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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 ...

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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    Sharing emotions-about-the-neighborhood-and-through-the-neighborhood Sharing emotions-about-the-neighborhood-and-through-the-neighborhood Document Transcript

    • Sharing Emotions about the Neighborhood and through the Neighborhood Olivier Liechti, Thomas Pham Pitoyo Hartono Alain Lala, Florian Broennimann IICT / HEIG-VD School of Information Science and Technology Future University Hakodate University of Applied Dept. of Mechanics and Information Technology Hakodate, Japan Sciences of Western Switzerland Toyota-shi, Japan IICT / HEIG-VD1401 Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland Email: hartono@sist.chukyo-u.ac.jp 1401 Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland Email: olivier.liechti@heig-vd.ch Abstract—In this paper, we reflect on two observations. The the past, they will instantly feel something and rememberfirst one is that sharing artifacts such as photographs is a positive impressions about their stay. Photographs are notpowerful and emotionally-rich form of social interaction. The simply artifacts that capture reality. They are artifacts that havesecond one is that we all associate emotions to the places that wevisit. For these reasons, we are interested to explore new tools for an emotional impact on the the people who look at them. Thiscapturing the ambience of neighborhoods and cities. We are also is of course true for pictures depicting people (think of familyinterested to develop ways for people to share these ambiences portraits), but also for pictures depicting places. Some previousboth on-line and in augmented physical places. We introduce work have proposed the notion of affective awareness [1] toour ideas in this domain and illustrate them with two ongoing capture lightweight and non explicit communication patterns.projects: AmbiGrabber and Boxes and Lenses. With these systems,our goal is to create a basic set of technologies that will allow Systems that make it easier for people to share photographs areus to build and experiment with social applications in urban well suited to support affective awareness. This is particularlyenvironments. true if they provide mechanisms to capture the emotional Index Terms—Memories, emotions, affective awareness, mobile reaction of the users watching the pictures. We have previouslycomputing, ubiquitous computing, digital photography, public focused on the use of such systems in domestic settings, withdisplays, augmented communities. the goal to enhance communication within families. In this paper, we expand the scope to larger and more diffuse social I. I NTRODUCTION networks. We look at ways to create connections between There is something quite peculiar about Japan, which we people, based on the places they visit. We look at ways tohave repeatedly observed over time. This observation has collect, but also to distribute and disseminate, user generatedinspired many of the ideas presented in this paper and has content in augmented physical spaces. This is a vast topicbeen one of the motivations for our work in this area. It and to explore it, our approach is to develop a core set ofrelates to the impressions that people feel when visiting urban tools and frameworks that we will then use to support variousenvironments, it relates to the memories that they keep about application scenarios. We intend to explore new forms of socialcities, neighborhoods and buildings. Even more interestingly, interactions grounded in physical environments, at differentit relates to the feelings that people have in common about scales (e.g. at the scale of a museum, at the scale of a city).these places, even when they do not know each other. In this paper, we first go through a number of design issues, As the authors of this paper, we have collectively spent which we believe are important for the design of urban socialseveral years in Japan and have kept fond memories of this applications. While we are interested to come up with originalcountry. We have met many other foreigners, who have either application scenarios, we are equally interested to build andtraveled or lived there and thus have had opportunities to deploy these applications in real-world settings. This approachtalk about our personal experiences. Of course, a common is reflected in some of the issues that we consider and whichpractice in this context is to share photographs about visited are very practical. In the second part of the paper, we presentplaces. We have noticed something that may seem anecdotal, the design of two systems respectively named AmbiGrabberbut which in our opinion reveals a very powerful idea: in and Boxes and Lenses. The first system seeks to providealmost every photo collection related to Japan, one will find new means to capture ambiences when visiting a particulara snapshot of a vending machine and a snapshot of a narrow neighborhood. The tool aims to make it easy to create andstreet with a messy arrangement of electric cables. At first share visual snapshots, but also audio snippets. The secondglance, the reality depicted in these snapshots is not aesthetic system seeks to provide a generic model for distributing digitalat all. As a matter of fact, many people looking at the pictures artifacts in augmented physical environments, as well as forwill find it surprising that one could even thinking about interacting with these artifacts in different types of applica-taking such a snapshot in the first place. Nevertheless, if tions. The implementation of these systems is in progress andthe people looking at the photographs have visited Japan in we intend to have demonstrators at the workshop.
