's face on a map of the building. We have explored variations on how to best represent a range of features: the "freshness" of location information, groups of people in a single office, and the movement of people throughout the environment. We describe the context of the environment in which the tool is used, the features embodied in this tool, variations we have implemented for representing location and movement information, and some potential extensions for future versions of the tool.

This presentation was given at the First International Symposium on Handheld and Ubiquitous Computing (HUC99), which later evolved into the UbiComp conference series. The paper associated with this conference can be found here: http://interrelativity.com/joe/publications/ActiveMap-HUC99-abstract.html

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  • 1. ActiveMap: A Visualization Tool for Location Awareness to Support Informal Interactions Joe McCarthy & Eric Meidel
  • 2. Outline • Grand Challenge for Ubiquitous Computing • Active Environments Research • ActiveMap Application • Experiences with ActiveMap • Future Work
  • 3. Ubiquitous Computing • Proliferation of devices • Variety of “network computers” • telephones, TVs, cameras, microphones, refrigerators, microwaves, toasters... • Distribution of computing resources • portable • wearable • embedded
  • 4. Major Trends in Computing 18 Mainframes 16 14 PCs 12 Year ($Bn) Sales per 10 Ubiquitous Computing 8 6 4 2 0 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
  • 5. Grand Challenge: So what? • UbiComp: technology in search of a problem? • Lots of devices that can communicate with us and each other … what are they going to say? • What would your toaster say to your refrigerator? • What kinds of new capabilities are enabled by this new paradigm of computing? • Applications? • HUC99, others (CHI, ISWC, …)
  • 6. Sense & Respond • UbiComp: New paradigm of computing • Old: input/output (foreground) • New: sense/respond (background) • Active Environments: “UbiComp in a box” • Network of sensors, responders • Concentrated in a small area • Redefining human-computer interaction • users --> inhabitants
  • 7. Active Environments Most environments are passive -- deaf, dumb & blind -- unaware of their inhabitants and unable to assist them in a meaningful way. In contrast, an active environment is a physical space that can sense and respond appropriately to the people and activities taking place within it.
  • 8. First Steps Toward Active Environments • Focus: Informal Communication • Crucial for success in project/team-oriented work • Attempts to connect often end in failure • Suite of Awareness Tools • Provide information about who’s where • Infrared badges, sensors • Create informal interaction opportunities for non-adjacent colleagues • “semi-serendipitous encounters”
  • 9. Active Environments Research Issues • Utility of Awareness Tools • [How] useful? • Useful how? • Which tools? • Which settings? • Measurement • usage, polls, interviews, logs • Privacy / benefit tradeoff
  • 10. PocketWatch
  • 11. EventManager
  • 12. ActiveMap
  • 13. Related Work • Xerox PARC • “locations” program • Olivetti Research Lab • Active Badge system • Our goals • Explore visualization issues • Privacy / benefit tradeoff • User experiences
  • 14. ActiveMap: Visualization
  • 15. Visualization: Groups
  • 16. Visualization: “Freshness”
  • 17. Interaction with ActiveMap • View manipulation • pan, zoom, “home” • tool-tip pop-ups on mouse-over • people, locations • Find • recenters map over person’s location • Directed audio • text messages via speech synthesis to node
  • 18. User Experiences • Desktop computers • Infrequently used • Early bugs, screen size, poor marketing • Kiosk • Used by group members & non-members • Members: consult after physical search • Non-members: no instruction
  • 19. Visualization Preferences • Groups • stacked over tiled • Freshness • frame shading over image fading • Elapsed time scale • logarithmic over linear, 0-15 mins. to 1-2 hrs. • Sounds • none
  • 20. Future Work • Integration of other “sensors” • Presence: motion, camera, microphone • Activity: keyboard, telephone, calendar • Integration of other communication modalities • Instant text messaging (AIM) • Telephone • Videoconference (NetMeeting)
  • 21. Future Work • New interaction modes (kiosk) • Speech recognition / speech synthesis • Touch screen • New visualization capabilities • Rotation of stacked images (at-a-glance) • Snail trails • Playback
  • 22. Future Work • [More thorough] user studies • Log analysis, option settings • Extend to new group (ETS) • Inter- vs. intra-group issues • Infrastructural, political, social • Integrate with Workplace of the Future (ETS) • Integrated Email, NetMeeting, Scheduling
  • 23. ActiveMap: A Visualization Tool for Location Awareness to Support Informal Interactions Joe McCarthy mccarthy@cstar.ac.com