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Smart Spaces and Augmented Reality: Week 2 Homework

Link to previous theme page: Smart Spaces and Augmented Realities 2009

Assignment


 Please read the paper for your assigned group and follow the presentation rubric below. Next class you will lead a:

  • 5-7 minute presentation based on your responses to the Homework section at the bottom of this wiki page
  • 5 minute discussion
Presentation Rubric

The papers you will be reading address five different categories of smart spaces/augmented reality, only one of which you are doing a presentation on.  In addition to giving an overview of the paper and some of the interesting observations or conclusions the authors make, please address the following questions from our class discussion last week in your presentation and enter your short answers into the table provided in the Homework section of this wiki. 

1. For the specific technology in your reading, what are the:

a) Physical constraints (i.e. mobility boundaries)

b) Ecological implications (i.e. life cycle of the technology)

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues (i.e. privacy)

d) Cultural issues (i.e. usability barriers in non-Western cultures or opportunity for fostering inter-cultural collaboration, if any)

e) Accessibility issues (i.e. is the technology inherently or by way of design made unusable to any specific group?)

f) Social opportunities (i.e. can the technology be a force for networking?)

2.  How are the above questions affected by other technologies in your category not mentioned in your reading?

3. In the previous class we asked you to consider how smart objects/spaces affect and communicate with other smart objects/spaces.  How might the specific technology in your reading interact with a learning space/object? 

Readings


Transportation and Mobility

Mitchell, William J. et al.(2008) Mobility on Demand: Future of Transportation in Cities  click to open paper

Optional Related Videos/Links
Sustainable Mobility on demand TED talk (20 minutes) watch video
AIDA (affective intelligent driving agent), Senseable City Lab MIT (2 minutes)  watch video
Copenhagen Wheel, Senseable City Lab MIT (1.5 minutes) watch video


Personal/Health

Consolvo et al.(2008) Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays click to open paper


Architecture

Mahesh Senagala (2006) Rethinking Smart Architecture: Some Strategic Design Frameworks click to open paper


Home

Shaun K. Kane et al. (2009) Bonfire: A Nomadic System for Hybrid Laptop-Tabletop Interaction  click to open paper  |  view video
source : http://seattle.intel-research.net/people/daniel/index.php

Optional Related Videos/Links
The Digital Desk by Pierre Wellner watch video
PlayAnywhere by Andy Wilson watch video
Live Mesh more info
The Rotating House more info
Tour of Bill Gate's House watch video


Outdoor Spaces

Required: Sean White (2009) Interaction with the Environment: Sensor Data Visualization in Outdoor Augmented Reality click to open paper

Sean White and Steven Feiner (2009) SiteLens: Situated Visualization Techniques for Urban Site Visits  click to open paper

Optional: Gerhard Schall et al. (2009) Handheld Augmented Reality for underground infrastructure visualization click to open paper

Michiel de Lange (2009) PICNIC '09 report 1: Augmented Reality (really good overview) click to go to website

Optional Related Videos/Links
Layar, Augmented Reality Browser  more info or watch video (2 minutes)
Nearest Tube, Augmented Reality Subway Finder  watch video (less than 1 minute)
LocFinder, Augmented Reality Compass  watch video (less than 1 minute)
Augmented Reality Gaming/Virtual Pet  watch video 1 watch video 2 (3 minutes each)
TED Talk: SixthSense  watch video (20 minutes)

Homework


Transportation/Mobility

Group members:Peggy, Loredana, Jim

1. Summary of article (250 words max):

Mitchell, William J. et al.(2008)Mobility on Demand: Future of Transportation in Cities

Mobility-on-Demand is an environmentally responsible and economically feasible urban transportation eco-system, designed by the 'Smart Cities' research group at the MIT Media Laboratory. The system consists of a fleet of sharable, collapsible, rechargeable, lightweight vehicles that you can pick up and drop off at closely spaced intervals throughout a city. Users have their choice of three vehicle options operating within an intelligent, wireless grid: CityCars, RoboScooters and GreenWheel bicycles. Management of the system is accomplished through a combination of realtime mobility demand sensing,realtime sensing and network management software and a sophisticated use of dynamic pricing to manage supply and demand. The design reconceptualizes urban mobility, by addressing problems of parking, congestion, energy efficiency and pollution currently faced by cities.

2. Rubric

Issues

As related to the Mobility-on-demand system

As related to other technologies in
Transportation/Mobility

a) Physical constraints

We were wondering about where you put children? The cars are all for two people. This system seems to have forgotten about families, parents going to the grocery store with a couple children in tow, etc. Also, it wasn't clear where in the cars your groceries would fit. Although they may have been thinking this system would hook up with zipcar/autoshare-type systems. Also, the range of functionality of the car seems to be limited by its size. How many groceries can you buy? What about a piece of furniture?