    • Fig. 1. Typical street view in Tokyo: does it bring back nice memories? II. U RBAN S OCIAL A PPLICATIONS B. Interacting with the city We are interested by the design of interactive systems that In this section, propose two definitions for what we call connect content-centric applications to physical places. Inurban social applications. Firstly, we argue that urban envi- urban spaces, there is already an flow of information, but it isronments provide a very interesting context to support and still mostly unidirectional (think of advertisements, billboards,stimulate interpersonal communication. Secondly, we argue speakers). Our goal is to allow city inhabitants and visitors tothat urban environments offer opportunities to use existing interact with the environment in richer ways. Street art, suchdigital assets in original ways. as graffiti, is a form of urban cultural expression. We seek to develop non-obtrusive and non-destructive ways that allowA. Interacting through the city people to personalize and decorate public places, based on As we mentioned before, people have impressions and feel- their personal digital assets. Based on this, we would like toings when they live, work and visit cities. Some neighborhoods propose a second definition: a urban social application is aare stressful, others are boring. Some buildings are amazingly system through which users can interact with and alter thebeautiful, others are scary. Most often, the impressions felt physical environment and which creates new forms of socialby people stay personal. They exist solely in their memories interactions.and are somewhat ephemeral. But sometimes, people use these III. D ESIGN C ONSIDERATIONSmemories as a context for social interactions. This is whathappens when people talk about the places they have visited, A. The quasi ubiquitous networkwhat they have seen, etc. Of course, what happens in face-to- Many ubiquitous computing applications assume the avail-face communication can also happen in computer-mediated ability of a high-bandwidth, continuous and free (or at leastcommunication. Hence, we would like to propose a first affordable) network connection. This is true to a certain extent,definition: a urban social application is a system that promotes but there are still situations where the hypothesis does notthe creation of content grounded in a physical environment and hold. The applications that we have in mind will be appealingthat fosters interpersonal communication around this content. to people traveling abroad. The costs currently associated withTools that combine multimedia capture, instant and lightweight data roaming are still prohibitive. Therefore, we believe that acommunication, geo-location certainly fit in this category. key requirement for urban social applications is to integrate
    • an offline mode (and to support periodic synchronization, tions, as described in Paragraph II-A. As its name suggests,typically when users get access to WiFi hotspots). it is a tool that people will use to grab ambiences when they explore cities. The tool allows people to take visual andB. Critical mass auditory snapshots, but also to express their current state of We are interested to create new opportunities for people to mind and impressions. This last element is one of the mostdiscover each other, for people to communicate by exchanging interesting investigation areas.artifacts and impressions about these artifacts. For these socialfeatures to make sense, a critical mass of users must bereached. This is always a challenge, and we argue that a key A. System overviewdesign principle for urban social applications is to include a AmbiGrabber consists of two main components. The firstset of features that bring value to individual users, before they component of the system is a mobile application, whichstart interacting with other users. people use to record snapshots. It is very similar to theC. Moderation camera applications that run on mobile phones. In addition We are interested to offer ways for people to create and to photographs, the tool also makes it possible to recordshare content based on the places they visit. We are interested audio snippets. We believe that recording the ambient soundby scenarios where the sharing is not done exclusively on- is important to capture the atmosphere of a neighborhood.line, but is done in augmented physical environments. One Looking at the particular case of Japan once again, hearingof the ideas that springs to mind is for a user to be able to the noise of a Pachinko hall or the sound of a cicada willpublish a personal photograph onto a public display (typically instantly bring back memories to people having visited Japan.using his mobile phone as a kind of remote controller). The The second component of the system is a portal, allowingidea of broadcasting user generated content in public spaces users to explore the captured artifacts and to give their ownis interesting, but raises sensitive issues. In