Over the last three days I attended the 16th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia (MUM17) in Stuttgart, Germany. MUM is a small single-track conference with lots of interesting presentations, posters, demos and art tracks. It is a SIGCHI conference in cooperation with ACM.
I really enjoyed the keynote speakers. The opening keynote speaker on Monday was Dr. Shengdong Zhao, Assoc. Professor in Computer Science at National University of Singapore. He talked about the new interaction paradigm and focused on a human-centric design process. He imagines interaction with technology through two devices a head device and a hand device. Similar to my research he believes that accessories for input and output can be used to interact with the central hub (right now the “mobile phone”) to deliberate us from looking down at the technology and focus more on the world around us.
Dirk van den Boom, a German Science-Fiction-author, consultant, journalist and extraordinary professor for political science at the University of Muenster, was the closing keynote speaker on Wednesday and talked about the implications of social media in mainstream knowledge and politics. He explained how technology helped to spread non-facts or fake news and distresses the need for educating how to “think critically” in schools. He believes that we cannot argue with idiots, but we can try to prevent others to become idiots through using sarcasm, making fun of their fake news and theories.
This week I visited MobileHCI in Vienna. Its the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services under the umbrella of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI).
I presented my work on Simplifying the Making of Probes, Prototypes and Toolkits in Mobile Interaction Research using Tasker. This paper presents a technique to support the making of mobile interaction interfaces for controlling the smartphone. We often use smartphones while moving, resulting in non-optimal or even unsafe interactions. Better mobile interactions need to be created with locomotion in mind and experienced in practice. But making and testing new interaction interfaces is time-consuming. It often involves the making of an input device; establishing a connection between device and smartphone; and implementing an application on the phone for testing interactions with the input device. This paper reports from three ongoing projects on how a commercial available automation tool called Tasker can be used for coupling phone functionalities to new input devices, eliminating the need for implementing a complete phone application, and enabling flexible, reusable, and easy making of interaction interfaces for smartphones.
This week I visited DIS 2017 in Edinburgh. DIS stands for Designing Interactive Systems and is an annual conference owned by the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI). DIS brings together designers, artists, psychologists, user experience researchers, systems engineers, and many more, to debate and shape the future of interactive systems design and practice.
I presented a poster called Mobile Hand Gesture Toolkit: Co-Designing Mobile Interaction Interfaces. This poster presents a mobile hand gesture toolkit enabling the co-design of mobile interaction interfaces for runners. Runners are using smart phones for exercising more than ever before. However previous research has shown that mobile devices are not suitable for interactions in motion. This poster presents a method to probe such interactions for and with runners using a participatory design approach. We demonstrate in a pilot design workshop how participants can tell their mobile interaction story, make their own mobile hand gesture interface, and enact their story using their created artifacts. These artifacts are functional and used in the participants’ everyday workouts. The participants can revise them as an ongoing practice of design-in-use.
Conferences are always a good place to get inspired. For me the most futuristic talk on Monday was Exploring Interactions and Perceptions of Kinetic Wearables hold by Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, MIT Media Lab. They explored the role of accessory-like kinetic wearables in relation to personal style: What does it mean to wear kinetic accessories and why would one be motivated to do so? They developed Kino, a kinetic accessory system which enables both aesthetic and functional clothing-specific design possibilities. On Tuesday I really enjoyed listening to Joe Marshall about Touchomatic: Interpersonal Touch Gaming In The Wild. In his talk, he describes a long term, in-the-wild study of a two-player arcade game which is controlled by gentle touching between the body parts of two players. It reminded me a lot about the work of Florian ‘Floyd’ Müller on Bodily Games and Exertion Games. Tomorrow I will travel back to Halden with lots of new ideas and plans for the fall 🙂
This week Joakim and Susanne attended the ACHI conference in Venice. Here we presented our project about running and sharing instant video to social media. You can read more about the project in Norwegian from an article at Elektronikknett.
For the project we used a mobile phone strapped to the runner in a neoprene sport belt, that was remotely controlled by a sport glove detecting hand gesture for recording and sharing video. This scenario was inspired by the demand of semi-professional and advanced amateur runners for new technologies supporting recall and close contact with supporters throughout running events. And of course the interest of social media in live video, as seen by popular applications such as Periscope and Facebook Live.
However our goal was not to test a new prototype, rather to investigate how users participating in running events experience such a technology for instant sharing of video especially in regards to their privacy. To be able to explore privacy we designed a technology probe,that should feel as real as possible for the users. We had to make both design choices regarding technology and social context.
We used available technology such as:
– Mobile phones with functionality for instant video sharing to social media – Lilypad, an Arduino micro controller to develop the gesture sport glove – A bluetooth module enabled communication between phone and glove.
For the social context we made the following design choices: – Placement of the phone should support wearability – Hidden technology increased social acceptance – Red lights on the glove provide easy accessible feedback – Hand gestures for meaningful interactions.
We deployed our probe at two running events one in Strömstad, Sweden and one in Wolfen, Germany. You can read more about our work and our findings in the article Probing Privacy in Pratice available from ThinkMind Digital Library.