Deliverables for Friday
• Presentation Plans
– One to three key messages
– Sketch of poster design
• Motivation for the project
• Background (current solutions, users, etc)
• Types of tasks (the requirements for your system)
• Description of your solution (w/screenshots??)
including strengths and weaknesses as appropriate.
• Other issues as important
If you wish to use the CNS plotter
• Must make arrangements with Viv in advance.
• Will be allowed ONE print.
• Be aware of color choices (Black sucks up ink)
• 42 inches by …. (If you wish to laminate, check
with Copyworks for their size limits).
• Must be a Windows document (often PowerPoint.
See next slide).
Show poster slide
Deliverables for the last week
• Open House on Monday.
• Time to finish up on Wednesday.
• Final project due on Friday
– Group Deliverables
• Final implementation / Instructions to run it (make sure there is
a place I can play with it without messing with real people).
• Open house materials
• Materials you think I should see in evaluating the project
– Individual Deliverables
• Two short essays
• Team Evaluation sheet
Activity for Wednesday
• Visit both amtrak.com and call 1-800-USA-
• Perform two prescribed tasks
• Explore and consider usability.
What is Ubiquitous Computing?
• The names for the research vary
• but they all share the vision of the active world.
What is Ubiquitous Computing?
• Mainframe = many people share one computer
• Personal Computing = one person, one computer
• Ubiquitous Computing = many computers for each
• Sometimes referred to as the “third wave” in
Taken from a talk by Mark Weiser.
The “father” of Ubiquitous Computing is Mark Weiser
“… people live through their practices “For thirty years most interface
and tacit knowledge so that the most design, and most computer
powerful things are those that are design, has been headed down
effectively invisible in use. This is a the path of the "dramatic"
challenge that affects all of computer
science. machine. Its highest ideal is to
make a computer so exciting,
so wonderful, so interesting,
Our preliminary approach: Activate the that we never want to be
world. Provide hundreds of wireless
computing devices per person per without it. A less-traveled path
office, of all scales (from 1" displays to I call the "invisible"; its highest
wall sized). We call our work ideal is to make a computer so
"ubiquitous computing". It is invisible, imbedded, so fitting, so natural,
everywhere computing that does not that we use it without even
live on a personal device of any sort, thinking about it.”
but is in the woodwork everywhere.”
In fewer words…
“The most profound technologies are those
that disappear. They weave themselves into
the fabric of everyday life until they are
indistinguishable from it.”
Mark Weiser, Scientific American, September
Or as simply as I can put it…
Merge the physical and
What Ubiquitous Computing Isn't
• A Mobile Computer – even if you have access to
“everything” you do it through only one access
• Multimedia Computing – while it may employ
sound and video it should fade into the
background rather than demand the focus of your
• Virtual reality - where virtual reality puts people
inside a computer-generated world, ubiquitous
computing forces the computer to live out here in
the world with people.
Why talk about Ubicomp in HCI?
• Ubicomp created a new mode of HCI.
• In order to realize Weiser’s vision we must:
– Understand and support everyday
– Provide heterogeneous devices (different
forms of interactive experiences);
– Orchestrate devices for provide holistic
Range of form factors
• Tab (inch scale) [Active Badge and Containers]
• Pad (foot scale) [Digital Paper]
• Board (yard scale) [LiveBoards]
• “How many tabs, pads, and board-sized writing and display surfaces
are there in a typical room? Look around you: at the inch scale include
wall notes, titles on book spines, labels on controls, thermostats and
clocks, as well as small pieces of paper. Depending upon the room
you may see more than a hundred tabs, tens of pads, and one or two
Olivetti Active Badge, circa 1990
• Badges emit IR signals
• Sensors in the environment pick up the signals,
pass them to a central network
• Doors open only to the right badge wearer, rooms
greet people by name, telephone calls can be
automatically forwarded to wherever the recipient
may be, receptionists actually know where people
are, terminals retrieve your preferences without
you logging in…
• A tab that serves as an extension to a computer
• Touch the tab to an open window on the computer
screen. The document closes and is “stored” on
• Touch the tab to a different computer screen, and
the document opens.
• Organize tabs and carry them with you as you
would piles of papers on your desk.
• Take a special pen and a special Post-it note. Write a message,
enter an e-mail address in some squares at the bottom of the note,
and check a box marked "e-mail" and another marked "send."
• The pen has a pressure sensor, which activates a digital camera
that records exact strokes. Bluetooth transceiver communicates
the strokes to a phone or laptop nearby.
• The special pen isn't taking pictures of the pen marks -- it's
recording the position of the pen on the paper. It can do this
because the paper is preprinted with thousands of tiny, nearly
invisible dots. They make up a kind of map on the Post-it note that
the pen's camera can read. So, for instance, when you check the
box marked "e-mail," it knows that that part of the map means
"Send what you've captured as an e-mail message." Only the e-
mail address needs to be written neatly, in designated squares for
each letter, so it can be read and translated by optical character
recognition software in the pen.
