Publications

By Maribeth Back (Clear Search)

2008
Publication Details
  • 1st International Workshop on Collaborative Information Retrieval. JCDL 2008.
  • Jun 20, 2008

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People can help other people find information in networked information seeking environments. Recently, many such systems and algorithms have proliferated in industry and in academia. Unfortunately, it is difficult to compare the systems in meaningful ways because they often define collaboration in different ways. In this paper, we propose a model of possible kinds of collaboration, and illustrate it with examples from literature. The model contains four dimensions: intent, concurrency, depth and location. This model can be used to classify existing systems and to suggest possible opportunities for design in this space.
2007
Publication Details
  • Workshop at Ubicomp 2007
  • Sep 16, 2007

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The past two years at UbiComp, our workshops on design and usability in next generation conference rooms engendered lively conversations in the community of people working in smart environments. The community is clearly vital and growing. This year we would like to build on the energy from previous workshops while taking on a more interactive and exploratory format. The theme for this workshop is "embodied meeting support" and includes three tracks: mobile interaction, tangible interaction, and sensing in smart environments. We encourage participants to present work that focuses on one track or that attempts to bridge multiple tracks.
Publication Details
  • Book chapter in: A Document (Re)turn. Contributions from a Research Field in Transition (Taschenbuch), Roswitha Skare, Niels Windfeld Lund, Andreas Vårheim (eds.), Peter Lang Publishing, Incorporated, 2007.
  • Feb 19, 2007

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When people are checking in to flights, making reports to their company manager, composing music, delivering papers for exams in schools, or examining patients in hospitals, they all deal with documents and processes of documentation. In earlier times, documentation took place primarily in libraries and archives. While the latter are still important document institutions, documents today play a far more essential role in social life in many different domains and cultures. In this book, which celebrates the ten year anniversary of documentation studies in Tromsø, experts from many different disciplines, professional domains as well as cultures around the world present their way of dealing with documents, demonstrating many potential directions for the emerging broad field of documentation studies.
2006
Publication Details
  • UbiComp 2006 Workshop position paper
  • Sep 20, 2006

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We describe our work-in-progress: a "wizard-free" conference room designed for ease of use, yet retaining next-generation functionality. Called USE (Usable Smart Environments), our system uses multi-display systems, immersive conferencing, and secure authentication. It is based in cross-cultural ethnographic studies on the way people use conference rooms. The USE project has developed a flexible, extensible architecture specifically designed to enhance ease of use in smart environment technologies. The architecture allows customization and personalization of smart environments for particular people and groups, types of work, and specific physical spaces. The system consists of a database of devices with attributes, rooms and meetings that implements a prototype-instance inheritance mechanism through which contextual information (e.g. IP addresses application settings, phone numbers for teleconferencing systems, etc.) can be associated

Usable ubiquitous computing in next generation conference rooms: design, architecture and evaluation

Publication Details
  • International workshop at UbiComp 2006.
  • Sep 17, 2006

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In the UbiComp 2005 workshop "Ubiquitous computing in next generation conference rooms" we learned that usability is one of the primary challenges in these spaces. Nearly all "smart" rooms, though they often have interesting and effective functionality, are very difficult to simply walk in and use. Most such rooms have resident experts who keep the room's systems functioning, and who often must be available on an everyday basis to enable the meeting technologies. The systems in these rooms are designed for and assume the presence of these human "wizards"; they are seldom designed with usability in mind. In addition, people don't know what to expect in these rooms; as yet there is no technology standard for next-generation conference rooms. The challenge here is to strike an effective balance between usability and new kinds of functionality (such as multiple displays, new interfaces, rich media systems, new uploading/access/security systems, robust mobile integration, to name just a few of the functions we saw in last year's workshop). So, this year, we propose a workshop to focus more specifically on how the design of next-generation conference rooms can support usability: the tasks facing the real people who use these rooms daily. Usability in ubiquitous computing has been the topic of several papers and workshops. Focusing on usability in next-generation conference rooms lets us bring to bear some of the insights from this prior work in a delineated application space. In addition the workshop will be informed by the most recent usability research in ubiquitous computing, rich media, context-aware mobile systems, multiple display environments, and interactive physical environments. We also are vitally concerned with how usability in smart environments tracks (or doesn't) across cultures. Conference room research has been and remains a focal point for some of the most interesting and applied work in ubiquitous computing. It is also an area where there are many real-world applications and daily opportunities for user feed-back: in short, a rich area for exploring usable ubiquitous computing. We see a rich opportunity to draw together researchers not only from conference room research but also from areas such as interactive furniture/smart environments, rich media, social computing, remote conferencing, and mobile devices for a lively exchange of ideas on usability in applied ubicomp systems for conference rooms.
Publication Details
  • Proceedings of AVI '06 (Short Paper), ACM Press, pp. 258-261.
  • May 23, 2006

