Pervasive Displays – from Media Facades to Interactive Shower Curtains
June 21, 2015

Last week I attended and presented at the 4th ACM International Symposium on Pervasive Displays at the DFKI in Saarbrücken, Germany. The accepted paper “They want to tell us: Attention-aware Design and Evaluation of Ambient Displays for Learning” is a remainder of my PhD research and explores the interaction between users and ambient displays and the evaluation thereof in a learning context by presenting the results of a formative design study conducted at the OU campus.

The symposium started for me with an inspiring tutorial on “Urban HCI – Understanding space for the design of novel media architecture interfaces” by Patrick Tobias Fischer from the Bauhaus University Weimar, who gave an introduction on media facades and the different types of interactive spaces around them. The symposium’s keynote was then held by Soenke Zehle from the xm:lab (Experimental Media Lab of the University of Fine Arts Saar), giving an historical sketch and a visionary outlook on ambient media.

I presented our paper during the “Specific Applications” session, along with papers presenting in-car touch-screen interactions, public expression practices, public displays on construction sites, and collaborative newspaper. Already this session line-up showed the variety of topics present at the symposium. Other sessions focused on engagement and attention, devices and gestures, media facades, implementation concerns, implementations “in the wild”, and imaginative interfaces. One of these interfaces even conquered a space previously spared from interactive displays whatsoever – the shower curtain. The prototype used a beamer and a thermal camera to provide a touch-based experience while showering (practicality and environmental impact still under investigation ^_^). Besides that, many other interesting prototypes and applications were presented as poster, demo or video. More information on that and all publications available in the proceedings.

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