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Aula Cooltown Concepts

Aula Cooltown Concepts



Documentation of a project that aimed to develop concepts using Hewlett Packard's Cooltown technology for smart spaces. ...

Documentation of a project that aimed to develop concepts using Hewlett Packard's Cooltown technology for smart spaces.

The project called Aula Cooltown, (Spring '01 - Fall '01) explored ways in which Hewlett Packard's Cooltown technology could be applied to support exchange, production and consumption of ideas in Aula, a public space for ideas exchange and collaboration.

Two concepts were produced in the project: the playLux display system and playPad digital sketch-pad. The purpose of both concepts is to facilitate information flow between Aula members in an unintrusive way. The secondary purpose of both concepts is to enhance the aesthetics of the Aula space.



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    Aula Cooltown Concepts Aula Cooltown Concepts Presentation Transcript

    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Scenario…2 Introduction to Aula Cooltown project and concepts...4 Design approach...5 Design objectives...5 Results from observational research and workshops....6 playLux…14 playPad…19 Aula Cooltown Concepts 2.0 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 1
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 John is an architect. He joined Aula co-operative because he believes in Aula's values of openness and diversity. For him Aula is a place to meet people outside his field and current social network. It’s a network of people he can share his know-how with and in the process increase awareness about what architecture has to offer in terms of methods. He would like to see a continuous dialogue in Aula between designers from all different fields. His interests outside architecture include graphic design and Japanese cuisine. On Tuesday evening John comes to Aula to work on a design for a flyer. He has been trading versions back and forth with Auli, a psychology student from Helsinki University. Now with the deadline approaching he wants to quickly try out a few ideas so he is not in the mood to socialize, at least not right away. John takes a look around and notes that there are eight other people in Aula. A group of four is sitting on the sofas, obviously conducting a meeting. The others seem to be by themselves. quot;What are they working on?quot; John wonders to himself. He picks up a playPad and pen from the wall next to the entrance and walks over to his favorite spot in Aula: the sofa by the curving window. From his spot on the sofa he is able to keep follow the playLux-exchange display embedded into the corner pillar. John has learned the names of numerous members just by occasionally following the display. Each time a member enters Aula using the Aula key (RFID tag) their name is shown on the playLux-exchange display. Actually John doesn't watch the display like he would a screen or monitor. He can be doing something and from the corner of this John takes a playPad eye catch the slight variation in the hue of the playLux light which is a signal that a new person has entered Aula. When this happens he automatically looks to the display embedded into the pillar. He also likes the idea that the brightness of the playLux-exchange light reflects the number of people in Aula. John sits down, places the playPad on this lap and begins sketching. He likes the convenience of the playPad; he doesn't need a camera and laptop with a net connection to save his sketches to the web. Moreover, sketching on the playPad is a lot easier than on a laptop. He quickly finishes a new version of the flyer, decides he doesn't like it and proceeds to erase it from the pad. He begins a new one and quickly has a version that he would like to show Auli. He pushes the quot;send to public webquot; button on the playPad. The playPad sends the image to the playPad web page where it is immediately visible to those browsing the page. John sends an SMS to Auli asking her to check out his new version on the playPad page. A few minutes later Auli replies: that she has seen the design but feels that it still lacks something. Lost for ideas John decides to take a break. He looks over to the playLux- consumption display which shows the events taking place in Aula. From the display John sees that dodo.org is hosting a discussion on urbanization in Aula at eight o'clock; that’s in 45 minutes John thinks to himself. He wants to know more about dodo.org and now is a good time. He takes his mobile phone, walks over to the playLux-consumption display, Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 2
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 activates the infra-red on his phone and aims it at the HP Cooltown beacon under the display. After capturing the playLux-consumption URL on his phone he walks to the printer and sends it to the printer via the phone's infra-red eye. The printer begins printing the dodo.org web page. John takes the print-out and goes back to the sofa where he has left the playPad. He scans the print and becomes immediately interested. One of the themes of tonight’s discussion is transportation in the city. It’s a subject John has researched recently at work. He decides that he wants to share his knowledge on the beneficial effects of creating more bike roads in Helsinki so he decides to stay in Aula and attend the discussion. People from dodo.org begin to arrive in Aula. The playLux-exchange display shows the names of those entering. The playLux-production display shows the URL to the page someone from dodo.org has made for this discussion. The discussion begins with a presentation on transportation in the city. John listens keenly and after the presentation asks if he could share his views on the benefits of bikes. The others welcome his contribution. He walks over to the flipchart taking the playPad with him. He hangs the playPad on the board and draws. An excited conversation ensues. The organizer asks John to save the chart to the web from where it can be linked to the dodo.org web page. He does so at the press of a button and thinks to himself: an evening like this could only happen in Aula. John looks at the playLux-exchange display John presenting his views on bike use Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 3
