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Human Computer Interaction

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As the aim of this lecture is to introduce you the study of Human Computer
Interaction, so that after studying this you will be able to:

. Understand the new and emerging interaction paradigms
The most common interaction paradigm in use today is the desktop computing
paradigm. However, there are many other different types of interaction paradigms.
Some of these are given below and many are still emerging:

Ubiquitous computing

Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp, or sometimes ubiqcomp) integrates computation
into the environment, rather than having computers which are distinct objects. Other
terms for ubiquitous computing include pervasive computing, calm technology, and
things that think. Promoters of this idea hope that embedding computation into the
environment and everyday objects would enable people to move around and interact
with information and computing more naturally and casually than they currently do.
One of the goals of ubiquitous computing is to enable devices to sense changes in
their environment and to automatically adapt and act based on these changes based on
user needs and preferences.
The late Mark Weiser wrote what are considered some of the seminal papers in
Ubiquitous Computing beginning in 1988 at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
(PARC). Weiser was influenced in a small way by the dystopian Philip K. Dick novel
Ubik, which envisioned a future in which everything -- from doorknobs to toilet-paper
holders, were intelligent and connected. Currently, the art is not as mature as Weiser
hoped, but a considerable amount of development is taking place.
The MIT Media Lab has also carried on significant research in this field, which they
call Things That Think.
American writer Adam Greenfield coined the term Everyware to describe
technologies of ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing, ambient informatics and
tangible media. The article All watched over by machines of loving grace contains the
first use of the term. Greenfield also used the term as the title of his book Everyware:
The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (ISBN 0321384016).
Early work in Ubiquitous Computing
The initial incarnation of ubiquitous computing was in the form of "tabs", "pads", and
"boards" built at Xerox PARC, 1988-1994. Several papers describe this work, and
there are web pages for the Tabs and for the Boards (which are a commercial product
Ubicomp helped kick off the recent boom in mobile computing research, although it is
not the same thing as mobile computing, nor a superset nor a subset.

Ubiquitous Computing has roots in many aspects of computing. In its current form, it
was first articulated by Mark Weiser in 1988 at the Computer Science Lab at Xerox
PARC. He describes it like this:
Ubiquitous Computing #1
Inspired by the social scientists, philosophers, and anthropologists at PARC, we have
been trying to take a radical look at what computing and networking ought to be like.
We believe that people live through their practices and tacit knowledge so that the
most powerful things are those that are effectively invisible in use. This is a challenge
that affects all of computer science. Our preliminary approach: Activate the world.
Provide hundreds of wireless computing devices per person per office, of all scales
(from 1" displays to wall sized). This has required new work in operating systems,
user interfaces, networks, wireless, displays, and many other areas. We call our work
"ubiquitous computing". This is different from PDA's, dynabooks, or information at
your fingertips. It is invisible, everywhere computing that does not live on a personal
device of any sort, but is in the woodwork everywhere.
Ubiquitous Computing #2
For thirty years most interface design, and most computer design, has been headed
down the path of the "dramatic" machine. Its highest ideal is to make a computer so
exciting, so wonderful, so interesting, that we never want to be without it. A lesstraveled
path I call the "invisible"; its highest ideal is to make a computer so
imbedded, so fitting, so natural, that we use it without even thinking about it. (I have
also called this notion "Ubiquitous Computing", and have placed its origins in postmodernism.)
I believe that in the next twenty years the second path will come to
dominate. But this will not be easy; very little of our current systems infrastructure
will survive. We have been building versions of the infrastructure-to-come at PARC
for the past four years, in the form of inch-, foot-, and yard-sized computers we call
Tabs, Pads, and Boards. Our prototypes have sometimes succeeded, but more often
failed to be invisible. From what we have learned, we are now explorting some new
directions for ubicomp, including the famous "dangling string" display.

45.1 Wearable Computing

Personal Computers have never quite lived up to their name. There is a limitation to
the interaction between a user and a personal computer. Wearable computers break
this boundary. As the name suggests these computers are worn on the body like a
piece of clothing. Wearable computers have been applied to areas such as behavioral
modeling, health monitoring systems, information technologies and media
development. Government organizations, military, and health professionals have all
incorporated wearable computers into their daily operations. Wearable computers are
especially useful for applications that require computational support while the user's
hands, voice, eyes or attention are actively engaged with the physical environment.
Wristwatch videoconferencing system running GNU Linux, later featured in Linux
Journal and presented at ISSCC2000One of the main features of a wearable computer
is constancy. There is a constant interaction between the computer and user, ie. there
is no need to turn the device on or off. Another feature is the ability to multi-task. It is
not necessary to stop what you are doing to use the device; it is augmented into all
other actions. These devices can be incorporated by the user to act like a prosthetic. It
can therefore be an extension of the user’s mind and/or body.

