Last week was the third international ACM workshop on Personalized access to cultural heritage (PATCH ’14). Given our current work with the Winnipeg Art Gallery on interactive cases for Inuit Art, we sent a short paper describing the design framework we are using to design such cases. Unfortunately, none of the authors could travel to Haifa (Guo and me are are processing our Canadian residence permits and Pourang is in a leave of absence) and therefore could not present the paper, nonetheless the organizers made it public and so we can discuss it here.
I think using transparent displays at exhibitions is one of those things that is plain cool. And it’s even kind of obvious, it’s not hard to find most transparent display manufacturers touting their displays as perfect appliances for showcasing products. However, we believe their is more than simply putting the object inside the case. The goal of our paper was to uncover those aspects that need to be taken into account when designing such systems. To do so, we did a series of studies at different museums which led us to define a of requirements for transparent exhibition cases. The requirements include:
- To support exploration from as many angles as needed by the artefact.
- To link information to objects in accessible ways.
- To present information in unobtrusive and intuitive ways.
- To facilitate information scaffolding around the notion of interpretation layers.
- To support collaborative interaction.
- To enable open-ended explorations.
Based on these requirements we scanned the literature of previous projects, talked to other researchers, analysed existing installations, etc… and consolidated all of this information into a design space definition. I think this is the most important contribution of the paper, and it can be used by anyone designing this type of systems:
As you can see the framework presents dimensions that guide very specific design decisions. I really like, for example, display coverage, which indicates that not all sides of the case have to be used for visual output but also purely transparent sides are actually convenient in order to support other non-interacting visitors. As an example of the kind of cases that our design framework helps design, we presented two mock designs:
You can get a copy of our paper here. The following is the abstract to our paper:
Interactive technologies in museums enhance the visit experience
by providing contextual information and fostering collaboration
and participation. In this paper we revisit the design of the
ubiquitous transparent exhibition case from a museum learning
perspective. Transparent cases with interactive properties can
complement other museum technologies and mitigate some of
their shortcomings, such as the group isolation caused by audio
guides and mobile devices. This paper focuses on the design of
interactive cases and makes three contributions. First, based on
field observations and interviews we present a list of requirements
for interactive cases. Second, we propose a design space with
dimensions grouped around the themes of hardware, interaction
and information design. Our design space suggests interactive
cases which present collocated information at increasing levels of
detail, facilitate social interaction, and integrate with other
technologies. Third, we demonstrate our design space through
sample case designs and discuss the general technical challenges.
Hincapié-Ramos, J. D., Guo, X. and Irani, P. 2014. Designing Interactive Transparent Exhibition Cases. Proceedings of the third international ACM workshop on Personalized access to cultural heritage (PATCH ’14). February 2014. ACM.
My previous post shows examples of color correction for two images (IronMan and a Rhino) over different backgrounds. I have been asked whether color correction can run in real-time and thus we’ve created a video showcasing just that: real-time color correction.
As you can see we can turn it on and off, and achieve acceptable levels of correction. We continue working on improving our algorithms in to support 3D features like photometric compensation and shadows.
UPDATE: I have created a video example showcasing the real-time implementation.
Last year we published a paper at the Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST ’13) conference on the topic of color correction for see-through displays. The paper proposes a solution to color blending, which is the phenomenon where colors in transparent displays look “washed-out”; i.e. the perceived color is a combination of the display and background colors. Our solution is called “color correction”, and the paper presents it in a very technical way as it’s necessary to describe a new understanding of the blending problem and to put forth some numbers of how accurate color correction can be. Please check our the paper here:
Srikanth Kirshnamachari Sridharan, Juan David Hincapié-Ramos, David R. Flatla, and Pourang Irani. 2013. Color correction for optical see-through displays using display color profiles. InProceedings of the 19th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 231-240. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2503713.2503716
Color correction is really really important for HMDs, as color blending affects the usability of such devices specially in the outdoors. Time after time field-studies of HMDs reveal that users have a hard time accessing the display content having to look for dark spots or covering the lens with their hand (not so good for AR ;)). With a coming wave of HMDs for the consumer market such as Meta, Atheer One, Moverio BT-200 and Ora-S, color correction will certainly receive a lot of attention. Our results for a projection display (EPSON 3700 on Lumisty film) show that color correction produced 36% more accurate colors. Similar results can be achieved for HMDs. This is a significant result because platform or application developers can get better colors without any hardware modifications.