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 John using the playPad with a projector Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 4
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Overview of concepts Introduction to Aula Cooltown project and concepts playLux The aim of the Aula Cooltown project is to inspire and support the core Aula activities of production, exchange and consumption within the Aula space. Two concepts have been developed to address core activity related needs and phenomena uncovered through observational research and participatory design sessions conducted during a three week period in Aula. Both concepts enable play and openness in Aula. The playLux is a set of amb ient displays for non-intrusive communication of identity and activity in Aula. The playPad is a pen-based digital sketch-pad which makes the documentation of sketches to the web easy and efficient. The playPad also functions as an interface to the playLux displays. The two systems can be combined to create further concepts such as multi-user games. The playLux concept is a solution to the following needs in Aula: Hardware: Software: • • LED light board (4 per • LED controller The current means of learning about members and of telling about oneself do • PlayLux web page not inspire encounters and exchange in Aula. column) • • LED controller • Resolver The demand for information about activities, projects and members is not being • WLAN card or Blue tooth • Database met: it is often outdated, difficult to find and lacks context. • The Aula space in itself does not inspire the Aula core activities of production, chip • Casing exchange and consumption. • HP beacons (1 per column) • PC The playPad concept is a solution to the following phenomenon in Aula: • The whiteboard has become a bulletin board. Its original purpose as a design playPad tool that promotes openness has not been adopted by the members in part due to the difficulty of documenting work done on it as well as due to the member preference of hanging on the sofas. The concepts are influenced by the following phenomena in Aula: • Most members want the Aula ambience to remain quiet and peaceful. Surprisingly, the introduction of devices for whatever purpose is considered undesirable. • During their stay in Aula most members are in communication with the outside world through the web, e-mail, and mobile phones. Some members come to Aula just to communicate with the outside world. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 5
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula just to communicate with the outside world. Hardware: Software: • Touch pad • Touch pad software • Casing • PlayPad web page Overall, the concepts reinforce Aula's identity as a place where being and doing can • RF reader • Resolver mix. playLux and playPad enable new types of discourses and interaction between people, • Database place and virtual space. They support the vision: quot;Aula is a socially engineered platform for conversation, experience, involvement and interaction: an ecosystem of innovation. Ideas born here are seen later in society at-large.quot; Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 6
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Design approach Empathy and participation have been the key values in the design approach taken. The approach has lead to an active process of reflecting and refining the initial interests with an understanding of actual member practices and observations about the Aula space. Furthermore, Aula members, HP and other interest groups have been involved in the validation of the initial concepts. Three methodologies were used in the observational research phase of the project. Observational research in Aula was conducted over a two and a half week period. During the observation periods which lasted from 4-10 hours per day all activity or the lack of it was noted and photographed. During the same period a focus group of ten Aula members kept a journal of their relationship to Aula. They also kept a visual diary, taking photographs with a paper camera given to them at the beginning of the study. The user study concluded with a participatory workshop in which the participants presented the photographs they had taken, discussed questions posed to them and gave feedback on the Aula Cooltown concepts 1.0: Aula lamp, Aula aura, Aula video messaging and Aula digital bulletin board, Design objectives Aula's design principle, by Jyri Engeström From the observational research it was discovered that the identity of the Aula space does not correlate with the strong ideology behind the overall Aula concept. In other words, the purpose of Aula and the uses of the space are not clear to the members. This is reflected in the relative lack of activity in the Aula space and the expectant attitude of members. As a result the overall design objective has been to enhance the identity of the Aula space. The overall objective has been broken down into several smaller ones: • create services which inspire interaction between people in Aula • blend information, user interfaces and architecture in a way that looks and feels natural yet opens up a new dimension into Aula. • create synergies between existing Aula services such as aula.cc and Hunaja and the Aula Cooltown concepts. • Introduce new uses for HP Cooltown technology already in use in Aula, The playLux and playPad introduce Aula's design principle of play between production, exchange and consumption into Aula’s physical layout and subsequently, into the experience of being and doing there. Programming Aula space, by Tuomas Toivonen Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 7
