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UBICOMP Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213-113-214-114-215

Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing

Fullname:Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing
Editors:Gregory D. Abowd; Barry Brumitt; Steven Shafer
Location:Atlanta, Georgia
Dates:2001-Sep-30 to 2001-Oct-02
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2201
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/3-540-45427-6 hcibib: UBICOMP01; ISBN: 978-3-540-42614-1 (print), 978-3-540-45427-4 (online)
Links:Online Proceedings | Conference Website
  1. Keynote Address
  2. Location Awareness
  3. Tools and Infrastructure
  4. Applications for Groups
  5. Panel Discussion
  6. Applications and Design Spaces
  7. Research Challenges and Novel Input
  8. Output

Keynote Address

Assembling the Planetary Computer BIBAFull-Text 1
  Larry Smarr
After twenty years, the "S-curve" of building out the wired internet with hundreds of millions of PCs as its end points is flattening out, with corresponding lowering of the growth rates of the major suppliers of that global infrastructure. At the same time, several new "S-curves" are reaching their steep slope as ubiquitous computing begins to sweep the planet. Leading this will be a vast expansion in heterogeneous end-points to a new wireless internet, moving IP throughout the physical world. Billions of internet connected cell phones, embedded processors, hand held devices, sensors, and actuators will lead to radical new applications in biomedicine, transportation, environmental monitoring, and interpersonal communication and collaboration. The combination of wireless LANs, the third generation of cellular phones, satellites, and the increasing use of the FCC unlicensed wireless band will cover the world with connectivity. The resulting vast increase in data streams, augmented by the advent of ass market broadband to homes and businesses, will drive the backbone of the internet to a pure optical lambda-switched network of tremendous capacity. Finally, peer-to-peer computing and storage will increasingly provide a vast untapped capability to power this emergent planetary computer.

Location Awareness

GeoNotes: Social and Navigational Aspects of Location-Based Information Systems BIBAFull-Text 2-17
  Fredrik Espinoza; Per Persson; Anna Sandin; Hanna Nyström; Elenor Cacciatore; Markus Bylund
Location-based information systems allow the user to access information in relation to the user's position in geographical space. This paper outlines navigational and social aspects of such systems. It is argued that location-based systems must allow users to participate as content providers in order to achieve a social and dynamic information space. Moreover, as these systems allow commercial and private users to annotate space with information on a mass-scale, information filtering techniques will become essential in order to prevent information overload and user disturbance. We present a number of content-based and social filtering techniques to support this. We discuss implications for implementation and we describe a system (GeoNotes), which takes some of these aspects into account.
A Probabilistic Room Location Service for Wireless Networked Environments BIBAFull-Text 18-34
  Paul Castro; Patrick Chiu; Ted Kremenek; Richard Muntz
The popularity of wireless networks has increased in recent years and is becoming a common addition to LANs. In this paper we investigate a novel use for a wireless network based on the IEEE 802.11 standard: inferring the location of a wireless client from signal quality measures. Similar work has been limited to prototype systems that rely on nearest-neighbor techniques to infer location. In this paper, we describe Nibble, a Wi-Fi location service that uses Bayesian networks to infer the location of a device. We explain the general theory behind the system and how to use the system, along with describing our experiences at a university campus building and at a research lab. We also discuss how probabilistic modeling can be applied to a diverse range of applications that use sensor data.
Location Information Managment BIBAFull-Text 35-41
  Hani Naguib; George Coulouris
We describe an approach to the management of location events deriving from a variety of sensors and sensor technologies. The approach uses a region-based spatial algorithm to integrate low-level location information, producing events that approximate closely to the needs of application programs. Preliminary experience indicates that the approach yields a very worthwhile reduction in the event traffic that must be handled by applications.
Low Cost Indoor Positioning System BIBAFull-Text 42-48
  Cliff Randell; Henk Muller
This report describes a low cost indoor position sensing system utilising a combination of radio frequency and ultrasonics. Using a single rf transmitter and four ceiling mounted ultrasonic transmitters it provides coverage in a typical room in an area greater than 8m by 8m. As well as finding position within a room, it uses data encoded into the rf signal to determine the relevant web server for a building, and which floor and room the user is in. It is intended to be used primarily by wearable/mobile computers, though it has also been extended for use as a tracking system.
Making Everyday Life Easier Using Dense Sensor Networks BIBAFull-Text 49-55
  W. Steven Conner; Lakshman Krishnamurthy; Roy Want
Advances in hardware are enabling the creation of small, inexpensive devices and sensors. Hundreds or thousands of these devices can be connected using low-power multi-hop wireless networks. These networks foster a new class of ubiquitous computing applications called proactive computing. In proactive applications, computing occurs in the background without requiring human interaction; humans participate to access information or to modify control policies. This paper provides an overview of the application of a large wireless network of sensors to solve everyday problems in the workplace. It describes the implementation of one application that allows people in the workplace to easily find empty conference rooms (e.g., for impromptu meetings). Drawing on this experience, we identify technical challenges and possible directions for building dense networks of sensors that enable proactive computing.

