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Design and Evaluation of Proxemic-Aware Environments to Support Epistemic Activities

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Space is an important cognitive resource. During epistemic activities, people lay out information in space and scale to externalize and spatially reflect their current thoughts, or to provide a shared space for in-group discussion. This behavior is documented for many activities, for example for sensemaking and analysis of data, ideation in creative design, or general practices of knowledge work. Especially for knowledge work, “lay out documents in space for reading, in order to read and write across documents is crucial” (Sellen and Harper, 2001).

In the first part of this talk, I show how egocentric physical navigation improves navigation performance and long-term spatial memory when navigating virtual information spaces. In subsequent work, I also looked at the display size for peephole navigation and I discuss the “sweet spot” between display size and both user navigation performance and user task load and share my insights about the design of peephole map navigation.

In the second part, I talk about HuddleLamp, which enables spatially-aware interaction by tracking multiple mobile devices on a table using a low-cost RGB -D camera. I describe its underlying technology and algorithm and also report how we used this to elicit user-defined cross-device gestures for an analytical sensemaking task. I discuss results of our two-phased user study, which can inform the design of future mobile cross-device interaction.

This talk is based on joint work with Hans-Christian Jetter (UCL), Nicolai Marquardt (UCL), Harald Reiterer (University of Konstanz), and Yvonne Rogers (UCL).

(Sellen and Harper, 2001) Sellen, A. J., & Harper, R. H. R. (2001). The Myth of the Paperless Office (1st ed., p. 245). MIT Press.

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