Sep 27, 2010

UPDATE: Getting beyond "Ad-Hoc" Ubiquity: Content Centered Networking at PARC

I recently blogged about some interesting work going on at PARC, "Get what you want, faster, through content-centered networks: Video - Jim Thornton, PARCAfter I published the post, I received a comment from someone from PARC with links to additional technical presentations about innovations in networking.  

Van Jacobson Explains It All
If you are interested in ubiquitous & pervasive computing - and creating seamless user experiences across locations and devices,  it  is well worth the 90-minute watch.   

In the video below,  Van Jacobson talks about ubiquitous computing, wireless, networking, research, and the challenges of making everything synced and seamlessly inter-operative in the future. In this video, Van Jacobson provides a good overview of the history of the communications/ networking industry, and much, much more.  Although the presentation was given in 2006, it is well worth the time to watch:


Here's info about Van Johnson and  abstract of the talk from the Google Tech Talks website:
"Google Tech Talks August 30, 2006 Van Jacobson is a Research Fellow at PARC. Prior to that he was Chief Scientist and co-founder of Packet Design. Prior to that he was Chief Scientist at Cisco. Prior to that he was head of the Network Research group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He's been studying networking since 1969. He still hopes that someday something will start to make sense."

"Today's research community congratulates itself for the success of the internet and passionately argues whether circuits or datagrams are the One True Way. Meanwhile the list of unsolved problems grows. Security, mobility, ubiquitous computing, wireless, autonomous sensors, content distribution, digital divide, third world infrastructure, etc., are all poorly served by what's available from either the research community or the marketplace. I'll use various strained analogies and contrived examples to argue that network research is moribund because the only thing it knows how to do is fill in the details of a conversation between two applications. Today as in the 60s problems go unsolved due to our tunnel vision and not because of their intrinsic difficulty. And now, like then, simply changing our point of view may make many hard things easy."

A similar post can be found on The World Is My Interactive Interface blog.

Sep 26, 2010

Get what you want, faster, through content-centric networks! Video - Jim Thornton, PARC

I came across information about PARC's work in an article written by Dean Takahashi, of Venture Beat (9/26/10) Xerox PARC has a plan to make the internet more speedy

Get what you want faster:
In the video below,  Jim Thornton, a researcher at PARC,  is interviewed by Dean Takahashi, from VentureBeat. Jim discusses his work in the area of content-centric networking, also known as CCN or Named-Data-Networking (NDN).  CCN is a way to work around the problem of internet "bottlenecking", something that happens when lots of people want to view rich multimedia content at the very same time.  

As it stands, content-delivery companies handle this problem by storing content in video caches, identified by IP addresses.  If you search for content via the CCN protocol, your search will lead to a memory node that is identified by the name of the content (or other information that identifies the content), rather than an IP address, and select the content that is closest to your location.

One of the objectives of CCN is to reduce internet bandwidth expenses.

PARC is working with nine universities on this project, which provides open-source software that can be found on the Project CCNx website.  

About CCNx:
"Project CCNx exists to develop, promote, and evaluate a new approach to communication architecture we call content-centric networking.  We seek to carry out this mission by creating and publishing open protocol specifications and an open source software reference implementation of those protocols.  We provide support for a community of people interested in experimentation, research, and building applications with this technology, all contributing to its evolution."

If you are curious, the open-source Content Centric Networking code can be found on the github website. If you visit the website, make sure you take a look at the "ReadMe" section. Also heed this warning, found on the Project CCNx website: "CCNx technology is still at a very early stage of development, with pure infrastructure and no applications, best suited to researchers and adventurous network engineers or software developers.  If you're looking for cool applications ready to download and use, you are a little too early."

PARC Awarded National Science Foundation Funding to Expand Fundamental Research in Content-Centered Networking:  Part of NSF's new "Future Internet Architecture" program, the Named-Data-Networking (NDN) grant includes PARC and nine universities:
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Arizona
Washington University
Yale University
Colorado State University
University of California, San Diego
University of Memphis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles

Networking Named Content (pdf)
Jacobson, V.; Smetters, D. K.; Thornton, J. D.; Plass, M. F.; Briggs, N.; Braynard, R. Networking named content. Proceedings of the 5th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (CoNEXT 2009); 2009 December 1-4; Rome, Italy. NY: ACM; 2009; 1-12.J

"Network use has evolved to be dominated by content distribution and retrieval, while networking technology still can only speak of connections between hosts. Accessing content and services requires mapping from the what that users care about to the network’s where. We present Content-Centric Networking (CCN) which takes content as a primitive – decoupling location from identity, security and access, and retrieving content by name. Using new approaches to routing named content, derived heavily from IP, we can simultaneously achieve scalability, security and performance. We have implemented the basic features of our architecture and demonstrate resilience and performance with secure file downloads and VoIP calls."

SocialTV: designing for distributed, social television viewing (pdf)
Ducheneaut, N. ; Moore, R. J. ; Oehlberg, L.; Thornton, J. D. ; Nickell, E. SocialTV: designing for distributed, social television viewing. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 2008 February; 24 (2): 136-154.

"Media research has shown that people enjoy watching television as a part of socializing in groups. However, many constraints in daily life limit the opportunities for doing so. The Social TV project builds on the increasing integration of television and computer technology to support sociable, computer-mediated group viewing experiences. In this paper, we describe the initial results from a series of studies illustrating how people interact in front of a television set. Based on these results, we propose guidelines as well as specific features to inform the design of future "social television" prototypes."

