In the everyday world, much of what we do as social beings is dictated by how we perceive and manage our interpersonal space. This is called proxemics. At its simplest, people naturally correlate physical distance to social distance. We believe that people's expectations of proxemics can be exploited in interaction design to mediate their interactions with devices (phones, tablets, computers, appliances, large displays) contained within a small ubiquitous computing ecology. Just as people expect increasing engagement and intimacy as they approach others, so should they naturally expect increasing connectivity and interaction possibilities as they bring themselves and their devices in close proximity to one another. This is called Proxemic Interactions.
This book concerns the design of proxemic interactions within such future proxemic-aware ecologies. It imagines a world of devices that have fine-grained knowledge of nearby people and other devices - how they move into range, their precise distance, their identity, and even their orientation - and how such knowledge can be exploited to design interaction techniques.
The first part of this book concerns theory. After introducing proxemics, we operationalize proxemics for ubicomp interaction via the Proxemic Interactions framework that designers can use to mediate people's interactions with digital devices. The framework, in part, identifies five key dimensions of proxemic measures (distance, orientation, movement, identity, and location) to consider when designing proxemic-aware ubicomp systems. The second part of this book applies this theory to practice via three case studies of proxemic-aware systems that react continuously to people's and devices' proxemic relationships. The case studies explore the application of proxemics in small-space ubicomp ecologies by considering first person-to-device, then device-to-device, and finally person-to-person and device-to-device proxemic relationships. We also offer a critical perspective on proxemic interactions in the form of "dark patterns," where knowledge of proxemics may (and likely will) be easily exploited to the detriment of the user.
Table of Contents
Ubicomp in Brief
Proxemic Interactions Theory
Operationalizing Proxemics for Ubicomp Interaction
Exploiting Proxemics to Address Challenges in Ubicomp Ecologies
Part II: Exploiting Proxemics in Ubicomp Ecologies
Person/Person-to-Device Proxemic Interactions
Device-to-Device Proxemic Interactions
Considering Person-to-Person and Device-to-Device Proxemics
About the Author(s)Nicolai Marquardt
, University College, London
Nicolai Marquardt is a Lecturer in Physical Computing at University College London. At the UCL Interaction center he is working in the research areas of ubiquitous computing, physical user interfaces and interactive surfaces. In particular, his research of Proxemic Interactions focuses on how to exploit knowledge about people's and devices spatial relationships in interaction design. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Interactions Lab at the University of Calgary, and joined Microsoft Research in Cambridge and Redmond as an intern during his graduate studies. Saul Greenberg
, University of Calgary
Saul Greenberg is a Full Professor and Industrial Research Chair in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. While
he is a computer scientist by training, the work by Saul and his talented students typifies the cross-discipline aspects of Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and Ubiquitous Computing. He and his crew are well known for their development of toolkits, innovative system designs based on observations of social phenomenon, articulation of design-oriented social science theories, and refinement of evaluation methods. He is a Fellow of the ACM, received the CHCCS Achievement award, and was elected to the ACM CHI Academy for his overall contributions to the field of Human Computer Interaction.