The Advantage of Digital Paper
• “One way to think of pads is as an antidote
to windows…computer window systems are
often said to be based on the desktop
metaphor – but who would use a desk
whose surface is 9x11? Pads, in contrast,
use a real desk. Spread many pads around
on the desk, just as you spread out papers.”
• Whiteboard sized displays.
• Users use electronic “chalk” to manipulate
• Can be used to facilitate meetings over great
• Ever changing “bulletin boards”
Context Aware Computing-
Placing Information in the World
– Associate notes (e.g., recommendations, ratings) with
locations; for personal or group use
– Campus system which associates notes with location
– Associates to do list items with locations; individual use
• Scans the bar code on any object with a
• Construct queries obtain product info
• Build personal histories (that can be shared,
More on I/O
• Novel Input Devices [Xwand]
• Implicit Input [Sensor Rich PDA]
• Multiscaled output [Pick-and-Drop]
• Distributed output [Dangling String]
Novel Input Devices - XWand
• Lots of sensors • Cameras in
– Accelerometer room
• IR What is being
• FM transceiver pointed at
• LEDs What gesture is
• Microcontroller being made
• An experimental PDA (Microsoft Research) to
investigate how a variety of simple sensors can
improve the interaction between a user and
various hand-held applications;
• Technology used: Two axis linear accelerometer
(tilt sensor), capacitive touch sensors, and infrared
proximity range sensor;
Towards Implicit Input – example
Sensor-enriched mobile device
• Output is no longer exclusively in the form of self-
contained desktop or laptop visual displays that
demand our attention (3 scales).
• With these new proliferation of displays, two
trends have emerged:
– We want to easily move information between
separate displays and coordinate interactions
between multiple displays (Pick-and-Drop);
• New field of user interfaces called “multi-computer direct
• An extrapolation of the Drag-and-Drop.
• It is more natural to allow user to manipulate a computer
object as if it were a real (physical object).
• The Dangling String meets the challenge of how to create calm
• We must learn to design for periphery so that we can most
fully command technology without being dominated by it.
• 8 foot piece of plastic spaghetti
• Electrically connected to an Ethernet cable
• Each bit of information causes a tiny twitch of the
• A very busy network = madly whirling string
• A quiet network = small twitch every few sec
• Placed in an unused corner of a hallway, the long
string is visible and audible from many offices
without being obtrusive.
Seamless integration of physical and
virtual worlds – DigitalDesk
• Ubicomp attempts to merge computational
artifacts with the world of physical artifacts.
• DigitalDesk intermixes input and output.
• Application: A calculator that allows people to
place documents in the desk, point to a number to
enter it into the calculator.
Seamless integration of physical and
virtual worlds – DigitalDesk
• Can we apply a user-centered approach to
create novel designs with novel
• How do we learn about user requirements?
• Let’s take an example…
• Deliver information to users (on handheld /
wearable devices) that is relevant to their
current place (e.g., office, lab, classroom,
home, grocery store, night club, coffee
shop, stadium, post office, school, etc.)
What we’d like to know
• Common places a representative group of people
are in over the course of a typical day
• Common transitions between types of places
• Information needs relative to a given type of place
• Willingness to share information relevant to a
given type of place
• “While I’m in the grocery store, I’d like to know if
any of the items I typically buy are on sale”
• “While I’m dropping my kids off at school, I
realized it would be really convenient to find
another parent at the school to carpool with”
• “I’d like somebody who’s passing by Prexy’s in
the Union to pick me up a large diet Mountain
Dew and bring it to my office”
• “I often go from my office to the WRC to the
coffee shop, then back to my office”
• Consider methods for gathering data from users
• Workshops / Focus Groups
– Self reports (e.g., time diaries)
• Which one(s) would work best to gather user
requirements in this case? How well would any
methods work? Why?
Time Diary (Rieman 1993)
Limits of self-reported data
• Basic problem – hard for people to remember and
take time to enter data
• Failure of recall – esp. for unremarkable everyday
• Bias – you remember the unusual
• Bias – you remember what you expect to have
• Bias – you remember what you think the
experimenter wants you to remember
• Experience Sampling Method (ESM)
• Subjects are periodically prompted to enter data,
typically by answering a few questions
– Fixed interval; random interval; on event (up to user)
• Traditionally, prompting was via a “beeper” and
questionnaire was filled out with paper and pencil
• New technologies
– Call cell-phone, listen to voice prompts, press buttons
or speak responses
– Blackberry pager
– Handheld computer
ESM Tool Tailored for Ubicomp
• Intille et al, Ubicomp 2003
• In addition to traditional prompting modes,
– User is in a particular location
– User’s heart rate changes
– A conversation is (or is not) going on
• Ubiquitous, imaged-based sampling
– Audio, video “images” captured
– Users consult the images when it’s convenient and
answer the survey questions using images as recall aids