Such devices look far different from the traditional cyborg image of wearable
computers, but in fact these devices are becoming more powerful and more wearable
all the time. The most extensive military program in the wearables arena is the US
Army's Land Warrior system, which will eventually be merged into the Future Force
Warrior system.
Since the beginning of time man has fought man. The difference between the 18th
century and the 21st century however, is that we are no longer fighting with guns but
instead with information. One of the most powerful devices in the past few decades is
the computer and the ability to use the information capabilities of such a device have
transformed it into a weapon.
Wearable computers have led to an increase in micro-management. That is, a society
characterized by total surveillance and a greater influence of media and technologies.
Surveillance has impacted more personal aspects of our daily lives and has been used
to punish civilians for seemingly petty crimes. There is a concern that this increased
used of cameras has affected more personal and private moments in our lives as a
form of social control.
Depending on how broadly one defines both wearable and computer, the first
wearable computer could be as early as the 1500s with the invention of the pocket
watch or even the 1200s with the invention of eyeglasses. The first device that would
fit the modern-day image of a wearable computer was constructed in 1961 by the
mathematician Edward O. Thorp, better known as the inventor of the theory of cardcounting
for blackjack, and Claude E. Shannon, who is best known as "the father of
information theory." The system was a concealed cigarette-pack sized analog
computer designed to predict roulette wheels. A data-taker would use microswitches
hidden in his shoes to indicate the speed of the roulette wheel, and the computer
would indicate an octant to bet on by sending musical tones via radio to a miniature
speaker hidden in a collaborators ear canal. The system was successfully tested in Las
Vegas in June 1961, but hardware issues with the speaker wires prevented them from
using it beyond their test runs. Their wearable was kept secret until it was first
mentioned in Thorp's book Beat the Dealer (revised ed.) in 1966 and later published
in detail in 1969. The 1970s saw rise to similar roulette-prediction wearable
computers using next-generation technology, in particular a group known as
Eudaemonic Enterprises that used a CMOS 6502 microprocessor with 5K RAM to
create a shoe-computer with inductive radio communications between a data-taker
and better (Bass 1985).
In 1967, Hubert Upton developed an analogue wearable computer that included an
eyeglass-mounted display to aid lip reading. Using high and low-pass filters, the
system would determine if a spoken phoneme was a fricative, stop consonant, voicedfricative,
voiced stop consonant, or simply voiced. An LED mounted on ordinary
eyeglasses illuminated to indicate the phoneme type. The 1980s saw the rise of more
general-purpose wearable computers. In 1981 Steve Mann designed and built a
backpack-mounted 6502-based computer to control flash-bulbs, cameras and other
photographic systems. Mann went on to be an early and active researcher in the
wearables field, especially known for his 1994 creation of the Wearable Wireless
Webcam (Mann 1997). In 1989 Reflection Technology marketed the Private Eye

head-mounted display, which scanned a vertical array of LEDs across the visual field
using a vibrating mirror. 1993 also saw Columbia University's augmented-reality
system known as KARMA: Knowledge-based Augmented Reality for Maintenance
Assistance. Users would wear a Private Eye display over one eye, giving an overlay
effect when the real world was viewed with both eyes open. KARMA would overlay
wireframe schematics and maintenance instructions on top of whatever was being
repaired. For example, graphical wireframes on top of a laser printer would explain
how to change the paper tray. The system used sensors attached to objects in the
physical world to determine their locations, and the entire system ran tethered from a
desktop computer (Feiner 1993).
The commercialization of general-purpose wearable computers, as led by companies
such as Xybernaut, CDI and ViA Inc, has thus far met with limited success. Publiclytraded
Xybernaut tried forging alliances with companies such as IBM and Sony in
order to make wearable computing widely available, but in 2005 their stock was
delisted and the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid financial
scandal and federal investigation. In 1998 Seiko marketed the Ruputer, a computer in
a (fairly large) wristwatch, to mediocre returns. In 2001 IBM developed and publicly
displayed two prototypes for a wristwatch computer running Linux, but the product
never came to market. In 2002 Fossil, Inc. announced the Fossil WristPDA, which ran
the Palm OS. Its release date was set for summer of 2003, but was delayed several
times and was finally made available on January 5, 2005.