Tools and Infrastructure

ICrafter: A Service Framework for Ubiquitous Computing Environments BIBAFull-Text 56-75
  Shankar R. Ponnekanti; Brian Lee; Armando Fox; Pat Hanrahan; Terry Winograd
In this paper, we propose ICrafter, a framework for services and their user interfaces in a class of ubiquitous computing environments. The chief objective of ICrafter is to let users flexibly interact with the services in their environment using a variety of modalities and input devices. We extend existing service frameworks in three ways. First, to offload services and user input devices, ICrafter provides infrastructure support for UI selection, generation, and adaptation. Second, ICrafter allows UIs to be associated with service patterns for on-the-fly aggregation of services. Finally, ICrafter facilitates the design of service UIs that are portable but still reflect the context of the local environment. In addition, we also focus on the system properties such as incremental deployability and robustness that are critical for ubiquitous computing environments. We describe the goals and architecture of ICrafter, a prototype implementation that validates its design, and the key lessons learnt from our experiences.
Using JIT Compilation and Configurable Runtime Systems for Efficient Deployment of Java Programs on Ubiquitous Devices BIBAFull-Text 76-95
  Radu Teodorescu; Raju Pandey
As the proliferation of ubiquitous devices moves computation away from the conventional desktop computer boundaries, distributed systems design is being exposed to new challenges. A distributed system supporting a ubiquitous computing application must deal with a wider spectrum of hardware architectures featuring structural and functional differences, and resources limitations. Due to its architecture independent infrastructure and object-oriented programming model, the Java programming environment can support flexible solutions for addressing the diversity among these devices. Unfortunately, Java solutions are often associated with high costs in terms of resource consumption, which limits the range of devices that can benefit from this approach. In this paper, we present an architecture that deals with the cost and complexity of running Java programs by partitioning the process of Java program execution between system nodes and remote devices. The system nodes prepare a Java application for execution on a remote device by generating device-specific native code and application-specific runtime system on the fly. The resulting infrastructure provides the flexibility of a high-level programming model and the architecture independence specific to Java. At the same time the amount of resources consumed by an application on the targeted device are comparable to that of a native implementation.
Software Infrastructure for Ubiquitous Computing Environments: Supporting Synchronous Collaboration with Heterogeneous Devices BIBAFull-Text 96-115
  Peter Tandler
In ubiquitous computing environments, multiple users work with a wide range of different devices. In many cases, users interact and collaborate using multiple heterogeneous devices at the same time. The configuration of the devices should be able to change frequently due to a highly dynamic, flexible and mobile nature of new work practices. This produces new requirements for the architecture of an appropriate software infrastructure. In this paper, an architecture designed to meet these requirements is proposed. To test its applicability, this architecture was used as the basis for the implementation of BEACH, the software infrastructure of i-LAND (the ubiquitous computing environment at GMD-IPSI). It provides the functionality for synchronous cooperation and interaction with roomware components, i.e. room elements with integrated information technology. In conclusion, our experiences with the current implementation are presented.
Smart-Its Friends: A Technique for Users to Easily Establish Connections between Smart Artefacts BIBAFull-Text 116-122
  Lars Erik Holmquist; Friedemann Mattern; Bernt Schiele; Petteri Alahuhta; Michael Beigl; Hans-W. Gellersen
Ubiquitous computing is associated with a vision of everything being connected to everything. However, for successful applications to emerge, it will not be the quantity but the quality and usefulness of connections that will matter. Our concern is how qualitative relations and more selective connections can be established between smart artefacts, and how users can retain control over artefact interconnection. We propose context proximity for selective artefact communication, using the context of artefacts for matchmaking. We further suggest to empower users with simple but effective means to impose the same context on a number of artefacts. To prove our point we have implemented Smart-Its Friends, small embedded devices that become connected when a user holds them together and shakes them.