 

b) Ecological implications

If the use of solar and other non-polluting renewable resources aren't built into the system as a whole then the issue of what is used to make the electricity for the vehicles becomes important. If this transportation system is picked up by developing countries such as China with its vast amounts of cheap coal the temptation will be to power the electricity with cheap coal. That aside, this system would have a strong positive impact on reducing air and noise pollution in cities as well as reducing green house gases.

The current personal car system is primarily reliant on fossil fuels which are polluting in various ways and non-renewable.

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues

A policy question which would need to be addressed (and they have started addressing it)is the funding model. Private/public system? Who pays has policy implications. Who profits also has policy implications.

An ethical consideration in the current car culture is that the environmental impact of the personal car culture is felt most heavily on people who do not have a personal car culture and are not sharing the personal perks of such a culture.

d) Cultural issues

This may be one of those new technologies that has an easier chance of being adopted in a developing country with a culture of public/shared transportation rather than a "developed" country with a strong personal car culture.

 

e) Accessibility issues

It would take a lot of work to figure out stop off and drop off points and get enough of them. (As an aside, we can see property values going up if your house is near a "node".)

f) Social opportunities

A new place to meet people? In the personal car culture of North America would this/could this lead to another way of thinking about what is shared space/shared objects? Could this use of technology lead to more social interactions rather than fewer?

 


3. How the Mobility-on-demand system in the reading could interact with a learning space/object:  
There are many possibilities here; one that comes to mind immediately would be to be able to use a cell phone/iPad/computer to access data about which node had what kinds of vehicles available and how many at any given time. And/or perhaps the vehicles themselves could be smart (or smarter) and they could tell the driver which nodes in the direction she/he was driving needed more vehicles. If the driver chose the emptier one if would be cheaper for the driver.

Personal/Health

Group members: Andrea, Courtney, and Sarah

1. Summary of article (250 words max): Consolvo et al.(2008) Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays

Researchers found that stylized, abstract representations of behaviour on personal mobile displays can be effective at raising awareness and potentially influencing a subject's behaviour. UbiFit Garden's Glanceable Display is a mobile, persuasive technology targeting individuals who have recognized the need to incorporate regular physical activity into their everyday lives but have not yet done so. Consisting of three components, UbiFit has a glanceable display; an interactive application; and a fitness device. The glanceable display uses a stylized, aesthetic representation of physical activities and goal attainment to keep the individual focused on the act of self-monitoring and commitment to fitness. The interactive application resides on the background screen of the individual's mobile phone providing detailed information about the individual's physical activities. The fitness device is worn on the waistband above the hips like a pedometer, transmitting information about the individual's ongoing activities to the glanceable display and interactive application. The UbiFit Garden displays a garden metaphor, with each flower representing one of a variety of physical activities. Activities must be sustained for 10 minutes to warrant a flower, a positive reinforcement where flower height does not correspond to activity level. The value of the glanceable display was tested against research participants who experienced the application without the display feature. Researchers found that participants who had the glanceable display maintained their activity duration, even during typically low activity times, such as in the winter. Participants without the display experienced decreased activity duration during such times. Designed to use the always-available mobile phone displays for individuals to self-monitor their physical activity, research found the UbiFit glanceable display was well-received by research participants.


 
2. Rubric







Issues

As related to the UbiFit system

As related to other technologies in
Personal/Health

a) Physical constraints

Device located on waistband
application on a mobile phone
close to individual
allows for self-monitoring
also allows for privacy
"mobile application was used more consistently throughout the day, suggesting that its use was better integrated with everyday life"
Not physically constraining

Breakaway:
sculpture on users desk
confined to one space
non-mobile setting, physically constraining
Fish 'n' Steps
in a common area/space
not accessible from everywhere
easily ignorable
group monitoring
open
High level of physical constraint

b) Ecological implications

Encourages physical activity, wide variety of acceptable activities
activities may benefit environment by offering an alternative transportation (ie. Walking, cycling, scooter, skateboard)
some activities benefit outdoors, ie. Gardening, snow shovelling, lawn mowing
mobile apps don't interfere with the environment
using already existing hardware (repurposed)

Breakaway:
requires a physical artifact to be designed/manufactured, which may not necessarily be repurposed/recycled
variety of participant activities not recognized by technology, didn't encourage as much activity that could potentially benefit environment
Fish 'n' Steps:
same as above

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues

Some people use work cell phones only and businesses may see this as a distraction
How could this change the way personal training works? Would they be able to monitor a little too closely?