particular, it raises feedback. We plan to investigate original navigation methodsthe question of how to define what content is appropriate in the content.for publication and based on this how to setup an effectivemoderation process. This is not trivial, because different forces B. Impromptu recordingsneed to be balanced. From a user experience point of view,it is important for public interactive systems to give rapid One of the key design requirements for AmbiGrabber is thatfeedback to users. A system that allows users to send personal the capture of ambiences should be easy, quick and pleasant.photographs and that displays the photographs on a public This important to entice users to use the tool regularly, hencedisplay after a couple of days is interesting. But it is not be to drive the creation and the sharing of content. For this reason,as engaging as a system that displays the photograph almost the user interface of AmbiGrabber is very simple. On the maininstantly. On the other hand, a realtime moderation process screen, push buttons allow the user to take visual, respectivelythrough which submitted photographs can immediately been auditory snapshots. In the latter case, we have decided to limitaccepted or rejected, is only realistic for events and not for the maximum recording time to 20 seconds to convey theextended period of times. idea that AmbiGrabber is not meant to record lengthy vocal An interesting question to investigate, is how the moder- descriptions.ation process can be distributed and how responsibility canbe delegated within the community of users. Nevertheless, C. Network connectivitythe owner of the public display sometimes needs to have acomplete control on the approval process. In this case, we As we explained before, the cost of data roaming is stillargue for the decoupling of two processes. The first process very expensive. Even tough it would be possible to uploadconsists in submitting personal content to the system (without snapshots on the fly, we believe that a key requirement for thethe need for immediate feedback), the second process consists tool is to implement an offline mode, using a local buffer andin using previously approved content when interacting with the a synchronization mechanism that can be triggered when theaugmented environment. This means that users both have the user switches to a WiFi connection.possibility to contribute with their own content and to interactwith highly reactive systems. Reflecting on these ideas, we D. Gathering user impressionsbelieve that there are very different application settings, withvarying needs for moderation and access management. One In addition to the capture of snapshots, AmbiGrabber seeksobjective of Boxes and Lenses, described later, is to offer a to gather the subjective feedback of the authors. Instead ofrelatively simple set of abstractions that can be combined and asking the user to enter a textual description, we aim to exploreconfigured to accomodate these varying needs. original ways [2], [3] to capture a state of mind, an impression. As shown in Figure 2, one idea is to ask the user to express IV. A MBI G RABBER what ”color“ he currently feels. We are very interested to The first system that we are working on is named Ambi- analyze how such abstract annotation mechanisms would beGrabber. It fits in the first category of urban social applica- used.
    • AmbiGrabber What color do What rythm do you feel now? you feel now? Grab photo Grab audio Grab both Attach location Fig. 2. Mockup of the AmbiGrabber user interface: gathering user impression informally V. B OXES AND L ENSES example, we use two different types of boxes. The first type In Boxes and Lenses, we are interested to study interactive is a personal box, that is used to store a personal archive ofsystems grounded in urban environments. We are looking at artifacts. This box that is not attached to any location and isways to capture and disseminate user generated content within meant to be accessed only by its own. The second type isthe city. Our approach is based on a simple model, with two a public box. This box is attached to a location and has akey abstractions. The decoupling between these abstractions policy that specifies whether anybody can drop content intoand the ability to define different types of policies makes the the box, whether people have to physically close to the boxmodel very flexible and enables the creation of very different in order to drop content into the box, whether the box has aapplication scenarios. limited capacity, etc. In the example, one lens is embodied into The first abstraction, the Box, is a virtual container of digital a mobile application. Through this lens, the user can interactartifacts. A Box can be attached to a physical location. Rules both with his personal box (at the top of the screen) and withspecify who has the right to put and get content from a Box. public boxes (at the bottom of the screen). The user interfaceThe second abstraction, the