Applications for Groups

Integrating Meeting Capture within a Collaborative Team Environment BIBAFull-Text 123-138
  Heather Richter; Gregory D. Abowd; Werner Geyer; Ludwin Fuchs; Shahrokh Daijavad; Steven Poltrock
Meeting capture has been a common subject of research in the ubiquitous computing community for the past decade. However, the majority of the research has focused on technologies to support the capture but not enough on the motivation for accessing the captured record and the impact on everyday work practices based on extended authentic use of a working capture and access system. Our long-term research agenda is to build capture services for distributed workgroups that provide appropriate motivation and further understand how access of captured meetings impacts work practices. To do this, we have developed a testbed for meeting capture as part of a larger distributed work system called TeamSpace. In this paper, we discuss the requirements for meeting capture within TeamSpace, describe the initial prototype developed, and report on initial usage.
A Ubiquitous Service Environment with Active Documents for Teamwork Support BIBAFull-Text 139-155
  Patrik Werle; Fredrik Kilander; Martin Jonsson; Peter Lönnqvist; Carl Gustaf Jansson
We present a ubiquitous service environment for teamwork, supported by Active Documents. The environment consists of a physically dressed conference room and a software architecture based on Java and Jini. At the application level, mobile agent technology provide Active Documents that utilize context information and distributed resources to support users. We also present a prototype and preliminary results from observations in a meeting scenario.
Digital Assistant for Supporting Conference Participants: An Attempt to Combine Mobile, Ubiquitous and Web Computing BIBAFull-Text 156-175
  Yasuyuki Sumi; Kenji Mase
This paper describes a project of providing digital assistants to support participants in an academic conference. We provided participants at the conference with a personal assistant system with mobile and ubiquitous computing technologies and facilitated communications among the participants. We also made online services available via the Web to encourage the participants to continue their relationships even after the conference. In this paper, we show the system we provided for the project and report the results.
The Family Intercom: Developing a Context-Aware Audio Communication System BIBAFull-Text 176-183
  Kris Nagel; Cory D. Kidd; Thomas O'Connell; Anind Dey; Gregory D. Abowd
We are exploring different forms of intra- and inter-home audio communication. Though much technology exists to support this human-human communication, none of them make effective use of the context of the communication partners. We aim to augment a domestic environment with knowledge of the location and activities of its occupants. The Family Intercom provides a test bed to explore how this context supports a variety of lightweight communication opportunities between collocated and remote family members. It is particularly important that context about the status of the callee be communicated to the caller, so that the appropriate social protocol for continuing a conversation can be performed by the caller.

Panel Discussion

Ubiquitous Computing and The Disappearing Computer -- Research Agendas, Issues, and Strategies BIBAFull-Text 184-186
  Norbert Streitz
The goal of this panel is twofold. The first objective is to present different research initiatives on the topics addressed by the UBICOMP 2001 conference, as they currently exist in Europe and in the US.

