How can co-operation, social interaction,
and trust between people be built and supported in digital networks? How
can digital and hybrid environments for representation, such as visualization,
and communication be created, that are efficient and stimulating to use?
We want to make communication rewarding by creating use situations that
are natural and immediate, where the exchange of thoughts, emotions and
materials is simple and direct with no feeling of mediation.
The VideoSpace project builds on the research tradition of Media Spaces.
The project studies how informal social interaction, community, and common
culture can be upheld between separate locations by means of video- and
audio connections. A fibre network with high capacity is used, providing
for broadcast-quality, natural-size images, without delays in image or
sound. An innovative mirror system permits direct eye contact. VideoSpaces
stay continuously open, like doors to distant, physical places. Although
the primary purpose is to support everyday interaction and informal contact
between people, VideoSpaces can, of course, also be used for more formal
videoconference and communication scenarios.
• Community at-a-distance
(The project formerly known as “K.”) studies the use of VideoSpaces
for connecting the staff at a distributed workplace: The Call Centre of
the Stockholm County Police, which is located on three islands in the
Stockholm archipelago, approximately 150 km apart. A first phase of user-oriented
work has been brought to an end. Currently communication units are being
manufactured for installation in the three workplaces.
• Test bed Ornö The project is planned as
a generalization of Community-at-a-distance (above). The primary aim of
“Test bed Ornö” is to evaluate the use of VideoSpace
for providing contact with government institutions and access to community
services for people living in rural areas. An application for project
funding is currently pending.
• Power Place The primary objective is to study
the use of VideoSpaces for integrating the distributed offices of Swedpower
(Vattenfall), a major Swedish energy provider, as well as for communication
with common service departments within the organisation. A secondary objective
concerns the use of VideoSpaces for connecting industry to students and
the academic world for recruiting and information dissemination purposes.
• Mixed Mobility Mobile use is different from stationary
use. This project addresses the mixture of both: situations where people
are stationary at times, mobile at times, and where people on the move,
e.g., service crews in the field, stay in touch with stationary units.
For example, how can large-scale media-spaces be adopted to accommodate
communication over last generation cellular phones or other wireless,
portable communication devices?
Participating partners: TCO, Per-Erik Boivie; Telia,
Lars Lindblad; Vattenfall, Kim Alpgård.
Observing partners: The Swedish Handicap Institute.
From CID: Sören Lenman, Minna Räsänen,
Björn Thuresson, Bo Westerlund.
Additional collaboration: Mats Erixon, Advanced Media
Technology Lab, KTH, Charlie Gullström, Gullström Architects
AB Anders Wiberg, ATK arbetsliv
Funding for “Community-at-a-Distance” is
provided by the Development Council – Government Sector, the Stockholm
County Council, Vinnova, and the Stockholm County Police
Equipment and fibre for “Community-at-a-Distance” is sponsored
by Norrtälje Energi, Nilings AB, Offecct AB, Panasonic, Stokab, and
Time period: January 2000–December 2003
The goal of Digital Environments is to study how digital, virtual environments
can be used for representation (image and sound), learning, and for mediating
human-to-human interaction and communication. All kinds of digital environments
could be of interest. However, currently the project focuses on three-dimensional,
virtual and hybrid environments. Applications mainly concern exhibitions
in museums and other public environments.
• Museums and exhibitions
is a multidisciplinary project that aims at bringing together current
research on museums, learning, technology and user-centred design. First,
we want to investigate how educational goals of museum exhibitions can
be supported by modern computer technologies. We are experimenting with
technologies that can facilitate “living exhibitions” that
are allowed to change as they are on display. Second, we want to involve
visitors throughout the exhibition production cycle. How can the user-centred
design process be adapted to the museum domain? How does user involvement
influence the resulting exhibition?
• Visitor Orientation
Places and environments come as corporeal, such as museums, or incorporeal,
such as web sites, chat places, communities, and 3D worlds. The central
questions of this research concerns how it is that incorporeal, soft places
arise. How is it we find ourselves at home or not at home in soft places?
What kind of implications is there on interaction design if a perspective
of visitors to places is adopted rather than the traditional perspective
of users in HCI? The results are of general importance for the design
of soft (virtual) places for representation and communication.
• Art of Memory
The aim is to investigate how 3D, virtual environments can be used to
support memorization and learning. “Art of Memory” is a memorisation-aiding
technique with ancient roots. It involves using imaginary or physical
places, e.g., a museum to act as scaffolding for remembering information.
Two central principles of the Art of Memory are visualisation and association,
i.e., information is associated with visualised locations and artefacts.
Are 3D environments efficient for this purpose? How should they be designed?
Historically locations and artefacts were chosen to maximise engagement
in the subject. We try to reflect this in the design of our 3D environments.
• Virtual Reality for Spatial Navigation Training
Service personnel often have to enter unfamiliar sites, such as automated
power generating stations, to perform critical tasks. It has been widely
suggested that Virtual Environments (VE) are effective training media.
The aim of this project is to evaluate how familiarisation training in
a VE can facilitate navigation and location of objects in the real environment.
What are the requirements on VE design and on representation techniques
in order for familiarisation to be efficient?
Other activities: A supporting activity in the area of Digital
Environments is the development of Wasa,
a toolkit for building interactive 3D applications. Other projects and
activities are CyberMath,
a shared virtual environment for exploring mathematics, Expressive
Avatars, the representation of people in 3D environments, and
exploring Cinema Conventions
(like the use of establishing shot and dialogue editing) for supporting
navigation in 3D.
Participating partners: LO, Filis Sigala; Swedpower,
Kim Alpgård, Sofia Lundberg, Johan Söderbom.
Observing partners: Lernia; TCO.
Other Partners: The Museum of Science and Technology
From CID: Anders Hedman, Pär Bäckström,
Sören Lenman, Olle Sundblad, Åke Walldius, Gustav Taxén,
Time period: January 2002–June 2003.
Interactive Digital Broadcast Media
In the project Interactive Digital Broadcast Media one focus is on the
possibilities for a redirection of interactive broadcast programs. How
could they be turned into integrated products that consist of content
and seamlessly integrated interactive services that, for example, provide
for real-time access to other related content? Another focus is on the
study of the development of media in the digital age. Internet,
an evolution or a revolution?
Participating partners: Teracom; Utbildingsradion.
Observing partners: The Swedish Handicap Institute.
From CID: Anders Hedman, Eva-Maria Jacobsson, Sören
Lenman, Björn Thuresson
Time period: January 2002–December 2002.
SHAPE, SHAred mixed reality in Public Environments
This project is part of the Disappearing computer initiative within FET
Emerging Technologies). The use of mixed reality is developed and studied
by university departments in public environments, especially museums in
Stockholm, London (Science Museum with Kings College), Nottingham and
From CID: John Bowers (co-ordinator), Sten-Olof Hellström,
Gustav Taxén, Helena Tobiasson.
Other participants: Universities of Limerick and Nottingham;
King's College London; The Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm,
Swedish Museum of Natural History.
Main funding: EU IST-FET-DC-initiative.
Time period: Jan 2001–Dec 2003.
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A 3D world used in an empirical study concerning
graphical and interaction design.