Archive for the 'Public' Category

Audience Funnel

Figure: The Audience Funnel framework
Michelis, Müller (2011) International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction  Volume 27, Issue 6)

Paper Abstract

Data are presented from observations of Magical Mirrors, a set of four large public displays with gesture-based interaction installed in downtown Berlin, Germany. The displays show a mirror image of the environment in front of them and react with optical effects to the gestures of the audience. Observations of audience behavior revealed recurring behavioral patterns, like glancing at a first display while passing it, moving the arms to cause some effects, then directly approaching one of the following displays and positioning oneself in the center of the display. This was often followed by positioning oneself in the center of the other displays to explore the possibilities of the different effects, and sometimes by taking photographs or videos. From these observations a framework of interaction with gesture-based public display systems was deduced. It describes the phases of passing by a display, viewing & reacting, subtle interaction, direct interaction, multiple interactions, and follow-up actions. Quantitative data of these behavioral phases was collected by observing 660 passers-by on 2 weekend evenings. This article shows how many passers-by pass the thresholds between these phases. This “Audience Funnel” should provide a framework to encourage systematic investigation of public display systems and enable comparability between different studies.

Download full text on the publisher’s website.


Collaborative Interaction with Public Displays

In interacting, groups exhibit a very special dynamic. If a group of two or more people pass by the public displays, most often just one person becomes the active one who starts the interaction. This person pauses, then actively participates in the interaction drawing the attention of the other group members toward him or herself. Typically the others initially stand by and hesitantly observe the interaction.


In the parts of the investigation in which more than one display was available the other members of the group began to use the free displays and explore the interaction possibilities. Little by little the entire group participated in the interaction. In the cases in which there was only one display, the group became impatient and the most active person was encouraged to rejoin the group and move on.

Evaluating Interaction with Display Applications in Public Space

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As published ealier in this blog, interactive display analysis has already yielded data related to the public use of and interaction with displays. In order to develop a “Framework for Evaluating Interaction with Multi-Display Applications in Public Space”, I expanded the previous post.

Initial investigations of public interactions with large-scale displays can provide valuable insights into the process of usage and interaction. As a starting point Brignull and Rogers divide this process in their “two-thresholds framework” into peripheral, focused activities, and direct interaction (1). In a similar approach, Vogel and Balakrishnan’s “four-phase framework” differentiates between ambient display, implicit, subtle, and direct interaction (3). Last but not least, Streitz et al.’s “three-phase framework” focuses on the areas in which interaction takes place rather than the interaction process itself. (2).

Continue reading ‘Evaluating Interaction with Display Applications in Public Space’

Crossing Boundaries

The Networked City

The network is the new urban location. Inside the network we’re no longer tied to geographical places but to inter-connectivity and bandwidth. If we want to move from one place to another we don’t need pathways and doors, we move along network connections. The ability to connect defines an ever-increasing part of our lives: “connectivity has become the defining characteristic of our twenty first-century urban condition.“ [1] In networks of various types and sizes we play various network roles. Today, the network, rather than the enclosure, is emerging as the desired place. Connectivity is becoming the central condition of our globalized world.

No more „here and now“

With the advent of omnipresent interconnectivity we’re living in an age of globalized network-time in which traditional concepts of here“ and now“ no longer have meaning. Digital interconnectivity has led to the existence of a networked parallelism. Daily behaviors are fragmented: “they are no longer bounded by walls, but by the reach of our networks” [1]

For some time physical proximity no longer defines the scope of our actions and social interactions. More and more, social networks are characterized as “dynamic patterns of presence”; group affiliation is experienced as a dynamic construct via electronic networks.

Crossing boundaries

Networks are the new vehicles we use to link ourselves together. It follows thus: we cannot connect without also separating. In order to maintain our distance from people we don’t know, we enclose ourselves within a variety of boundaries. Countries, cities, houses, rooms, clothes or even social or cultural boundaries all function as semi-permeable filters that determine what we let in and what we don’t. Only our network-connections have allowed us to transcend these physical barriers. Connection crosses boundaries. Yet only those who have access to the network – an access point – can connect to it. “Our networks […] have well-defined access points, and between these points things are in a kind of limbo.” [1] We can only experience networks at their interfaces.

The spread of urban displays

Following the global inter-linking of computers, the digitalization of physical space has now begun: “At the beginning of the twenty first century the research agendas, media attention, and practical applications have come to focus on a new agenda – the physical – that is, physical space filled with electronic and visual information.” [3]

Continue reading ‘Crossing Boundaries’

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