Sunday, 20 October 2013

Interactive Public Displays “Engaging The User”



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Large interactive displays are becoming increasingly widespread in urban public life. This is due largely to rapid developments in display and projection technologies, input methods that enable different types of interaction mechanisms, and our expanding understanding of the potential for interaction variations and scenarios. Large displays are now in public spaces such as museums, libraries, plazas, and architectural facades, where they present information and enhance experiences in a highly visual and often interactive way. Researchers from disciplines such as human-computer interaction, architecture, social sciences, design, art, and media theory have started exploring public-display installations' potential for educational, entertaining, participative, and evocative experiences and marketing purposes particularly advertisement.
Public settings have unique characteristics and therefore impose unique challenges. Public spaces attract diverse audiences who differ in age, interests, and experience with technology and who will engage in spontaneous and often unpredictable activities, individually and in groups.
Public-display installations range from large-scale media facades that people can interact with only from a distance to direct-touch interactive kiosks in plazas, coffee shops, or community centers that provide information of local interest. The public nature and diversity of these installations present different requirements and concerns regarding interface design and interaction techniques.
In addition, public settings' spatial layouts, sizes, lighting conditions, and social connotations affect which display technologies and interaction techniques are adequate and how people will interact with and experience an installation.
The public nature and diversity of these installations present different requirements and concerns regarding interface design and interaction techniques.
For instance, a large body of research presents unique technical solutions for display installations, designed for particular public settings and display technologies. However, interaction paradigms and techniques often don't generalize across different public settings. In "Making Public Displays Interactive Everywhere," Sebastian Boring and Dominikus Baur address the challenge of designing interaction techniques that apply to a variety of settings and that maintain some independence from the particular characteristics of the public space, people's activities, and the display technology. They've devised a conceptual framework and have implemented techniques that leverage cell phone cameras to enable from-a-distance interaction with any public-display technology.
In "Beyond Information and Utility: Transforming Public Spaces with Media Facades," Patrick Fischer and his colleagues discuss how to enable and promote from-a-distance interaction with public displays from a design perspective. Considerations regarding expressiveness of interaction, performance, and participatory experience influenced their design of an electronic slingshot that lets people send messages to a large-scale media facade. On the basis of their experiences deploying the installation in a variety of urban settings, they describe how different urban spaces' contexts, sizes, and spatial structures influenced people's behaviors and experiences with the installation.
However, for some scenarios such as community settings, a public display might offer options for multiple applications (for example, local events and attractions, news, and weather forecasts). This implies that the display interface must enable users to choose between the different applications
New Research Directions
With the exploration of different types of public-display installations in a variety of real-world scenarios, research in this area has expanded from addressing just technical concerns to examining topics such as participation and engagement. As the number of large public displays increases, the need for interaction techniques to control them is emerging. One promising way to provide such interaction is through personal mobile devices. However, although much research has covered this topic, it hasn't yet brought those technologies fully into the public that is, by allowing for interactions in a variety of public spaces. A proposed tracking technology has led to several prototype applications that employ mobile devices to interact with large public displays. Mobile devices, as interaction gateways to large displays, may be used for interaction as they widely adopted by people and can be relatively easily customized for the purpose of interaction with large displays.
A part of surface computing research at the University of Sydney, reveals that despite holding important information or relevant subject matter such as train timetables, flight arrival and departure information, weather updates and news, it is hard to make realise they can explore interactive PIDs.
Lead researcher Professor Judy Kay, from the University's School of Information Technologies, says for interactive PIDs to be more useful they need to alert users to their presence and their interactive capabilities - they need to help people really engage with them.
"They need to convey to users that they are not just conventional displays and that people can interact with them. Fundamentally, they need to help people realize what they offer and how people can make them do the job they were deployed for in the first place," says Professor Kay.
The study identified ways in which users are significantly more likely to notice an interactive display, such as using spotlight and follow-me visual cues in combination with dynamic skeletal representations.
What is important, says co-author and postdoctoral researcher Dr Rainer Wasinger, also from the School of Information Technologies, is that interactive display designers effectively communicate the "interactivity" of PIDs to end-users.
Without this communication, people are likely to assume the display is non-interactive and will often just walk straight past them, says Dr Wasinger.

Reference
Interactive Public Displays Published by the IEEE Computer Society: http://phys.org/news/2013-06-interactive-full-potential.html#jCp
University of Sydney 
Interactive public displays not being used to full potential, says research
http://phys.org/news/2013-06-interactive-full-potential.html
Types of Public Interactive Display Technologies and How to Motivate Users to Interact by Neal Buerger
http://nealbuerger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Neal_Buerger_Types-of-Public-Interactive-Display-Technology.pdf

Interactive Public Displays “Engaging The User”

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