One thing I really wanted to include in the paper, but ran out of space, is examples of how good graphics can get after being color corrected and that’s what I plan to do in this post. The two pictures below will be corrected in different backgrounds (the accuracy of this samples is confirmed in section 5 of the paper):
The following images shows the correction accuracy achieved with the binned profile approach. This is how an IronMan model looks on a HMD over different backgrounds without (left) and with (right) color correction.
And this how our rhino model looks on a HMD over different backgrounds without (left) and with (right) color correction.
This images show how color correction greatly improves the quality of the graphics perceived by the user. We are very encouraged by our results and continue to work on this area, I will be publishing new results as soon as we get them published/patented.
Once upon a time I juggled my interests between technology and world politics. Eventually technology won, and that’s what I do for living now.
However, I did take world politics (and geopolitics) very seriously. Back in 2006 I participated in the 36th Saint Gallen Symposium. It was the middle of the financial crisis and it was a great experience to hear bankers and politicians talk about what should be done. Even Kofi Annan gave a speech about his view on the crisis and how to get out of it. Despite the several talks on the crisis, the main topic of the conference was Europe, and the European Union, which was in the middle of an identity crisis with the constitution having been recently rejected.
For participating in the symposium I wrote a little piece titled “The European Ideological Consolidation“. In the essay I argued that for a better integration countries should walk away from nationalism and a true federation should be formed. In this respect I proposed a series of European-wide institutions and programs. Particularly important to such ideological consolidations is extending programs like Erasmus (where university students can do one or two semesters at another European country) to the older population. The way to do this, I argued, was through Country Associations. Through country associations the adult population of two countries had to engage in cultural exchanges which, ultimately, would result in a better understanding of each other. This program, ambitious enough and probably utterly expensive, would create a European narrative at the individual level.
Countries Associations: This is most controversial of all the institutions here proposed and still needs a lot of work on the idea itself. As a mean to integrate European nations with each other, targeting mainly the adult population, this work proposes to create couple of countries. Two countries would be a couple for some time period. During this time the population of the two of the countries will, by law, join special programs of cultural, economical, training, etc. The couples would be changed every 2 or 3 years. As in some countries the population has to go every single year during the entire life to give some few months military service, the European population sponsored by the government could do this as well. Indeed this is a proposal for the ideology consolidation among the older people.
What I want to stress out with this post is that this idea turned out not to be that crazy after all. In a recent piece on the Social Europe Journal, sociology Professor Ulrich Beck from the University of Munich and the London School of Economics proposed something similar:
We need to ask how an individual can become engaged with the European project. In that respect I have made a manifesto, along with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, called “We Are Europe”, arguing that we need a free year for everyone to do a project in another country with other Europeans in order to start a European civil society.
I read the manifesto and WOW!!! That’s the way to go (author bias here). After having lived in Europe for many years I can see how this can really benefit the older populations, and specially people that have less exposure to the European work mobility (the Danish gardener). I will follow up closely what happens with the manifesto, it’s just great to see I wasn’t completely lost in my previous ideas
Ever since CrashAlert got covered by Rachel Metz the MIT Technology Review last week (see Safe Texting While Walking? Soon, There May Be an App for That) there has been a series of reactions on the social media. Well, negative reactions are included in the article itself with Prof. Clifford Nass describing it as “the epitome of removal from both the physical and social world.”