Applications and Design Spaces

The Conversational Role of Electronic Guidebooks BIBAFull-Text 187-208
  Allison Woodruff; Margaret H. Szymanski; Paul M. Aoki; Amy Hurst
We describe an electronic guidebook prototype and report on a study of its use in a historic house. Visitors were given a choice of information delivery modes, and generally preferred audio played through speakers. In this delivery mode, visitors assigned the electronic guidebook a conversational role, e.g., it was granted turns in conversation, it introduced topics of conversation, and visitors responded to it verbally. We illustrate the integration of the guidebook into natural conversation by showing that discourse with the electronic guidebook followed the conversational structure of storytelling. We also demonstrate that visitors coordinated object choice and physical positioning to ensure that the electronic guidebooks played a role in their conversations. Because the visitors integrated the electronic guidebooks in their existing conversations with their companions, they achieved social interactions with each other that were more fulfilling than those that occur with other presentation methods such as traditional headphone audio tours.
Who, What, When, Where, How: Design Issues of Capture & Access Applications BIBAFull-Text 209-224
  Khai N. Truong; Gregory D. Abowd; Jason A. Brotherton
One of the general themes in ubiquitous computing is the construction of devices and applications to support the automated capture of live experiences and the future access of those records. Over the past five years, our research group has developed many different capture and access applications. In this paper, we present an overview of six of these applications. We discuss the different design issues encountered while creating each of these applications and share our approaches to solving these issues (in comparison and in contrast with other work found in the literature). From these issues we define the large design space for automated capture and access. This design space may then serve as a point of reference for designers to extract the requirements for systems to be developed in the future.
Unearthing Virtual History: Using Diverse Interfaces to Reveal Hidden Virtual Worlds BIBAFull-Text 225-231
  Steve Benford; John Bowers; Paul Chandler; Luigina Ciolfi; Martin Flintham; Mike Fraser; Chris Greenhalgh; Tony Hall; Sten Olof Hellström; Shahram Izadi; Tom Rodden; Holger Schnädelbach; Ian Taylor
We describe an application in which museum visitors hunt for virtual history outdoors, capture it, and bring it back indoors for detailed inspection. This application provides visitors with ubiquitous access to a parallel virtual world as they move through an extended physical space. Diverse devices, including mobile wireless interfaces for locating hotspots of virtual activity outdoors, provide radically different experiences of the virtual depending upon location, task, and available equipment. Initial reflections suggest that the physical design of such devices needs careful attention so as to encourage an appropriate style of use. We also consider the extension of our experience to support enacted scenes. Finally, we discuss potential benefits of using diverse devices to make a shared underlying virtual world ubiquitously available throughout physical space.
KISS the Tram: Exploring the PDA as Support for Everyday Activities BIBAFull-Text 232-239
  Thorstein Lunde; Arve Larsen
Most of today's common PDA applications do not leverage the prospects of the PDA. We want to explore PDAs and other mobile devices as new media, focusing on their unique qualities, not as limited PCs. Moreover, we focus on support for everyday life. We present a user test of an application for catching the tram based on this approach, as well as guidance from the ever relevant principle "Keep it simple, stupid!"
Subtle and Public Notification Cues for Mobile Devices BIBAFull-Text 240-246
  Rebecca Hansson; Peter Ljungstrand; Johan Redström
Mobile information technology increasingly influences everyday life. When used in social contexts several problems regarding how mobile devices convey notifications arise. Auditory notification cues, such as those generally used by mobile phones, can be intrusive and attention demanding. Tactile cues, such as vibrations, are very private and subtle. However, since it is hard for other people nearby to perceive such cues, it can be awkward to understand the actions which a notification cue can give rise to, i.e., tactile cues are not public. We discuss the design space of notification cues for mobile devices and propose an exploration of the space which combines the two dimensions of subtlety and publicity. We conclude with a description of current and future work.
InfoScope: Link from Real World to Digital Information Space BIBAFull-Text 247-255
  Ismail Haritaoglu
We describe an information augmentation system (infoScope) and applications integrating handheld device with a color camera to provide enhanced information perception services to users. InfoScope uses a color camera as an input device to capture scene images from the real world and utilize computer vision techniques to extract information from real world, convert them into digital world as text information and augment them back to the original scene location. The user can see both the real world and information together on display of the handheld device. We have implemented two applications: First one is an automatic sign/text translation for foreign travelers where a user may use infoScope whenever they want to see texts or signs in their own language where they are originally written in foreign language in the scene and extracted from scene images automatically by using computer vision techniques. The second application is "Information Augmentation in the City" where a user can see information associated with building, or a place, overlaid onto real scene images on their PDA's display.

