University of Oregon

Proxemic Interactions: the New Ubicomp?

A Computer and Information Science Colloquium
Who Should Come: 
This event is open to the public.
Monday, October 10, 2011 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
220 Deschutes Hall

Saul Greenberg, University of Calgary, will present on proxemics and ubicomp (ubiquitous computing).

In the everyday world, much of what we do as social beings is dictated by how we interpret spatial relationships. This is called proxemics. What is surprising is how little people's expectations of spatial relationships are used in interaction design, i.e., in terms of mediating people's interactions with surrounding digital devices such as digital surfaces, mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Our interest is in proxemic interaction, which imagines a world of devices that have fine-grained knowledge of nearby people and other devices—how they move into range, their precise distance, their identity and even their orientation‚ and how such knowledge can be exploited to design interaction techniques. Just as people expect increasing engagement and intimacy as they approach others, so should they naturally expect increasing connectivity and interaction possibilities as they bring themselves and their devices in close proximity to one another and to other things in their everyday ecology.

Saul Greenberg is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. While a computer scientist by training, the work by Saul and his talented students typifies the cross-discipline aspects of Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and Ubiquitous Computing. They are well known for their development of:

  • toolkits enabling rapid prototyping of groupware and ubiquitous appliances;
  • innovative and seminal system designs based on observations of social phenomenon;
  • articulation of design-oriented social science theories, and
  • refinement of evaluation methods.

He holds the iCORE/NSERC/Smart Technologies Industrial Chair in Interactive Technologies and a University Professorship, which is a distinguished University of Calgary award recognizing research excellence. He received the CHCCS Achievement award in May 2007 and was elected to the ACM CHI Academy in April 2005 for his overall contributions to the field of Human Computer Interaction.