I don’t see CrashAlert as the best of my ideas or the ultimate solution to the texting and walking problem, but it’s certainly a solution to a real problem that we encounter everyday (if you ever bumped into something or someone while engaged in fun texting you know what I am talking about). Nonetheless, in this post I would like to collect the most interesting Twitter messages, both positive and negative, for posterity.
“CrashAlert” warnt Handy-User vor Straßenlaternen [Hightech]
— Donette Ranaware (@DonetteRanaware) April 15, 2013
Walk-and-texters now have protection from looming obstacles, thanks to CrashAlert. We should add this to Gander ripar.in/17dbYal
— Gander (@getgander) April 15, 2013
Walk-and-texters now have protection from looming obstacles, thanks to CrashAlert. We should add this to Gander ripar.in/17dbYal
— Gander (@getgander) April 15, 2013
— Jacqueline Vanacek (@JacquelnVanacek) April 15, 2013
Safe Texting While Walking? There May Be an App for That: The last time you saw someone walk into a lamppost w… bit.ly/136jDKF
— Way West Media (@waywestmedia) April 15, 2013
— Kasai Davenport (@KasaiDavenport) April 15, 2013
Have you ever bumped into a pole while texting and walking? Developing app could save you from such embarrassments. on.mash.to/17epCtN
— Magnet Media, Inc. (@MagnetMediaInc) April 15, 2013
Thou will not walk intoa lamppost anymore… fb.me/15g7GWbPU
— Ranjana Foogooa (@ranjana157) April 15, 2013
— Claire Willett (@clairedwillett) April 15, 2013
— On Ideas (@onideas) April 15, 2013
“CrashAlert could make it easier to walk and text without smacking into things”. No nos estamos pasando un poco? techre.vu/YoR3NF
— Carol Romero (@nomadkarol) April 15, 2013
— Weather Chick (@IAmWeatherChick) April 15, 2013
Tired of bumping in to objects while walking and texting at the same time?! We might have the answer for you.ow.ly/k5kHV
— Alsayegh Media (@AlsayeghMedia) April 15, 2013
— Goodmind (@GoodmindMR) April 15, 2013
Safe Texting While Walking? There May Be an App for That on.mash.to/137RLCp – after driving, now we face “safe texting while walking”.
— Yudha P Sunandar (@yudhaspiza) April 15, 2013
— Res Life at Loyno (@loynoreslife) April 15, 2013
— Young & Rubicam (@YoungRubicam) April 15, 2013
— 52 Pick-up Inc (@52PickupInc) April 15, 2013
CrashAlert app spots obstacles w/ depth-sensing camera so you can text & walk effectively without bumping into things mashable.com/2013/04/15/cra…
— Katie Artemas (@kartemas) April 15, 2013
“Safe Texting While Walking? There May Be an App for That” – That’s I lie it’s actually impossible.feedproxy.google.com/~r/Mashable/~3…
— Jonny (@Jonny5isalive1) April 15, 2013
— Kathryn Ashby (@kj_ashby) April 15, 2013
— Design4Change (@Design4Change_) April 15, 2013
Be safe you are Texting and Walking!!! fb.me/1IBLnvsM1
— nTelos Wireless(@ntelosva) April 15, 2013
I know I would……Who else would get this? ow.ly/k5Bvf
— Sound Tracks (@SoundTracksFest) April 15, 2013
— Matthew Zageris (@matthewzageris) April 15, 2013
RT (at)mashable 安全なテキストメッセージ歩きながら？ @ techreview経由でそのon.mash.to/XNi8PCのAppがあるかもしれません
— Transtter (@transtter2) April 15, 2013
Yap, hoje em dia há mesmo apps para tudo xD mashable.com/2013/04/15/cra…
— Catarina Vieito (@catvieito) April 15, 2013
— Baby Fritz! (@YoSoyFritz) April 15, 2013
— Kelly Dern (@kellydern) April 15, 2013
— Tricia Wilkerson (@twilkerstfd) April 15, 2013
Here’s an app that helps you safely walk & text, without the worry of face planting into a pole mashable.com/2013/04/15/cra…
— Initiative U.S. (@InitiativeUS) April 15, 2013
Ever walked into a wall while texting? Then this app may be for you! on.mash.to/137RLCq
— Onefatsheep (@Onefatsheep) April 16, 2013
— David Hotchkiss (@davidhotchkiss) April 16, 2013
— Jennifer Wong (@wojennifer) April 16, 2013