Research Challenges and Novel Input

At Home with Ubiquitous Computing: Seven Challenges BIBAKFull-Text 256-272
  W. Keith Edwards; Rebecca E. Grinter
The smart home offers a new opportunity to augment people's lives with ubiquitous computing technology that provides increased communications, awareness, and functionality. Recently, a number of trends have increased the likelihood that the aware home can soon become a reality. We examine a number of challenges from the technical, social, and pragmatic domains that we feel must be overcome before the vision of the smart home, posited by ubiquitous computing research, can become a reality. Our hope in raising these issues is to create a conversation among researchers in the varied disciplines that make up ubiquitous computing. In particular, we hope to raise awareness of the existing literature on the adoption, use, and history of domestic technologies, as well as the use of situated studies, and the benefits that these can bring to bear on the design and evaluation of technologies for the home.
Keywords: Home; ubiquitous computing; context-awareness; domestic technologies; evaluation
Privacy by Design -- Principles of Privacy-Aware Ubiquitous Systems BIBAFull-Text 273-291
  Marc Langheinrich
This paper tries to serve as an introductory reading to privacy issues in the field of ubiquitous computing. It develops six principles for guiding system design, based on a set of fair information practices common in most privacy legislation in use today: notice, choice and consent, proximity and locality, anonymity and pseudonymity, security, and access and recourse. A brief look at the history of privacy protection, its legal status, and its expected utility is provided as a background.
TrekTrack: A Round Wristwatch Interface for SMS Authoring BIBAKFull-Text 292-298
  Anders Kirkeby; Rasmus Zacho; Jock Mackinlay; Polle Zellweger
The user interface for text messaging via SMS has changed little since the technology was introduced on cell phones. Authoring text with a phone keypad is tedious and error-prone. Furthermore, the cell phone intrudes into other activities while hands hold it for authoring. In this paper we suggest a future alternative user interface for SMS messages based on a round wristwatch device. Two button-wheels are used to access a round hi-res color display. Text input is done with a round soft keyboard that maps intuitively to the button-wheels using the angular and radial movements of polar coordinates. Furthermore, a wristwatch device has an aesthetics that is less intrusive than a cell phone. Since the device is always deployed, authoring is easily interrupted to use the hands for other tasks. Informal user evaluation of a prototype implementation suggests that this novel round design provides an improved user experience for authoring SMS compared to cell phones.
Keywords: Mobile computing; round display; polar coordinate navigation; SMS; text entry; input devices; wheel interface; angular movement; radial movement
A Compact, Wireless, Self-Powered Pushbutton Controller BIBAFull-Text 299-304
  Joseph A. Paradiso; Mark Feldmeier
We describe a compact piezoelectric pushbutton and associated minimal circuitry that is able to wirelessly transmit a digital ID code to the immediate region (e.g., 50-100 foot radius) upon a single button push, without the need of batteries or other energy sources. Such devices have the potential of enabling controls and interfaces to be introduced into interactive environments without requiring any wiring, optical/acoustic lines of sight, or batteries.
Interacting at a Distance Using Semantic Snarfing BIBAFull-Text 305-314
  Brad A. Myers; Choon Hong Peck; Jeffrey Nichols; Dave Kong; Robert Miller
It is difficult to interact with computer displays that are across the room, which can be important in meetings and when controlling computerized devices. A popular approach is to use laser pointers tracked by a camera, but interaction techniques using laser pointers tend to be imprecise, error-prone, and slow. Therefore, we have developed a new interaction style, where the laser pointer (or other pointing technique such pointing with a finger or even eye tracking) indicates the region of interest, and then the item there is copied ("snarfed") to the user's handheld device, such as a Palm or PocketPC handheld. If the content changes on the PC, the handheld's copy will be updated as well. Interactions can be performed on the handheld using familiar direct manipulation techniques, and then the modified version is sent back to the PC. The content often must be reformatted to fit the properties of the handheld to facilitate natural interaction.


