The research in the center is organized around a number of research themes, each of these themes are explored in one or more of the specific projects, that act both as inspiration and cases for trying out ideas.
The possibilities on offer by present and future technologies point to various possible fascinating futures. To ensure that the interactive spaces we create are relevant, meaningful and improve the quality of life for the people who will inhabit these, we adopt a participatory design approach when designing interactive spaces. Scenarios, prototypes, provotypes, probes, videoprototypes, and full scale experimental facilities are some of the keyactivities in our design process. But we also work to develop participatory design approaches beyond state of the art, to take into account the challenges of designing interactiveSpaces, designing with new groups of users e.g. children, as well as designing for new contexts e.g. the home.
Space as Interface
Through the emergence of pervasive computing our surrounding space contains both physical and virtual proporties. Interacting with these environments require a new way of understanding the relation between space and technology. To us interactions should not only be limited to simple displays but be a part of and take place in the space, and in that way using the space as the interface. This is done by combining the spatial and technological properties with the user as an interacting device – speaking to, gesturing with, moving in and touching the surrounding space. That way our interactions with technology gets a closer relation to the environments they are applied to.
Context aware interaction
We create seamless access to information and services in spaces without cumbersome logon and user interfaces that adapt to users based on e.g. location and profiles. We make the environments that carry user files and store information produced by users based on the context rather than try to let the users carry all their data on portables and the like. Computing support is called context aware, when the available services and information are provided based on a sense of the context, i.e. the time of day, the weather, the light, the user’s location, tasks, preferences etc. Context may be sensed by tracking the location of users and objects and by retrieving status, profile, or preference information from users’ active badges, PDAs or mobile phones. Services in an environment use the context-awareness to adapt functionality and user-interfaces of services to the context. The environments we develop will take advantage of context awareness and provide the users with relevant services.
The focus is on seamless augmentation of the physical environment with digital information and services without spoiling the affordances of the physical artefacts and the environment. Techniques include tagging and labelling the physical world with RFID or visual markers to link to digital information. Digital information may be superimposed on real world objects with different techniques, such as project or see-through displays.
The typical image of computers is closely related to grey boxes on our desktops. owever, as technology moves beyond the work environment into the domestic and cultural realms of life, the roles and ideals of information technology must reflect the experiential aspects of life. Through designing for aesthetic interaction we wish to make technology serve and enrich people’s everyday life. Aesthetic interaction emphasizes a focus beyond functionality of computational devices taking departure in the more subtle and poetic sides of life. It aims for creating involvement, experience, surprise and serendipity in interaction with everyday artifacts and interactive spaces.
Computing potentials are moving beyond the office into the spatial context of homes, institutions and the urban environment. Traditionally computers and artefacts have been designed for the individual user. However, the migration of technology towards a social environment, stresses the need for focusing on the use of technology in a social and spatial context. Taking point of departure in domestic and public contexts, interactivespaces design environments supporting social interactions, e.g. sharing information and knowledge and establishing new relations and contacts.