There are no wilting flowers to make participants feel bad - there is always a sunny sky, just a lack of flowers.
What about the Nike+ How does this differ/compare?
Would it be available for all cell phone models?

d) Cultural issues

Not everyone has a cell phone.
What could the cost be? For program? For running it?
Would it work on vacation? ie. all over the world?
The research group talked about getting different display "metaphors" to suit personal preference.

 

e) Accessibility issues

limited by ability, age, gender, and class (i.e. not readily accessible by all groups) especially visually impaired persons due to the design elements (visual components, physical activity expectations, garden metaphor, and cell phone costs)

cell phone could talk to fitness machines at a gym to personalize workout program.

f) Social opportunities

limited only because it is a personal and private matter to keep track of fitness level - however, could be used within graphing software on a website, or blog to track and create competitive challenges within workspace and social groups.  Could also be used within a facebook application.

for self-esteem issues perhaps the phone could talk to smartfridges to act as a "diet program" in order to increase fitness levels.


3. How the UbiFit system in the reading could interact with a learning space/object:  

Same as above in talking with computer to graph/track results, television monitors at work (water cooler effect), personal fitness programs at a local gym.

Architecture

Group members:  Bodong Chen & Cresencia Fong

Download our presentation (PDF format) here.

1. Summary of article (250 words max):

Senagala, M. (2006).  Rethinking Smart Architecture: Some Strategic Design Frameworks. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 4(3), 33-46.

From the Abstract (Senagala, 2006):  "The paper is an attempt to provide a comprehensive re-definition and a complex-adaptive framework for strategic understanding of smart architecture.  The paper rethinks smart architecture's strategic and conceptual frameworks.A complex-adaptive and systems approach has been forwarded as an alternative. Comprehensive definition of smart architecture has been provided. Disparate yet related camps of responsive architecture, adaptive architecture, intelligent buildings, kinetic architecture have been brought under the umbrella of smart architecture.The role of users in smart architectural schemata has been explored. Examples of a few recent architectural projects have been used to illustrate the emerging directions in smart architecture."

2. Rubric

Issues

As related to the Topotransegrity/The Muscle prototype

As related to other technologies in
Architecture

a) Physical constraints

Topotransegrity

  • kinetic space frame structure driven by 3 sets of Festo pneumatic pistons
  • senses people's movements through pressure sensitive mats which translate the impulses into valve operation controlled by computer
    The Muscle
  • senses people's movements through sensors attached to reference points on the construction; sensors triggers reaction from the Muscle as a whole
  •  The Muscle can also be manipulated by operating sliders on a computer screen
  • ONL has also programmed the Muscle to have a will of its own as well
  • goal was to develop an individual personality for the Muscle
  • materials + human activities + HVAC systems + metabolism = "A Building"
  • knowledge + representational systems + artifacts + ordering/configuration systems + practices + philosophies + culture of building = "architecture"
  • "environment":  frameworks, systems, principles, protocols, infrastructure, and platforms; which support/nourish/nurture tools, devices, users, and activities
  • smart architecture research limited to smaller buildings (e.g. smart homes) due to scalability, portability, conceptual clarity
  • very few architects/architectural researchers working on smart architecture
  • "smart environment":  acquires and applies knowledge about an environment; adapts to inhabitants to improve their experience
  • "responsive architecture":  emphasizes real-time interactivity of a building's elements in response to environmental/social/commercial needs 
  • "kinetic architecture":  architecture as a mechanical, kinetic, moving organism

b) Ecological implications

  • Topotransegrity: programs walls and floors to react to people and events in a 4-dimensional framework for smart architecture
  • environmental cost to building such a structure as well as maintaining the technological and electrical demands of such a building?
  • how can non-moving aspects of ecology be incorporated into this type of building (e.g. plants, water, light); will these need to be able to shape-shift as well?

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues

  • Privacy issues? 
  • What happens if there is a computer malfunction which causes the floors/walls to move in such a way as to injure a person in the building?
  • Being globally connected, how could we protect the system of a smart architecture from hacking? It seems the more we give control to the system, the more we are exposed to potential danger.

d) Cultural issues

  • Certain religions forbid social contact between people of the opposite sex, especially in places of worship
  • How could this type of building help or hinder such cultural practices?
  • Will the design and development of "modern" architecture be a threat to protection of historical and cultural building?
  • A interesting quote from Ed van Hinte (2003): Smart architecture is contextual: it responds to its surroundings. This does not only apply to the physical environment - the climate, the urban landscape etc. It is also true for the social environment, for the political and historical context. Smart architecture cooperates instead of fighting.

e) Accessibility issues

  • What about people with certain health issues or physical disabilities?
  • Will the constant shifting of the walls and floors enable the frail/disabled population, or further disable them?
  • this may be especially dangerous and confusing for blind people
  • how might this type of structure enable people who require crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, or other mobility devices?  Perhaps the building could move these people for them

f) Social opportunities

  • Perhaps if someone wanted to physically meet another person in the building, the floors/walls could make this happen.
  • Help groups of people get to meetings within the building more efficiently and on time!