The Everywhere Displays Projector: A Device to Create Ubiquitous Graphical Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 315-331
  Claudio Pinhanez
This paper introduces the Everywhere Displays projector, a device that uses a rotating mirror to steer the light from an LCD/DLP projector onto different surfaces of an environment. Issues of brightness, oblique projection distortion, focus, obstruction, and display resolution are examined. Solutions to some of these problems are described, together with a plan to use a video camera to allow device-free interaction with the projected images. The ED-projector is a practical way to create ubiquitous graphical interfaces to access computational power and networked data. In particular, it is envisioned as an alternative to the carrying of laptops and to the installation of displays in furniture, objects, and walls. In addition, the use of ED-projectors to augment reality without the use of goggles is examined and illustrated with examples.
UniCast, OutCast & GroupCast: Three Steps Toward Ubiquitous, Peripheral Displays BIBAFull-Text 332-345
  Joseph F. McCarthy; Tony J. Costa; Edy S. Liongosari
Artifacts and surfaces that can display digital content are proliferating at a steady rate. Many of these displays will be peripheral, i.e., used for content that is not directly related to one's primary activities. However, what kinds of content would people want to see on such peripheral displays? We have begun to investigate the use of peripheral displays in three workplace contexts: within an individual office (UniCast), outside an individual office (OutCast) and in a common area (GroupCast).
Multibrowsing: Moving Web Content across Multiple Displays BIBAFull-Text 346-353
  Brad Johanson; Shankar Ponnekanti; Caesar Sengupta; Armando Fox
Although ubiquitous computing hardware technology is widely available today, we believe one key factor in making ubiquitous computing useful is a framework for exploiting multiple heterogeneous displays, whether fixed or on mobile computing devices, to view and browse information. To address this issue, we propose multibrowsing. Multibrowsing is a framework that extends the information browsing metaphor of the Web across multiple displays. It does so by providing the machinery for coordinating control among a collection of Web browsers running on separate displays in a ubiquitous computing environment. The displays may be "public" (e.g. wall-sized fixed screens) or "private" (e.g. the screens of individuals' laptops or handhelds). The resulting system extends browser functionality for existing content by allowing users to move existing pages or linked information among multiple displays, and also enables the creation of new content targeted specifically for multi-display environments. Since it uses Web standards, it accommodates any device or platform already supported by the Web and leverages the vast existing body of Web content and services. We describe the design and implementation of multibrowsing and a variety of scenarios in which we have found it useful in our test bed ubiquitous computing environment.
On the Design of Personal & Communal Large Information Scale Appliances BIBAFull-Text 354-361
  Daniel M. Russell; Rich Gossweiler
As large displays become less expensive and more common throughout our working environments, we believe they will become pervasive, much as telephones were the ubiquitous communication devices of the previous generation. When large displays are coupled to an authentication device (e.g., a badge reader) and put on a network, they permit very rapid personal content access. The BlueBoard project explores the design of large displays that can be used as temporary personal access points to personalized content, yet also be used as display surfaces for small groups of people who want to easily share content between themselves. We've developed several design points that make BlueBoards simple for individual and small group use -- (1) p-cons to refer to a person for information access and exchange, (2) assuring users that information displayed on a BlueBoard is truly transient, (3) providing a basic set of tools for immediate walk-up use, and (4) giving the BlueBoard a sense of where it's located for contextually appropriate information display.
Serendipity within a Ubiquitous Computing Environment: A Case for Opportunistic Browsing BIBAFull-Text 362-369
  Oscar de Bruijn; Robert Spence
We investigate an important interaction that can take place in a ubiquitous computing environment, that of opportunistic browsing, a form of information gathering on the fly. Opportunistic browsing is characterised by being ubiquitous, unintentional and effortless. In this paper, we clarify the concept of opportunistic browsing and place it within a cognitive framework. We further discuss the nature of the interactions that can be triggered by the serendipitous discovery of information through opportunistic browsing and the importance of context-awareness, and we identify important research issues.