45.2 Tangible Bits

The development from desktop to physical environment can be divided into two
phases: the first one was introduced by the Xerox Star workstation in 1981. This
workstation was the first generation of a graphical user interface that sets up a
“desktop metaphor”. It simulates a real physical desktop on a computer screen with a
mouse, windows and icons. The Xerox Star workstation also establishes some
important HCI design principles like “seeing and pointing”.
Ten years later, in 1991, Marc Weiser illustrates a different paradigm of computing,
called “ubiquitous computing”. His vision contains the displacement of computers
into the background and the attempt to make them invisible.
A new paradigm desires to start the next period of computing by establish a new type
of HCI called “Tangible User Interfaces” (TUIs). Herewith they try to make
computing truly ubiquitous and invisible. TUIs will change the world itself to an
interface (see figure below) with the intention that all surfaces (walls, ceilings,
doors…) and objects in the room will be an interface between the user and his

Below are some examples:
The ClearBoard (TMG, 1990-95) has the idea of changing a passive wall to an active
dynamic collaboration medium. This leads to the vision, that all surfaces become
active surfaces through which people can interact with other (real and virtual) spaces
(see figure below).
Bricks (TMG, 1990-95) is a graphical user interface that allows direct control of
virtual objects through handles called “Bricks”. These Bricks can be attached to
virtual objects and thus make them graspable. This project encouraged two-handed
direct manipulation of physical objects (see figure below).
The Marble Answering Machine (by Durell Bishop, student at the Royal College of
Art) is a prototype telephone answering machine. Incoming voice messages are
represented by marbles, the user can grasp and then drop to play the message or dial
the caller automatically. It shows that computing doesn’t have to take place at a desk,
but it can be integrated into everyday objects. The Marble Answering Machine
demonstrates the great potential of making digital information graspable (see figure
Goals and Concepts of “tangible bits”
In our world there exist two realms: the physical environment of atoms and the
cyberspace of bits. Interactions between these two spheres are mostly restricted to
GUI- based boxes and as a result separated from ordinary physical environments. All
senses, work practices and skills for processing information we have developed in the
past are often neglected by our current HCI designs.


So there is a need to augment the real physical world by coupling digital information
to everyday things. In this way, they bring the two worlds, cyberspace and real world,
together by making digital information tangible. All states of physical matter, that
means, not only solid matter, but also liquids and gases become interfaces between
people and cyberspace. It intends to allow users both to “grasp and manipulate”
foreground bits and be aware of background bits. They also don’t want to have a
distinction between special input and output devices any longer, e.g. between
representation and control. Nowadays, interaction devices are divided into input
devices like mice or keyboards and output devices like screens. Another goal is not to
have a one-to-one mapping between physical objects and digital information, but an
aggregation of several digital information instead.


To achieve these goals, they worked out three key concepts: “interactive surfaces”,
“coupling bits and atoms” and “ambient media”. The concept “interactive surfaces”
suggests a transformation of each surface (walls, ceilings, doors, desktops) into an
active interface between physical and virtual world. The concept “coupling bits and
atoms” stands for the seamless coupling of everyday objects (card, books, and toys)
with digital information. The concept “ambient media” implies the use of sound, light,
air flow, water movement for background interfaces at the periphery of human

45.3 Attentive Environments

Attentive environments are environments that are user and context aware. One project
which explores these themes is IBM's BlueEyes research project is chartered to
explore and define attentive environments.
Animal survival depends on highly developed sensory abilities. Likewise, human
cognition depends on highly developed abilities to perceive, integrate, and interpret
visual, auditory, and touch information. Without a doubt, computers would be much
more powerful if they had even a small fraction of the perceptual ability of animals or
humans. Adding such perceptual abilities to computers would enable computers and
humans to work together more as partners. Toward this end, the BlueEyes project
aims at creating computational devices with the sort of perceptual abilities that people
take for granted.
How can we make computers "see" and "feel"?
BlueEyes uses sensing technology to identify a user's actions and to extract key
information. This information is then analyzed to determine the user's physical,
emotional, or informational state, which in turn can be used to help make the user
more productive by performing expected actions or by providing expected
information. For example, a BlueEyes-enabled television could become active when
the user makes eye contact, at which point the user could then tell the television to
"turn on".
In the future, ordinary household devices -- such as televisions, refrigerators, and

ovens -- may be able to do their jobs when we look at them and speak to them.

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