Sharing Emotions about the Neighborhood and through the Neighborhood

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Abstract: In this paper, we reflect on two observations. The first one is that sharing artifacts such as photographs is a powerful and emotionally-rich form of social interaction. The second one is that we all associate emotions to the places that we visit. For these reasons, we are interested to explore new tools for capturing the ambience of neighborhoods and cities. We are also interested to develop ways for people to share these ambiences both online and in augmented physical places. We introduce our ideas in this domain and illustrate them with two ongoing projects: AmbiGrabber and Boxes and Lenses. With these systems, our goal is to create a basic set of technologies that will allow us to build and experiment with social applications in urban environments.

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  • Hello, everyone. \n\nMy name’s Thomas Pham, I’m come from Switzerland, where I work as Engineer at the University of Appl. Sciences of Western Switzerland.\n\nThis work was done in collaboration with Prof. Hartono from «Future University» in Hakodate, Japan.\nAnd also Olivier Liechti that are in the audience.\n\n2 students from switzerland spend few months in Hakodate to work on the implementation of the projects I’m going to present.\n\n
  • I will start by taking a personal experience as an Introduction ...\n\nFor me, I’m for the first time in Tokyo and As I’ve been here for 2 days...\nI already took numbers of pictures of this amazing city.\n\nAnd I’ve experienced amazing moments ... that I gonna keep many memories.\n\nAnd it was so exciting, that right after the first day, I published my photographs on my Facebook account to share those experiences with my network of friends.\n\nAnd few time after, I got feedback/comments of friends that have been already in Tokyo and talking about their own experience related to the pictures I took.\n\n-> All that story illustrate why we take photographs and show that they have a strong emotional impact on people. \n
  • When I talk about «emotional impacts», it could be memories about same experienced situations, feelings or contextual ambiences that people could have when they look pictures.\n\nHere for example, this picture suggests: calm, quiet, peaceful ambiance.\n
  • In this one, ...it has for me a signification of the stress of a crowd.\n
  • Or in this one, it is more funny because children wear something strange ...\n
  • Photographs and our paper is describing parts of the «Nostalgia Bits Project», An European AAL Research Program, composed by several partners in European countries.\n\nThe aim is to build a social platform to support Cross-generation communications and interactions (like elderly with their grandchildren) by creating and sharing artifacts.\n«By artifacts, I mean it» could be scanned text, photo , audio records, tv documentary, ...\n\nSo it seems very similar to «the tales of things» project, we saw during the demo session.\n\nFor example, collecting stories and memories about an artifact engage and give a context for collaborative activities. (f.e. helping a kid to prepare his presentation or homework)\n\nWe also have done user groups studies that en-light the wishes from elderly to then have real face-to-face meetings, where they can scan and publish their artifacts, meet people of their neighborhood to share common memories about an artifact that reflect a special event/moment of their life. This is what triggered our interesting tools that support sharing of photographs in the physical world.\n\nAnother part is, we would like to use ambient devices (like changing multi-color lamp) to provide an abstract representation of social activity. In order to inform users (in a non-obtrusive way) about the nature of their interactions.\n\nIn the Nostalgia Bits project, we will develop interfaces for museum to create interaction between elderly and local communities and this context lead us to investigate similar interactions in an urban environment.\n\n\n
  • To introduce this kind of interactions, we propose 2 definitions for what we call «Urban Social Applications».\n\nFirtsly we argue you that urban environment provide a very interesting context to support and stimulate interpersonal communication. So we think about a system that could promotes the creation of content grounded in a physical environment.\n\nWe can think of the example I took at the beginning, when I visit a new city and that gives me the opportunity to share that experience with friends.\n\n
  • The second definition explain how to design an interactive system that connect content-centric applications to physical places.\n\nThe goal is to allow people to interact with the environment in a richer ways.\nWe can think for example to interactive billboards or manipulate building night colors.\n
  • Based of previous definitions, we develop 2 projects to illustrate that.\n\nOne of our urban social app is named Ambigrabber. As mentioned before, it fits the first definition we give. «interacting through the city»\n\nAs its name suggests, it is a tool that people will use to capture ambiences when they explore cities.\nThe tool allows people to combine capture modalities, but also to express (explicitly and implicitly) their current state of mind and impressions.\n
  • The first component of the system is a mobile application, which people use to record snapshots.\n\nIt is very similar to the camera app that runs on mobile phone, but in addition to photographs, the tool also make it possible to record audio snippets and adding context informations (location, time).\n\nAnother key requirement is that when we travel, data roaming is still expansive and we believe that this tool need to have an offline mode, using synchronization mechanism that can be triggered when user switches to WiFi conn.\n
  • And Instead of asking the user to enter an explicit textual description of his snapshot, we aim to explore original ways to capture his implicit and subjective impressions by asking him to express «What color he currently feels ?»\n\nIn the Nostalgia Bits project, we are interested to create such abstract annotation of emotions and social activities. One of the interesting research questions we want to address is how to create a visual language, based on color patterns.\n\n
  • Now, Our second Urban Social app is named Boxes&Lenses. As mentioned before, it fits the second definition we give. «interacting with the city»\n\nIn this project, we build a software platform to study interactive systems grounded in urban environments. Said differently: How users can share artifacts in the «real world».\n[read examples...]\nHere some scenario example: \n
  • Our approach is based on a simple model, with two key abstraction.\n\n«Boxes» is a virtual container of digital artifacts. A box can be attached to a physical location (via QRcode or GPS), but each user have also his own box. We also add Rules based on access rights and predefined by allowed actions on a box.\n\nThe second abstraction «the lens», is a controller that allow the user to view and interact with the content of a box.\n\n[read last point]\nWe can also imagine different kinds of ...\n
  • We build the software platform based on RESTful principles.\nWe can see here, the different types of resources that are exposed by the API.\n\n\nThis is the resource that we manage.\n\nWe can observer here for example Artifact Resource through which we create one pictures.\nWe can do various action/method on it.\n\nOn the same Artifact, we can also create Annotations.\n
  • The first component the system is also a mobile app. «androidLens».\n[read points ...] \n\nThe user can drag&drop pics between boxes following pre-established rules.\nlike copy/move. or how many pics are allowed inside the box.\n\n\n
  • Here the screenshots of how we can find boxes !\n\nWe can choose to scan a pre-generated QR-code that encode the context informations of a box.\n\nOR alternatively we can find box by saved geo-positionning information about proximity. \n
  • The second component is an app that can be embedded in a Public Display Lens.\n\nIt’s an embedded HTTP server that users can control through the REST API of the lens.\n\n\n
  • Here are 2 screenshots of the user web portal. (Left)\n\nand (on the right) the androidLens form where user can leave explicit comments about a visited artifact of a box.\n
  • The 2 projects I presented illustrate the potential of photographs and the sharing of photographs in an\nurban environment to support / stimulate collaborative activities.\n\nThis activities are particularly interesting when they are grounded in the physical environment.\n\nIn the future, we will use this infrastructure to build other prototypes.\n
  • Thank you for your attention.\n
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