Utilising presence in places to support mobile interaction

Norrie, Lauren M. (2016) Utilising presence in places to support mobile interaction. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Physical places are given contextual meaning by the objects and people that make up the space. Presence in physical places can be utilised to support mobile interaction by making access to media and notifications on a smartphone easier and more visible to other people. Smartphone interfaces can be extended into the physical world in a meaningful way by anchoring digital content to artefacts, and interactions situated around physical artefacts can provide contextual meaning to private manipulations with a mobile device. Additionally, places themselves are designed to support a set of tasks, and the logical structure of places can be used to organise content on the smartphone. Menus that adapt the functionality of a smartphone can support the user by presenting the tools most likely to be needed just-in-time, so that information needs can be satisfied quickly and with little cognitive effort. Furthermore, places are often shared with people whom the user knows, and the smartphone can facilitate social situations by providing access to content that stimulates conversation. However, the smartphone can disrupt a collaborative environment, by alerting the user with unimportant notifications, or sucking the user in to the digital world with attractive content that is only shown on a private screen. Sharing smartphone content on a situated display creates an inclusive and unobtrusive user experience, and can increase focus on a primary task by allowing content to be read at a glance. Mobile interaction situated around artefacts of personal places is investigated as a way to support users to access content from their smartphone while managing their physical presence. A menu that adapts to personal places is evaluated to reduce the time and effort of app navigation, and coordinating smartphone content on a situated display is found to support social engagement and the negotiation of notifications. Improving the sensing of smartphone users in places is a challenge that is out-with the scope of this thesis. Instead, interaction designers and developers should be provided with low-cost positioning tools that utilise presence in places, and enable quantitative and qualitative data to be collected in user evaluations. Two lightweight positioning tools are developed with the low-cost sensors that are currently available: The Microsoft Kinect depth sensor allows movements of a smartphone user to be tracked in a limited area of a place, and Bluetooth beacons enable the larger context of a place to be detected. Positioning experiments with each sensor are performed to highlight the capabilities and limitations of current sensing techniques for designing interactions with a smartphone. Both tools enable prototypes to be built with a rapid prototyping approach, and mobile interactions can be tested with more advanced sensing techniques as they become available. Sensing technologies are becoming pervasive, and it will soon be possible to perform reliable place detection in-the-wild. Novel interactions that utilise presence in places can support smartphone users by making access to useful functionality easy and more visible to the people who matter most in everyday life.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Mobile interaction, adaptive interfaces, situated interaction, shared displays, rapid prototyping
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Funder's Name: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Murray-Smith, Prof. Roderick
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Miss Lauren Norrie
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7408
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 13:16
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 12:34
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/7408

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