News

Augmented floor display triggers interaction between people

An interactive social layer of information can enhance the feeling of togetherness in any public space.

An Aalto University experimental study demonstrated how an augmented space with reactive floor-projection in a public building can affect people’s awareness of others’ presence and activities. As a conclusion, the augmented floor visualization “Traces” enhances curiosity and engages a connection with the environment and the people in it.

The study used Traces, a visualization technology consisting of Microsoft Kinect cameras and digital projectors representing real-time mobility patterns that fade over time. The six-week study took place at the Aalto University Design Factory that inhabits university workers and visitors of diverse seminars and workshops.

‘Traces visualization is able reflect everyday activities and interaction between people. Although it enhances social curiosity and awareness, it can also stay in the background of the attention and not disturb ongoing activities’, says Doctoral Candidate Beatrice Monastero.

In addition to video observation, the study also included interviews with visitors and periodic discussions with a group of recurrent users. There were altogether 1200 interactions recorded during the study. The participants were not identified in the study, and one participant could be responsible for several interactions.

‘There might be privacy concerns involved if the level of identification would be too high. It could then turn out to be in a sense like spying the people, following their tracks’, adds Monastero.

Despite this, some of the participants were able to assume, based on the Traces visualization, if their colleague has arrived in the building early in the morning as he or she usually does. Traces also visualized how the visitors entered the diverse workshops. In this way, Traces serves as kind of an embedded newspaper on the floor, informing on the activities of the people in the building.

‘In a huge building, you do not see always the other people around and therefore you may lose the feeling of social connection and belonging’, tells Monastero.

The study demonstrated Traces’ potential for social triangulation across all engagement types and between actors and spectators. Most participants considered Traces helpful to enhance their social awareness. Some of them merely considered its aesthetic decorative qualities welcoming in the space. When users discovered interaction, they actively engaged to understand how the visualization technology worked. This gave participants an opportunity to socialize, a “ticket to talk”.

‘In the study, the visual representation was related to diverse social gatherings in the building. In the same way, interactive displays could support social interactions in any public surroundings. Yet there is a need to deepen the research on how to design embedded technological solutions to enhance opportunistic social awareness and interaction in diverse surroundings’, concludes Monastero.

Further information:

Beatrice Monastero
Doctoral Candidate
Aalto University
[email protected]

Image: Beatrice Monastero

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Read more news

Aalto_Yu_Xiao
Research & Art Published:

Assistant professor Yu Xiao: Making daily activities easier with Extended Reality

One mainstream in her research field is creating innovative mobile applications to solve real life problems, such as crowdsourced indoor mapping, AR-based assistance for mechanical assembly and maintenance, and virtual stroke rehabilitation.
Vital Signs
Research & Art Published:

New artificial intelligence assisted device could soon replace traditional stethoscope and significantly expedite right diagnosis

Aalto-originated startup Vital Signs presents the innovation in the Slush 100 pitching competition next week.
InteraktiiQuantum Garden on interaktiivinen elektroninen valotaideteos, jota koskettamalla teoksen värit muuttuvat. Tummasävyisessä kuvassa kaksi kättä kurkottaa eriväristen valoantureiden päälle.
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Aalto and InstituteQ are partners of Quantum Jungle - The Dance of Quanta exhibition

The exhibition will open on Friday November 26 in Palazzo Blu museum, Pisa, Italy. Quantum Jungle is an interactive art installation visualising the fascinating world of quantum particles.
Novel yet simple dip-coating method for fabricating nanopatterned thin films / Image: Aalto University, Hoang M. Nguyen
Research & Art Published:

Understanding the nanostructure formation in block copolymer thin film

Recent MMD publications (Multifunctional Materials Design)