[Ubicomp] Talking Points - Ubicomp Interactive Workspaces

Stanford Interactive Workspaces


  • Everything coordinated thru EventHeap
    One EventHeap per physical space
    Ubicomp version of EventQueue
    Rationale is for decoupling
    Same idea as Context Toolkit, done differently
    Avoids RPC, decouples components in space and time

  • Failure is expected
    Hence decoupling
    Just restart (the reboot design pattern)
    As long as EventHeap, ICrafter, and DataHeap don't crash, you're ok
    Uses heartbeats for services (periodically refreshes, I'm still alive)

  • ICrafter service and UI manager
    Retrieves predefined UI (if it exists), automatically generates UIs otherwise


  • Groupware, focused on large display, any device interaction

  • Three themes: control (ICrafter), coordination (EventHeap), data (DataHeap)
    Interoperability is an intrinsic issue here
    Still have naming coord problem (another intrinsic interoperability issue)

  • Large display
    Pen interaction
    FlowMenu - ideally, speedup as you go (tho only Francois)
    ZoomScape - things automatically shrink at the top, big in main area
    PointRight - super-mouse across devices


  • How to get room geometry?
    Layout of room?
    Position of devices?
    Should note that most large devices don't move, so config file ok approach

  • A lot of work, a lot of infrastructure, and a lot of equipment
    Cheaper or smaller versions? Incremental? How much KoolAid buy-in?

  • Are security and privacy that important here?


  • Day to day interactions are in physical spaces
  • Focus is on workspaces, both interaction and physical design (ex. furniture)
  • Goal is to break out of this box of desktop computing

  • DynaWall
    New interaction techniques - Take and Put, Shuffle throw
    Not as sophisticated as Stanford's work (but also not their goal)

  • CommChairs
    Mobile chairs with computers, individuals in each chair

  • InteracTable
    Table with display, multiple people simultaneous
    Rotate window, etc, big influence on MERL's Diamond Touch

  • Passage
    Uses weight to get data quickly
    Often criticized, but gets the dirty job of data xfer done quickly

  • This is the kind of research you can do when you have a TON of money!



  • Why isn't this out already?
    Brad Johanson is doing a startup Tidebreak http://www.tidebreak.com/
    Cost-benefit of this? Equipment not cheap, what portions are best bang for buck?

  • Cheaper, portable versions that don't require large buy-in?
    Ex. USB ports
    Also see Meeting Machine

  • General design of central static parts (wall screen, desks, etc) along
    with ad hoc temporary peripherals (laptops, pdas, mice, etc)

  • Common themes between Interactive Workspaces and Roomware?
    Data transfer (now solved thru USB keyfobs, IR, Bluetooth, and Wireless?)
    Control not as emphasized here


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