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CITY Project

Cliff's fragmented thoughts: 14th - 17th May 

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Tuesday 14th - H-P Research

Read a H-P paper on flight to Glasgow -  "From Informing to Remembering: Deploying a Ubiquitous System in an Interactive Science Museum" by Fleck et al. The conclusion seemed to be that 'remembrance' provided the 'right level of complexity', and that information provision was distracting because it competed for the user's attention.

This reminded me of my own work in which I tried to capture the significant events of a day using a heart rate driven camera a.k.a. a day in the life of an equatorite (nothing published yet). I was attempting to use context sensing (the who, where, what and how of the user) to help gather information about my experiences during the day. My longer term objective was to automatically record highspots - to use Ian's expression to create an 'uber-journal'.

Thursday 16th a.m. - User Tests

The first serious user tests take place in the Mack Room. These went far better than I expected, but the biggest surprise for me was Vee's behaviour. Instead of casually wandering around the exhibits (nice and easy for tracking), Martin's Dad was almost running at times (aaargh!). He was obviously deeply immersed in the experience. I didn't get the same impression with Ana (Martin) or Dub (David). This may have been related to the particular personalities involved - further user testing should reveal more. The recording of Vee's contextual experience was limited to the tracking and the audio (with some third party photos).   

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Thursday 16th p.m. - House for an Art Lover

During the afternoon I visited the House for an Art Lover. This was a very enjoyable visit - a beautiful afternoon, an interesting house and gardens with, in my opinion, a superb presentation of Macintosh's work - especially the designs of Margaret Macdonald. The highlight of the afternoon was moving from the dark hall on the north side of the building into the white music room flooded with sunlight on the southern side - quite stunning. But how could this be captured and shared? I have photographs, GPS co-ordinates, room plans and sketches - but nothing which fully captures the initial experience of entering the room.

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The dark Hall

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The white Music Room

Friday 17th - A Scenario Emerges

The elements which I considered worth pursuing from the past few days were:-

I propose the 3V Scenario. In this scenario three visitors arrive in Glasgow with limited time to explore the city. They each choose a site to visit e.g. the Lighthouse, the Glasgow School of Art and the House for an Art Lover. While visiting each of these sites they share their experiences by sending each other contextual information - where they are, what they're doing, how they're feeling, what they're seeing, hearing, smelling. The prime channel for communication is audio, however this can be augmented with as much technology as we can get them to carry - tracking and activity sensors, miniature cameras, heart rate monitor etc etc.

This scenario fits with the Equator goals and would be a natural extension of the current CITY project. We have the necessary technology up and running in the Lighthouse. Tracking would also be required at the GSA and HAL but room level should be adequate (use pingers). It also has the side benefit of exploring services which should be of interest to 3G providers (and H-P). 


Cliff 21/5/02

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