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 8
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Results from observational research and workshops The following are preliminary results, summarized after the first run-through of data gathered from the diaries, observational research and participatory workshops. Expectations, attitudes and motivations Expected experiences in Aula Diversity is sought and expected from Aula related experiences. All study Participatory design workshop # 2 participants expect to meet new people. Those who are interested or work with technology hope Aula will become a test lab for new technology, a place where they can play with beta- versions new products. 3-1: This place is a laboratory 1-2: for me it is definitely meeting new people. What I expect to receive I've already received it and… 4-2: Relationships, people, networking … but that’s really stupid word…delete,delete, delete, … honest people and then a bunch of fun ideas that will find a new context. This is connected to the projects that are going Laptop users in Aula on. There already are fun projects …. But more, since I am in an IT company, IT applications that can be tested at grassroots level 5-2: Being, doing and living…like I put in the diary Aula should have something that I don't have: books, magazines.. links… theme surfing hosted by someone. Or if there was a project I could be working on with people but something ordinary because you can't have cool stuff everyday and then sometimes there could be interesting events. Reasons for joining Aula deal with people Most of the participants had joined Aula to meet people who have different interests and backgrounds. 6-2: When I joined I had no motivation .. but having been here I find a motivation: its to meet people who are not like me (?)who have different interests 2-2: this is a typical picture of Jyri in Aula. Sitting on the same sofa with his 7-2: I heard about Aula from my friend. We are new-media wannabes. He laptop. With all possible devices open, ready for use told me that this is a new media people's space, a living room. I met the Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 9
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 founders and joined without really not knowing what is about, other than that its connected to new media and is a space in a very good location. The Aula ideology of diversity and exchange of ideas is also appealing. There is an expectancy that other members share the same beliefs: 3-1: I was also going to say that trust is the best thing. And then also, while this is open there is an idealism in the background, its not being forced down your throat, you do not have to have an opinion about something to be able to join Aula. The questioning of the norm that is behind the Aula ideology is good. This makes it easier to begin to do things in Aula. Reasons for coming to Aula vary greatly People come to Aula for various reasons. Events such as Aula dinner on Monday nights and the Wednesday conversation cafe are the most obvious reasons for coming to Aula. When no event is being held, which is most of the time, people come to Aula to kill time between meetings elsewhere, to hold meetings or to work and read by themselves. Tulin kaverini Mikaelin (ei Aulan jäsen) kanssa venailemaan Aulaan puoleksi tunniksi. Odotimme, että leffa alkaisi... Tarvitsin suht rauhallisen paikan oman koulutusprojektini erään esityksen ideoimiseksi ja mindmappin tekemiseen joten tulin Aulaan. 1-2: This is fun! These people are my friends (two groups, one in the foreground and one behind them) but they don't know each other. I sat in the middle, on the Other reasons for coming to Aula were to charge a mobile phone, to drop-off or pick- floor and driften in and out each groups conversation. Then at one point during up documents, take a nap on the sofas, have an after lunch coffee and to use the toilet. the evening I introduced Raisa and Salla and they began talking over the backrest of the sofa. I hope this will continue to happen in Aula. Pian pitää käydä Kaivopihan Unicafessa syömässä. Nyt kun vielä on kesämeininki pitää erityisesti mennä rullaluistimilla. Monesti aikaisemminkin olen miettinyt, että sen jälkee olisi kiva käydä Aulassa kahvilla. Tulin Aulaan ruokalevolle. Löhösin enkä puhunut. Tulin uudestaan duunin jälkeen. Join teetä, jubasin Sofian kanssa. Member profiling is controversial There is a general opposition to all categorization or profiling of members. Paradoxically, there is a demand for finding out about people on a meta-level. The participants would like to know what kinds of interests and professions can be found in the Aula community. Basic note taking tools in Aula Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 10