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During grouping tasks for data exploration and sense-making, the criteria are normally not well-defined. When users are bringing together data objects thought to be similar in some way, implicit brushing continually detects for groups on the freeform workspace, analyzes the groups' text content or metadata, and draws attention to related data by displaying visual hints and animation. This provides helpful tips for further grouping, group meaning refinement and structure discovery. The sense-making process is further enhanced by retrieving relevant information from a database or network during the brushing. Closely related to implicit brushing, target snapping provides a useful means to move a data object to one of its related groups on a large display. Natural dynamics and smooth animations also help to prevent distractions and allow users to concentrate on the grouping and thinking tasks. Two different prototype applications, note grouping for brainstorming and photo browsing, demonstrate the general applicability of the technique.
Publication Details
  • Proceedings of ACM DIS (Designing Interactive Systems) 2006, Penn State, Penn.
  • Apr 5, 2006

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What does a student need to know to be a designer? Beyond a list of separate skills, what mindset does a student need to develop for designerly action now and into the future? In the excitement of the cognitive revolution, Simon proposed a way of thinking about design that promised to make it more manageable and cognitive: to think of design as a planning problem. Yet, as Suchman argued long ago, planning accounts may be applied to problems that are not at base accomplished by planning, to the detriment of design vision. This paper reports on a pedagogy that takes Suchman's criticism to heart and avoids dressing up design methods as more systematic and predictive than they in fact are. The idea is to teach design through expo-sure to not just one, but rather, many methods---that is, sets of rules or behaviors that produce artifacts for further reflec-tion and development. By introducing a large number of design methods, decoupled from theories, models or frame-works, we teach (a) important cross-methodological regu-larities in competence as a designer, (b) that the practice of design can itself be designed and (c) that method choice affects design outcomes. This provides a rich and produc-tive notion of design particularly necessary for the world of pervasive and ubiquitous computing.
2005
Publication Details
  • Video track, ACM Multimedia 2005.
  • Nov 13, 2005

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A Post-Bit is a prototype of a small ePaper device for handling multimedia content, combining interaction control and display into one package. Post-Bits are modeled after paper Post-Its™; the functions of each Post-Bit combine the affordances of physical tiny sticky memos and digital handling of information. Post-Bits enable us to arrange multimedia contents in our embodied physical spaces. Tangible properties of paper such as flipping, flexing, scattering and rubbing are mapped to controlling aspects of the content. In this paper, we introduce the integrated design and functionality of the Post-Bit system, including four main components: the ePaper sticky memo/player, with integrated sensors and connectors; a small container/binder that a few Post-Bits can fit into, for ordering and multiple connections; the data and power port that allows communication with the host com-puter; and finally the software and GUI interface that reside on the host PC and manage multimedia transfer.
Publication Details
  • We organized and ran a full-day workshop at the UbiComp 2005 Conference in Tokyo, Japan, September 11, 2005.
  • Sep 29, 2005