 


3. How the Topotransegrity/The Muscle prototype in the reading could interact with a learning space/object:  

  • perhaps the structure could shift its form according to the topic or type (e.g. small group, whole group, partners, etc.) of learning that is happening, or the type of learning
  • part of the structure could have a "memory" of the history of the learning that has occurred in the space
Home

Group members: Nisha and Tim

1. Summary of article (250 words max): 

This article is about Bonfire, a mobile system that uses laptop-mounted laser micro-projectors to project an interactive display space to either side of the laptop. This system can observe and respond appropriately within its field of view. It enables interaction between physical and digital device and allows direct pointing , sketching and gestures. There were also interactive spaces created in order to enrich peripheral and situational awareness along with enhancing interaction with computer application. Basically, this article focuses on Bonfire and its use of technology to perform all of the above.

2. Rubric

Issues

As related to the Bonfire system

As related to other technologies in
the Home

a) Physical constraints

-Will not function without a laptop
-The embedded projectors have limited projection
  area.

At home you cannot be constrained by carrying your laptop everywhere for the system to interact.

b) Ecological implications

This device saves everything it registers in the background. So would there be an overload of information? The device itself is simple and can be easily recycled.

It is a simple device and is ecologically friendly.

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues

Anything (for eg. Photos, data from hard copies, information of a product etc.) can be transferred by flicking it into your system. So there are bound to be ethical issues.

If you carry your laptop to a public space any activity done there can be easily viewed by another person.

d) Cultural issues

 

 

e) Accessibility issues

Limited by use of fingers as cursor. There is no use of Sound as an input.

Relates to an activity by objects placed in its working area. So an activity without an object does not get recorded.

f) Social opportunities

 

 


3. How the Bonfire system in the reading could interact with a learning space/object:  

The Bonfire system recognises physical objects in the immediate vicinity of the laptop and creates rich interaction by

- tracking use of every day objects

- by triggering ambient responses to objects added or removed (eg. pauses the music when headphone is placed down or by increasing the font size of the screen when glasses are taken off.

- providing links between computer tasks and physical objects that they require. (eg. A notebook placed in the vicinity would trigger the computer to open the documents the user was working last time the book was placed there.)

The system also recognises another digital device and share information.



 

Outdoor Spaces

Group members: Murat, Anne, Eva, Denise

1. Summary of article (250 words max):

2. Rubric

Issues

As related to the SiteLens system

As related to other technologies in
Outdoor Spaces

a) Physical constraints

What is the boundary of this technology? Is it only good for dense cities? Does it have traction in rural settings? Is it tied to one strata/plane - i.e. ground, sky, underground?
White, in his article writes about the challenge of optical dispalys outside and I assume that this means the sunlight can make them hard to see. It appears that there are challenges in "urban canyons" as well.


b) Ecological implications

 

Hand held sightseer (annotated building)- Could engage people ecologically if they could see a history of natural spaces and the degridation over time. 

c) Ethical questions and subsequent policy issues

Does this become a tool for measure of policy initiatives like Kyoto?

 

d) Cultural issues

-Does this allow you to compare air quality in different countries?

Hand held sight seer -Tourism could be enhanced as a visual architectural history is available but would toursits become lazy depending on the authority of the technology and not looking up other kinds of information. It also takes jobs away from local guides.

e) Accessibility issues

It depends on sight and the ability to manipulate the screen. What about a sound to indicate higher CO2 levels and voice activated for those who cannot use their hands?

Hand held sightseer - depends on sight. Could a spoken commentary be added to make usable for those who are sight impaired?

f) Social opportunities

How can people network through the display of their own data via SiteLens?

Handheld sight seer -Exchanges with local guides would be curtailed. Does this isolate the tourist and minimize social exchange?


3. How the SiteLens system in the reading could interact with a learning space/object:  If it can make the invisible visible, could it be used to chart the air quality in learning environments. Also, it could be used as a tool for chemistry lessons to teach the compostion of many substances by making them visible. 

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