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Time & Space Daily activity in Aula is mostly self- and sofa-centered Killing time, working with a laptop, using the mobile phone, reading and meeting friends are the most common activities in Aula. Everyone likes to sit on the sofa and stare out of the windows. Most of the activity takes place on the sofas, even work and meetings. Love hate relationship to technology in Aula Most participants felt that the less devices in Aula the better. They did not like the Aula office idea of a room full of people sitting quietly playing with a device. However, the same people during their visits to Aula often used mobile phones or laptops to be in contact with the outside world. Furthermore, several expressed a need for a public laptop that can be shared and used mainly for e-mail. 7-2: When I entered Aula, Pete said quot;welcome to the boy's laptop clubquot;… usually the couple of people who are here are at this table using their laptops. 7-2: Well when someone said that the space invites you to use paper I don't agree because when you are at the futon you need a hard surface… If there are devices in Aula members want to have full control over them and expect them to be very easy to use. 6-2: you must be able to control it (screen in Aula). If I come here I don't want there to be others who can control what is shown in this space… I want to be able to come here and see nothing (reference to screens). 1-2: it (Video Messaging concept) will have to be very easy to use otherwise you won't use it. Anything complex is just ignored Whyteboard adopted as a bulletin board The original purpose of the whiteboard is to support production in Aula. It is a key production related technology and profiles the space at least superficially as a place for design work. Due to its central location everyone in Aula is able to see who is working at the board and from most locations it is possible to see what is being draw or written to the board. The vision for the whiteboard as a production tool has not been realized. The whiteboard in Aula is being used as a bulletin board. Flyers and posters are taped to it. Only a few people use the whiteboard for work. Even fewer leave their designs and notes for others to see which has been one of the main motivations for having the whiteboard in Aula. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 11
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula ambiance: peace and quiet are valued Aula is very quiet during the day. With the exception of times when a meeting takes place the only sound comes from people using mobile phones. Usually, there is no background music. 1-2: I like to have music in the backgro und but since its not here I haven't missed it 6-2: Exactly, when I come here its really quiet at most the ventilation system is making noise, at least bloody Nova (radio) is not open making noise. Never put a radio here. 4-2: new age in the background depending on the mood. But quiet in the middle of the city is a good thing 3-2: its surprisingly good. ironista, että avoin sosiaaliseksi tarkoitettu tila keskellä kaikkea on näin hyvä paikka olla yksin rauhassa, mutta tämä on todella rauhoittavaa. However, when several groups are meeting on the sofas the space feels nosier than it probably is. Each conversation can be heard clearly. People tend to talk at a normal volume and do not seem to hesitate to shout across the space to others. At night when the lights are on Aula becomes an aquarium because of the big windows. Some members feel that they are being watched from the outside. For this reason several of the study participants did not want Aula to be brightly lit when its dark outside. Tykkäisin hieman hämyisemmästä valaistuksesta illalla. Een oo ikinä tykänny tommosesta loisteputkitykittämisestä 2-1: I would have liked to takes pictures of Aula from the outside because, this (Aula) is a glass box that floats in the air. Activity on the Sofas & Temporary areas The half-finished feeling of the interior architecture divided the study participants. Those who were not bothered by the style were impressed by the big windows and liked the sofas. They liked to sit on them and observe life down on the street. Needs and problems Communicating identity is important to members Meeting people was by far the most common reason for coming to Aula. When meeting someone for the first time people would rather hear about interests and reason(s) for joining Aula than about work. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 12
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 1: for me its what I don't want to know and it frustrates me but it’s a very natural way to start a conversation is work, and work activities 5: work is not really the background that you want people to know but what interests you. So if you are interested in graphic design then you could be invited to design… A common problem with meeting people in general seemed to be remembering names: 4-2: I always forget people's names. I remember faces but not the name. 2-2: same here. Do we need to put a sticker on the forehead… 4-2: its more difficult in Finnish culture than in American culture. Member cards are perceived to be useful however, most of the study participants did not know that the cards existed. All would like to see the cards used more and some want to be able to design the cards themselves. 