— Ingeborg Reiersgård (@Ingeborgar) April 16, 2013
— Priyam Chakraborty (@cpriyam) April 16, 2013
— Saad Bashir (@msaadbashir) April 16, 2013
— Shruthi (@shruthirameshan) April 16, 2013
If you’re one of those who recently banged your head against a road sign while checking your Twitter feed, this… fb.me/2lMMmG8NM
— Rantau PR (@RantauPR) April 16, 2013
— Digital_MY (@Digital_MY) April 16, 2013
No more hitting that pole when your texting and walking!ow.ly/k6kpD
— DejaVuDubai (@DejaVuDubai) April 16, 2013
Walking and texting and subsequently walking into a lampost… could be a thing of the past if this app is developed tiny.cc/v7mmvw
— Carphone Ireland (@CarphoneIE) April 16, 2013
— Horizon Blue (@HorizonEternity) April 16, 2013
CrashAlert — технология для безопасной текстовой переписки на ходу: Ученые из университета штата Манитоба (Канада… goo.gl/fb/zAkZO
— soft_komputer (@soft_komputer) April 16, 2013
People will never stop texting while walking! Technology can help.on.mash.to/13eYV7N
— Health for America (@health4america) April 16, 2013
— Holly Nielsen (@HollyNielsen) April 16, 2013
Now here’s an app that might make texting while walking a whole lot easier (and safer too!) ow.ly/k6LSb
— Delta Media Inc. (@DeltaMediaPR) April 16, 2013
But does it detect open manhole covers? => Safe Texting While Walking:There May Be an App for That on.mash.to/12hJaOH
— Michael Jones (@TulsaMJ) April 16, 2013
— Kelsey Van Vechten (@kelsveevee) April 16, 2013
— Tyler Cook (@TylerLCook) April 16, 2013
I personally LOVE this one
— Martin Weinberg (@MartinWeinberg) April 17, 2013
Safe Texting While Walking? There May Be an App for That! Great, no more walking into doors! ow.ly/kbzMz
— Chenine G(@ChenineG) April 19, 2013
In this video Aurelien Tabard presents our work on TIDE at the FITG 2012 seminar in Paris.
This is a nice take on the project!
I think this video explains it well enough!
For more details please consult the upcoming paper:
J. D. Hincapie-Ramos, M. Esbensen, and M. Kogutowska, “Rapid Prototyping of Tangibles with a Capacitive Mouse,” in The 11th Danish HCI Research Symposium – DHRS2011, November 2011. To Appear. – [pdf (6.6MB)]
This year I attended the UIST conference where I presented our first paper on InterruptMe. It was a very intensive conference I had loads of fun, and met with many interesting people. As I knew I was going to attend anyway I decided to join the student competition, and formed a group together with my colleagues Morten Esbensen and Magdalena Kogutowska.
The problem was “do something cool with the new Microsoft Touch Mouse”. Our proposal was to build a little casing for the mouse, so that it’s multitouch surface could handle multiple inputs (touches) guided to it through wires. This capability together with the wireless communication of the different touches by the mouse and the batteries makes it perfect for rapid prototyping of tangibles.
You can find the guide, the API, and other material here: http://itu.dk/people/mortenq/loki/index.html
The results: we won the first place on the best implementation category.
From an HCI perspective , a design space is a tool that signals the different possibilities for designing a certain type of artefacts, supporting and augmenting the design practice. Designers create a design space as a reflection on the properties of, and the design choices made for, existing artifacts used for a similar purpose. A design space supports the creation of new artefacts along the lines of a set of dimensions for which it proposes multiple values. It also learns from each new design experience by enhancing the existing dimensions with new design possibilities. In this way, the design dimensions respond to the realities, possibilities and concerns of the design discipline.