Lens, is a software controller that allows the user to drag and drop pictures from one box to theallows the user to view and interact with the content of a other. Of course, other lenses can be used at the same time. AnBox. Lenses can for example be embodied in mobile devices application controlling a public display [6] could very well beand in public displays. In the former case, the user has a connected to the public box, into which the user has droppedpersonal Lens that it can use to look at the Boxes he finds content. We are thinking about different ways for the user towhen exploring the city. In the latter case, the content dropped connect a lens to a box. One idea is to attach QRcodes tointo a Box can be projected on a public space. Both Boxes physical locations (bus stop, school, sports arena, etc.) and toand Lenses are accessible through a RESTful API, which associate each QRCode to a specific box. Users would scanmakes the connectivity between the components very easy the code in order to connect the lens to a box.and facilitates the creation of social applications on top of the VI. C ONCLUSIONgeneric framework. This is an approach that has been used inother application domains [2], [4], [5]. In this paper, we have presented two ongoing projects, AmbiGrabber and Boxes and Lenses. They are examples ofA. Looking at Boxes through Lenses urban social applications, based on two definitions that we The sketches in Figure 3 illustrate a typical social applica- have proposed for this concept. AmbiGrabber seeks to offertion built on top of the Boxes and Lenses framework. In this new ways for people to capture ambiences when they explore
    • The lens is configured so that the user has access to his personal <<Lens>> collection of photos (there should be a cache?) Mobile App <<Box>> User-owned <<Box>> (personal When the user scans a QRCode, he views Location-bound collection) the content of the associated "box" through his "lens". Look Look info feedback QRCode Here... scan The user can find other "boxes" The user can drag and drop a either by scanning a QRCode or by vignette from one box to the other. The user can drag and drop a using the current geo coordinates The effect depends on the box vignette into the "Look" zone to see (GPS) configuration and/or user choice (is the shot in a bigger format. He also it a transfer, is it a swap, is it a gets metadata about the photo + the All activities of the user copy?) possibility to give his feedback (encountering boxes, manipulating photos, doing transfers) is recorded After the transfer, we gather user and made visible on the web site. The feedback (what does it think about user can see the "travel history" of the photo he received and/or the photos, the comments, etc. photo he sent) Fig. 3. Building a social application on top of Boxes and Lensescities. The artifacts recorded with the tool are shared and Boxes can be attached to locations, the city provides a physicalused to stimulate interactions between people. From this point context for social interactions.of view, the city is conversation topic, a vector for socialinteractions. Boxes and Lenses, on the other hand, proposes a R EFERENCESflexible platform for building applications, where photographs [1] O. Liechti and T. Ichikawa, “A digital photography framework enablingand other artifacts are disseminated in augmented physical affective awareness in home communication,” Personal and Ubiquitousenvironments. Boxes are virtual containers of artifacts. Lenses Computing, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 6–24, 2000. [2] E. Paulos and T. Jenkins, “Urban probes: encountering our emergingare software controllers that allow users to interact with the urban atmospheres,” in Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Humancontent of Boxes. The decoupling between the boxes and factors in computing systems. ACM, 2005, pp. 341–350.the lenses, both accessible through a RESTful API, and the [3] R. Picard, “Affective computing for HCI,” in Proceedings of HCI Interna- tional (the 8th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction)ability to configure access policies for the boxes gives a lot on Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces, vol. 1.of flexibility to application developers. In this case, because Citeseer, 1999, pp. 829–833.
    • [4] V. Kostakos and E. O’Neill, “Cityware: Urban computing to bridge online and real-world social networks,” Handbook of Research on Urban Informatics: The Practice and Promise of the Real-Time City, pp. 195– 204, 2008.[5] D. Guinard, V. Trifa, and E. Wilde, “A resource oriented architecture for the web of things,” in Proceedings of IoT 2010 (IEEE International Conference on the Internet of Things), Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 2010.[6] A. Zimmermann, N. Henze, X. Righetti, and E. Rukzio, “Mobile in- teraction with the real world,” in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services. Bonn, Germany: ACM, 2009, pp. 1–3.