4-2: I haven't seen them because I haven't been to the Aula site for a week. But what is fun about those member cards is that I can meet those people in this space… everyone that is a member has their information there and I can meet them. I can spy on them and I can meet them face to face. I can take a subject from there (the member card) and then when I meet them I can use Whyteboard that subject to start a conversation… 1: yes and now they (member cards) are empty. No one asked what kind of information do you want to put in your card, which could be a very interesting phenomenon… Quantity and quality of communication about Aula does not meet demand Members would like to receive up-to-date information about Aula. They feel that communication about Aula related events, happenings and is not adequate. aulan listalle tulleista maileista ei yksikään ole jäänyt edes aiheeltaan päähän, en muista että mikään olisi kiinnostanut.. kuitenkin on hyvä että listalla on edes jotakin, tulee vähän awarenessia siitä kanavasta. aulan saitilla käyn usein (osana jokapäiväistä linkkikierrosta), Service & Temporary area tsekkaamassa onko jotain uutta, uutisia tai jotain. en ole vähään aikaan seurannut tosin keskusteluja sieltä, koska minulla on se vaikutelma ettei siellä mitään tapahdu. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 13
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Use of whiteboard is affected by difficulty to document work done there A practice of taking a photograph to document work on the whiteboard has been promoted in Aula. However, this practice requires a digital camera and a laptop both devices that majority of people in Aula do not have with them. Expectations about Aula experiences are not met Aula (network) is still looking for its place in people's lives. The experience of Aula has not been what most participants have expected. Most found meeting people in Aula to be difficult. Furthermore, they felt that ideas are not being exchanged freely and actively. 4-2: Aula is a place where people meet. Should more effort be put into getting people to meet. We are in Finland and you usually talk with people you know already. Should we encourage people to go and say quot;hey, I'm this and this and who are you where are you fromquot; just like at parties. But people just conceive of this as just one space among others where you are anonymous, don't feel like meeting anyone and are faceless but No, No this is just like the party space that is closed and where people know each other. 2-2: there should be a gas that gets people in the mood to socialize. 6-2: laughing gas… 1-2: but you should have the right to also be anti-social 6&4-2: definitely! 6-2: you could have a sign that says quot;don't speak to mequot; 4-2: its kind of stupid to start saying to people quot;get to know each other, touch each otherquot; Table 4-2: we need a forum more and more since there are different people with different backgrounds and lots of fun ideas. It would be good to hear about them. Now there is a project bulleting board on the Aula website but it has not lead to anything… Ei tää nyt ainakaan sisustukseltaan oo vielä ihan loppuun mietitty. Ehkä vähän hengetön ja viimeistelemätön (esim. rumat johdot). Mutta keskustan alueella mukavan rauhallinen ja kilpailukykyisen hintainen kahvi. The Aula concept or the seeming lack of it bothered some of the study participants. Aulaa on ehkä hieman vaikea hahmottaa (OK, niin kai kun siellä ei ollut J. Onko se yhteisö, jolloin pitäisi olla sielu, tavoitteet ja innostajat vai pelkkä työtila / hengailumesta? Ehkä Aula tämän tyyppisenä quot;tule ja tutustuquot; on vaikeasti saavutettava minun kaltaisille ihmisille joille uusien ihmissuhteiden luonti on vaikeaa / Member lockers ei ole luonnollista ilman quot;yhteisiä tehtäviäquot;. Siten olemassa olevassa tai Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 14
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 ei ole luonnollista ilman quot;yhteisiä tehtäviäquot;. Siten olemassa olevassa tai muotoutuvassa yhteisissä/tilassa ei ole mitään niin kiinnostavaa että ylittäisi quot;kynnyksenquot;. viikonloppuina näyttää olevan omituisen hiljaista. mikä ihme ihmisillä on kun ei aulaan tulla hengailemaan? elämä? tällä hetkellä aulaan ei voi viitata kuin mukavana paikkana hengailla ja tavata kiinnostavia ihmisiä. sekin on hyvä, muttei riitä. tunnelma on odottava. toivottavasti jotain alkaa tapahtua. Aula member profiles Aula active Has a mission in Aula. Wants to be very involved in running daily operations. Looks for recognition from the Aula community. Exclusivity seeker Considers Aula membership as prestigious and likes to show-off the physical space: considers it as an extension of home, a place to bring friends and entertain them. Likes to introduce people but is not keen on project work. Idealist Aula member card at aula.cc Believes in Aula's values and wants to see them realized. Is active in numerous projects Works on a lot on projects and has several going on at the same time. Needs the Aula space and network in the projects but does not want to quot;usequot; people. Wary of social capital. Observer Comes to Aula to see what is going on but is not actively taking part the activities there. Opportunist Seeks opportunities from the Aula network. Wants to know about each member's skills and current projects. Also is interested in the details of Aula projects. Attends Aula events regularly and comes to hang-out in Aula in the hope of overhearing something interesting. Seize the moment. Passive member Feels that Aula does not have anything interesting to offer. Does not come to Aula and does not follow Aula related news. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 15
