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Interaction in Public Spaces

  • Sensing and reacting to users' interest
  • Enhancing civic participation
  • Internal corporate communication

Project researchers

Public display systems are an encouraging technology for public and semi-public spaces. Since 2010, i3 has devoted part of its research to investigating how people engage with digital displays in public spaces and to designing novel interfaces and interaction techniques.

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

Sensing and Reacting to Users’ Interest: an Adaptive Public Display

One of the main challenges in this research line is to expand context-aware systems’ capabilities for sensing social interactions. We designed a social-aware public display that provides different level of information accordingly to the audience’s interest. We developed a public display capable of tracking the surrounding visual scene, by means of a 3D depth sensor, and collecting information from the users’ non-verbal behaviour. Behavioural information, including users’ spatial position as well as orientation and users’ social interactions, were used to estimate the level of attention and interest of the audience and, finally, to automatically adapt the interface to provide a more rewarding experience. A field study showed that the adaptive display was considered more appealing than a control condition, where the same content was offered without any adaptation.

  • Schiavo, G., Mencarini, E., Vovard, K. & Zancanaro, M. (2013). Sensing and Reacting to Users’ Interest: an Adaptive Public Display. In Proceedings of the2013 annual conference EA on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’13 – EA). ACM, 1445-1450. (PDF)

Enhancing Civic Participation through a Public Display: Agora 2.0

Web-based tools for e-democracy, while promising, are still disconnected from meaningful physical locations where citizens usually meet. We propose a system, Agora2.0, designed to recover the useful function that public places have had in the past in promoting and regulating citizens' participation in public decisions. It is composed of two equally relevant features: an online system for voting ideas based on the proprietary platform IdeaScale, and an interactive public display deployed in a public space that is relevant to the community. Agora 2.0 was deployed at the public relations office of the city of Trento. The study showed that the interactive public display is a promising interface for including a broader portion of the citizens population and can enhance civic participation.

  • Schiavo, G., Milano, M., Saldivar, J., Nasir., T., Zancanaro, M., & Convertino, G. (2013). Agora 2.0: Enhancing Civic Participation through a Public Display. In Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T ’13). ACM, 45-54. (PDF)
  • Schiavo, G., Milano, M. (2013). Bringing together online and onsite technologies to support large-scale civic participation. Paper presented at the Workshop on Large Scale Idea Management and Deliberation System (C&T 2013). (PDF)

Internal corporate communication through Public Displays: Display at Work

We investigated the FBK infrastructure of public displays in order ot understand the role they play in the institution. We combined the study of the communication processes that occur in a company and a reflection on the specificity on the information broadcasting through public displays. We elaborated a redesign proposal and general guidelines for companies which wish to cadopt public displays to communicate with their employees. Three main dimensions were found for the design: (1) the situatedness of public displays, that is the sum of their spatial distribution and the social and cultural values of the spaces were their are collocated; (2) the temporal dimension of the information sharing. The public displays should follow a daily program and change the type of news shown accordingly to the different moment of the day and of the company life; and (3) the involvement the employees in the company life by enabling User Generated Content.

  • Mencarini E., Giusti L., Zancanaro M., (2012). "An Investigation on Acceptance and Rejection of Public Displays in a Knowledge Company". In PerDis’12. Proceedings of the 2012 International Symposium on Pervasive Displays. Publisher: ACM. (PDF)