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Designing the technologies, applications, and physical spaces for next-generation conference rooms (This is a day-long workshop in Tokyo.) Next-generation conference rooms are often designed to anticipate the onslaught of new rich media presentation and ideation systems. Throughout the past couple of decades, many researchers have attempted to reinvent the conference room, aiming at shared online or visual/virtual spaces, smart tables or walls, media support and tele-conferencing systems of varying complexity. Current research in high-end room systems often features a multiplicity of thin, bright display screens (both large and small), along with interactive whiteboards, robotic cameras, and smart remote conferencing systems. Added into the mix one can find a variety of meeting capture and metadata management systems, automatic or not, focused on capturing different aspects of meetings in different media: to the Web, to one's PDA or phone, or to a company database. Smart spaces and interactive furniture design projects have shown systems embedded in tables, podiums, walls, chairs and even floors and lighting. Exploiting the capabilities of all these technologies in one room, however, is a daunting task. For example, faced with three or more display screens, all but a few presenters are likely to opt for simply replicating the same image on all of them. Even more daunting is the design challenge: how to choose which capabilities are vital to particular tasks, or for a particular room, or are well suited to a particular culture. In this workshop we'll explore how the design of next-generation conference rooms can be informed by the most recent research in rich media, context-aware mobile systems, ubiquitous displays, and interactive physical environments. How should conference room systems reflect the rapidly changing expectations around personal devices and smart spaces? What kinds of systems are needed to support meetings in technologically complex environments? How can design of conference room spaces and technologies account for differing social and cultural practices around meetings? What requirements are imposed by security and privacy issues in public spaces? What aspects of meeting capture and access technologies have proven to be useful, and how should a smart environment enable them? What intersections exist with other research areas such as digital libraries? Conference room research has been and remains a focal point for some of the most interesting and applied work in ubiquitous computing. What lessons can we take from the research to date as we move forward? We are confident that a lively and useful discussion will be engendered by bringing directions from recent ubicomp research in games, multimedia applications, and social software to ongoing research in conference rooms systems: integrating architecture and tangible media, information design and display, and mobile and computer-mediated communications.
Publication Details
  • Paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2005, Los Angeles.
  • Sep 29, 2005

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The Convertible Podium is a central control station for rich media in next-generation classrooms. It integrates flexible control systems for multimedia software and hardware, and is designed for use in classrooms with multiple screens, multiple media sources and multiple distribution channels. The built-in custom electronics and unique convertible podium frame allows intuitive conversion between use modes (either manual or automatic). The at-a-touch sound and light control system gives control over the classroom environment. Presentations can be pre-authored for effective performance, and quickly altered on the fly. The counter-weighted and motorized conversion system allows one person to change modes simply by lifting the top of the Podium to the correct position for each mode. The Podium is lightweight, mobile, and wireless, and features an onboard 21" LCD display, document cameras and other capture devices, tangible controls for hardware and software, and also possesses embedded RFID sensing for automatic data retrieval and file management. It is designed to ease the tasks involved in authoring and presenting in a rich media classroom, as well as supporting remote telepresence and integration with other mobile devices.
Publication Details
  • Short presentation in UbiComp 2005 workshop in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Sep 11, 2005

Abstract

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As the use of rich media in mobile devices and smart environments becomes more sophisticated, so must the design of the everyday objects used as containers or controllers. Rather than simply tacking electronics onto existing furniture or other objects, the design of a smart object can enhance existing ap-plications in unexpected ways. The Convertible Podium is an experiment in the design of a smart object with complex integrated systems, combining the highly designed look and feel of a modern lectern with systems that allow it to serve as a central control station for rich media manipulation in next-generation confer-ence rooms. It enables easy control of multiple independent screens, multiple media sources (including mobile devices) and multiple distribution channels. The Podium is designed to ease the tasks involved in authoring and presenting in a rich media meeting room, as well as supporting remote telepresence and in-tegration with mobile devices.
Publication Details
  • Demo and presentation in UbiComp 2005 workshop in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Sep 11, 2005

Abstract

Close
A Post-Bit is a prototype of a small ePaper device for handling multimedia content, combining interaction control and display into one package. Post-Bits are modeled after paper Post-Its™; the functions of each Post-Bit combine the affordances of physical tiny sticky memos and digital handling of information. Post-Bits enable us to arrange multimedia contents in our embodied physical spaces. Tangible properties of paper such as flipping, flexing, scattering and rubbing are mapped to controlling aspects of the content. In this paper, we introduce the integrated design and functionality of the Post-Bit system, including four main components: the ePaper sticky memo/player, with integrated sensors and connectors; a small container/binder that a few Post-Bits can fit into, for ordering and multiple connections; the data and power port that allows communication with the host com-puter; and finally the software and GUI interface that reside on the host PC and manage multimedia transfer.