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Shy Would like to tell about their interest but does not know how or does not have the means. Expects events and happenings to take place in Aula. Social bee Wants to meet people. Likes to have a social life and uses Aula to expand it. Uses mobile phone and e-mail to maintain contact with large circle of friends. Technologist Considers Aula a test laboratory and would like to see companies bring technology to be tried out in Aula. Sees that Aula has a role in fixing bugs in new applications.. quot;things brought here will be on the market in a couple of yearsquot;…Sees Aula as another space where he/she can continue his/her media production related life. Thinks that Aula should have lots of tools and devices: copying machine, burnable dvd, burnable cd-rom. Is focused on one interest and wants to pursue it through Aula. Already has several forums for advancing his/her knowledge about the subject. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 16
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Concepts playlux playlux materializes Aula's design principle in the Aula architecture. In the concept Aula's three pillars are transformed into ambient displays, each dedicated to presenting information about one of the three core types of activities that takes place in Aula. Each column is mounted from ceiling to ground with an encircling LED light board an area of which functions as a display. The column and the LED board are encased in a light selective casing. When not displaying information a playLux display looks and functions like a light. The light is also used as an information display; the hue of the light conveys the type of information being displayed. Each playLux display in Aula also has a virtual presence on the aula.cc website. From the playLux web page users can send information to the displays and control the hue of the Picture of the Lasipalatsi floorplan with the Aula space circled. The three lights. Information can also be sent to the displays by the Hunaja system and by members columns (dots on the image) in Aula form a triangular space which parallels the using Hunaja as an SMS interface to the displays. The URL of the web page is beamed by a conceptual structure (below) used to communicate Aula's design principle. HP Cooltown beacon which is embedded into the LED board. The HP Cooltown printer can be used to learn more about something displayed on one of the playLux displays. This can be done by first capturing the display's URL beamed by the beacon to a IrDA equipped laptop, mobile phone or PDA and subsequently, beaming it to the printer. The printer sends the URL to a Resolver application that instructs which web resource the printer should print. In this way images can also be communicated, indirectly, through the displays. The assignment of information type to display is based on the Aula program for the space and the observations made in Aula. A gradient of activity runs through Aula from production (Meeting Room, Table) to exchange (Temporary, Sofa) to consumption (Service). The pillar at the Table is the production display, the central pillar between the Temporary and Sofa areas is the exchange display and the pillar by the Service area (kitchen) is the consumption display. The three displays and the information shown on each Production • URLs (project, interesting sites) posted to the display via web shown at during specific times. • Questions and wanted notices of people in the space posted to the display via the web shown immediately. • Names of projects currently being worked on in Aula shown when a project member enters Aula and till they leave. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 17
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Exchange • Member name, e-mail, and description shown when the member enters Aula • Member name shown when the member uses Hunaja to query who is in Aula. • SMS message shown when a member sends SMS to Aula with Hunaja command quot;Sano <X>quot; • Ideas and suggestions sent via web Consumption • Schedule of upcoming Aula events posted via web • Jokes and poems • News posted via web Aula's three columns All information posted to the displays is also visible on the playLux web page. Conveying information with the light The brightness of the playLux lights reflects the amount of members in Aula. Peoples' attention is draw to the displays by varying the brightness and hues of the lights. The hue of the light conveys the type of information shown on the display. Hardware LED board A board is fitted with 738 LED lights. On an area of the board Leeds are grouped tightly together to form a display. The resolution of the display is 40x15 points. The LED boards are made individually for each pillar which vary in size. A board is placed on each side of a pillar, creating an encircling light/display. Aula playLux concept: transforming the columns into ambient displays. LED controller The controller consists of a circuit board and processor. The controller physically controls which Leeds on the board are lit and for how long. The controller is connected to a PROTOTYPES PC either with a WLAN card, Blue tooth chip or network cable. Light selective casing A plastic casing covers the LED boards, hiding their structure. The light generated by the LED shows through the casing. HP beacon Each column has a HP beacon which beams the URL of the display's web page. Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 18