Just as it’s used for human-computer interaction (HCI), a design space can be built for other disciplines/areas. Today I found a great example of a design space and analysis for the characters of a comic strip I follow, Niels, according to some of their most salient characteristics: criminal tendency, sexuality, fighting skills, and transparency. See below.
In a few lines, if you want to define your design space you have to identify the relevant characteristics of what you’re designing, define them, define their possible values, match your design objects within such categories, and then analyse the whole set (don’t miss the analysis graph at the bottom of Niels’ cartoon). Good examples in my own work are the design space analysis for InterruptMe (UIST 2011 ) and The Rabbit (Ubicomp 2011 ).
 – Allan Maclean, Richard Young, Victoria Bellotti, and Thomas Moran. Design space analysis: Bridging from theory to practice via design rationale. Esprit, pages 720–730, 1991. URL: citeseer.ifi.unizh.ch/article/maclean91design.html.
 – J. D. Hincapié-Ramos, S. Voida, and G. Mark, “A Design Space Analysis of Interrupter–Interruptee Trade-Offs in Availability-Sharing Systems,” in UIST 2011, Oct 16-19, 2011, Santa Barbara, CA, USA. To Appear.
 – J. D. Hincapié-Ramos, A. Tabard, and J.E. Bardram, “Mediated Tabletop Interaction in the Biology Lab — Exploring the Design Space of The Rabbit,” in Ubicomp 2011, Sep 17-21, 2011, Beijing, China. To Appear.
With a 63% market share in the Internet search , Google’s users open their browser and surf to the search portal everyday. If they are Gmail users, they will keep that browser window/tab open for a considerable amount of time. The guys at Google+ are taking advantage of this for showing their Google+ widget in the upper-right corner, as part of the Google bar. I honestly think this idea is fantastic, it does not only integrate all of Google services into one virtual environment (conveyed by the bar), but is also a better choice for sending the notifications than building browser plug-ins.
I have been thinking about this for a few days, and it strikes me as a great idea. I am a vicious Google user, I have everything from Google Home, to Gmail, to Google Reader, etc. That means that the Google bar is on my window most of the time. Having the Google+ notifications up there provide this “awareness” about the important things I have to look at in Google+.
Then I got to think about Dourish’s embodied interaction , his point is that awareness systems (a.k.a social computing) and tangible computing are very natural to use not only because they are “familiar” or have a familiarity to the way we interact in real life. Dourish says there is a deeper connection between them, and in a few words, it’s because they are “accessible in the background”. That is, you can move from an overview or background awareness to a detailed exploration or analysis of things very easily. Then I thought of Google+’s widget as a mechanism that allows precisely that, moving very easily from an overview to a detailed interface, making it an embodied interaction (or natural if you will).
However, attending the notifications is not the only relevant thing we like to do on a social networking platform. Plenty of times I find myself opening facebook or Google+ just to check out what’s going on. Or in case of the hangouts, I open the website just to check out who’s around and try to start a hangout session. The sad thing is that these nice interactions with Google+ are not embodied; you have to go all the way to your stream to realize that there is some action going on, or that people are available to chat or hangout.
But if the Google+ widget can make some of the interactions embodied, how can it support these other two. So, I sat down and sketched some ideas, and I came up with this little add on.
The little flower has two dimensions. The color on its center communicate the activity level in your aggregated stream: a light gray color tells you that nothing has really changed in the last –say– 30 minutes (or form the last time you checked); a bright red color tells you there had been plenty of activity and you should go and check it out. The second dimension is the color of the petals. For each online contact in your friends, or in any circle (configurable), one of the petals will turn blue. That way, when you see a lot of light up petals, you can think of perhaps starting a hangout, and going for a chat!
Having this two pieces of information in the almost pervasive Google bar have the potential to make the Google+ experience more embodied, more natural.