Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of computer science, MSc (Tech) Maria Montoya Freire

Title of the doctoral thesis is "Visual communication in ubiquitous computing: from smartphones to pervasive displays"
CS_defence_2 photo by Matti Ahlgren

Significant technological advances have led to the seamless integration of devices into the physical environment and our daily life. This originated ubiquitous systems that allow users to interact with devices at any time and place. Current systems employ wireless communication technologies for data exchange between devices. However, such communication is prone to interference that affects the performance of applications and services. Furthermore, information displays have been widely deployed to convey context-based information to users. While their use has increased in the last years, several challenges still need to be addressed. First, display systems should be always operational and able to reach users by showing meaningful content to them. Second, users tend to ignore displays, yet more if the content is deemed not interesting nor relevant. Certainly, a key aspect of these systems is communication, not only among devices but also towards end users. Therefore, it is crucial to realize ubiquitous systems in which communication is reliable and user interface design is effective for a better user experience. 

This dissertation explores several methods to enable visual communication in ubiquitous computing solutions. In particular, this research focuses on device-to-device and device-to-people scenarios. The proposed methods were validated in different conditions through extensive evaluation and several user studies. The findings demonstrate the feasibility of using modeling to enhance user engagement with pervasive displays as well as how custom barcodes can be leveraged for robust communication between smartphone devices. The proposed solutions are simple yet effective and easy to implement, which eases their adoption in diverse applications and services.

Opponent: Professor Marc Langheinrich, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), Switzerland

Custos: Professor Mario Di Francesco, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Contact information of the doctoral student: Maria Montoya Freire, [email protected]

The public defence will be organised via Zoom. Link to the event

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The doctoral thesis is publicly displayed 10 days before the defence as online display in the Aaltodoc publication archive.

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