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 PC A PC is needed to hosts a web server and database where the information shown on the displays is stored. Software LED controller software The software sends commands and information to the LED controller hardware. It is the interface between other systems, information and the LED board/display. The software also synchronizes the display of the information on the playLux displays. The LED controller software keeps the Resolver application updated on what pointer is being shown on which of the displays. PlayLux web page conceptual sketch#1 The web page shows what information is currently displayed on each playLux display. Also the web page shows what has been displayed in each display during a specific time span and what will be displayed next. Users can send information to the display with a web form on the web page. The user enters the information they want to be shown in Aula and then selects which display should show it. The hue and brightness of the playLux displays can also be controlled with a web form, however, the freedom with which users can do this will be limited. To use the web page the user has to log-in to aula.cc. Resolver application The playLux displays typically show member names and URLs. These are pointers to information on the web. The Resolver application keeps track of what information is currently being displayed on each playLux display. It knows what web resource is linked to the information currently being display and is able to pass this resource locator to the device that requests the playLux URL from the Aula web server. Example: PlayLux shows the name John Smith Beacon beams the playLux URL, e.g. www.aula.cc/playlux/production Resolver redirects requests for playLux URL to address http://www.aula.cc/users/viewuser.php?user=johnsmith A lag problem exists with this solution. conceptual sketch#2 Database All information shown on the displays is stored in a database from where it is queried by the LED controller software. A unit of information unit shown on the playLux display consists of pointer, i.e. the text shown on the display, and a web resource connected to the pointer, i.e. what is printed. Example: Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 19
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Pointer: John Smith Linked resources: http://www.aula.cc/users/viewuser.php?user=johnsmith Material cost estimate Bylon(1x3) LED 2080FIM Circuit Board 450FIM Selective PC (polycarbonate) 1200FIM MDF+milling 500FIM Aluminum corner profiles 800FIM Controller 1300FIM One Bylon together: 6330FIM Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 20
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 conceptual sketch #2: playLux -production Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 21
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 22
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula playPad The Aula playPad is a digital pad that has two functional areas: a work area and a command area. The playPad digitizes notes and drawings made by the user by applying pressure onto t he work area. The playPad converts the work done by the user into a rasterized 2-bit bitmap image. The user is able to save the image created with the playPad to the web via WLAN connection between the playPad and a web server. The user can save the image to his or her own web folder or to the public folder on aula.cc. To save the user presses the button corresponding to the destination for the image. To send the image to their own folder the user first has to activate the send to my folder button with their Aula key (RFID tag). Information about who is using the pad is also saved to the Aula resolver (Cooltown software). The command area also has buttons for controlling the playLux lights. By making the interpretation flexible the playPad commands can re-programmed. On the playPad web page the user can re-program the playPad commands, by assigning new photos, flyers, fridge magnets, papers functions from a menu to the buttons on the playPad. A paper overlay with the names of the new commands can be printed from the web and placed over the buttons on the playPad. The playPad is size of an A2 sheet of paper and its height is 1 inch. Hardware Touch pad Touch pad is a material surface which digitizes pressure applied to it. Touch pad is an off-the-shelf product. The touch pad components are • controller unit, • transmitter unit, • battery • charger • Touch pad software RFID reader Information from a RFID tag is read by the reader upon contact. The send to Do not erase! password and url for WLAN personal web command on the playPad is activated. Casing Plastic hard casing Software Touch pad software The software comes with Touch pad hardware. The software converts the pressure Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 23
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 applied to the pad into a 2-bit graphic file. It also handles the sending of the image and an ID to a web address where the ID is processed by the Resolver software. Resolve application The Resolver application links the ID from the playPad to a web address or e-mail address. The application sends the image to the address (web or e-mail) corresponding to the ID. PlayPad web page All images sent to the public folder are visible or linked to the web page. Information about how many images have been created and sent with playPad is also shown on the web page as well as the level of the playPad battery. Material cost estimate Touch Screen 2500FIM Casing 2000FIM Recharging unit 1200FIM Battery 500FIM PROTOTYPES One Pad together: 6200FIM Both concepts: 3 x Pad + 3 x Bylon = 37590FIM playPad with stand Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 24
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 playPad on the table Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 25
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 26
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 27
    • mika.ihanus@uiah.fi jokko.korhonen@uiah.fi 24.09.2001 Aula Cooltown, Concepts 2.0 28