Essential Interaction Design Essays and Articles: Dan Saffer's Lists, Don Norman, and Interactions Magazine

I came across a link about Dan Saffer's recent post, Essential Interaction Design Essays and Articles.  Equally important is Dan Saffer's List:  Top Ten Essential Interaction Design Books

Dan Saffer is one of my "important influences".  When I was taking HCI and Ubiquitous Computing courses, I bought the first edition of his book,  Designing for Interaction:  Creating Innovative Applications and Devices.  In today's world of technical convergence, it is an important read, as Saffer's content crosses a number of disciplines.

It doesn't surprise me to learn that the #1 book on Saffer's Essential Interaction Design Books list is  list is Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things.  According to Saffer,  "there’s no getting around it: this is the book. Affordances, mental models, and other bits that have all become part of the general lexicon all started with The Don’s book. A must read." 

Don Norman's book was required reading in the Human-Computer Interaction class I took a few years ago.  As I read through the book, I sensed a familiar tone.  I later learned that Don Norman was the co-author of a required textbook for one of the psychology courses I took when I was a university student the first time around.    

Don Norman's thinking has influenced me for decades - he continues to be an influence, because he writes articles for one of my favorite publications, Interactions Magazine:

It brightens up my day when I open up my mailbox- the one at the end of my real-life driveway- and find my Interactions magazine, in all of its well-designed, well-written,  semi-glossy-paged glory, waiting for me to open up and read.   The September/October, 2010 issue includes articles on topics related to authenticity in new media, the complexity of "advancement", design and usability, and the politics of development. 

A must-read is Gestural Interfaces: A Step Backwards in Usability, co-authored by Don Norman and his collaborator, Jakob Neilson, 

Here is an excerpt from the article, which highlights some of the problems of rushing to get products with natural-user interfaces out to market:
"Why are we having trouble? Several reasons:
  • The lack of established guidelines for gestural control
  • The misguided insistence by companies (e.g., Apple and Google) to ignore established conventions and establish ill-conceived new ones.
  • The developer community’s apparent ignorance of the long history and many findings of HCI research, which results in their feeling empowered to unleash untested and unproven creative efforts upon the unwitting public"
(Interactions Magazine is a publication of ACM CHI -Association of Computing Machinery, Computer-Human Interaction interest group).

Other articles by Don Norman, published in Interactions Magazine:
The Research-Practice Gap: The Need for Translational Developers 
Natural User Interfaces are not Natural 
The Transmedia Design Challenge: Technology that is Pleasurable and Satisfying
Technology First, Needs Last: The Research-Product Gulf
To be published, available on the jnd website:
Systems Thinking:  A Product is More Than The Product  

My resource pages:
RESOURCES: Natural User Interaction, InfoViz, Multi-touch, Blog roll, and More - a huge mega-list of links! 
Conferences, Research, Resources page

Living with Complexity
Donald Norman, to be release in October 2010
Living with Complexity

Interactions Archives

Here are a list of books/articles, suggested by Dan Saffer's readers:

Designing for Interaction – Saffer, D. (2nd Edition; 2009)
Thoughts on Interaction Design – Kolko, J. (2009)
The Humane Interface – Raskin, J.
Digital Ground – McCullough, M.
Inmates are running the Asylum – Cooper, A
Designing Interactions – Moggridge, B (ed.)
Everyware – Greenfeild, A.
Designing Social Interfaces – Malone & Crumlisch
Emotional Design – Norman, D.
Invisible Computer – Norman, D.
Persuasion Technology – Fogg, BJ
Thoughtful Interaction Design: A Design Perspective on Information Technology by Jonas Lowgren and Erik Stolterman (Paperback – Mar 30, 2007)

Designing Visual Interfaces by Mullet/San
Steve Krug – Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Design Research: Methods and Perspectives edited by Brenda Laurel 
Information Architecture (“The Polar Bear Book”) by Peter Morville.

Thanks to Putting People First for the link to Dan Saffer's list!

Sep 25, 2010

"Does TV Content Work on DOOH" - Words of Wisdom from Bill Gerba

Bill Gerba blogs about DOOH, which stands for "Digital-Out-of-Home", focusing on displays and kiosks in public spaces that offer dynamic and/or interactive content, usually for the purpose of advertising and marketing.   If this is an area that interests you, take a look at Bill Gerba's most recent post, "Does TV Content Work on DOOH?  Maybe, Maybe Not" - WireSpring: Digital Signage Insider (9/24/10)

Gerba refers to a "Marketing Funnel" graphic to illustrate some of his points.  Six of the seven concepts represented in the graphic, shared below, might be useful to think about for people working in the field of public displays for purposes other than advertising or marketing:

Most of us have noticed that there are many more large-screen displays around.   Some displays intrusively attempt to grab your attention through loud and garish informercial-like content.   Some are designed to be interactive and pleasant, but go un-noticed by passers-by at all!   

There still is a long road to go.

The good news is that a small (and growing) number of scholarly researchers are focusing their attention to displays situated in public spaces, as mentioned in my previous post, "PD-NET Project: Exploring large-scale networks...of pervasive public displays."

Sep 22, 2010

PD-NET Project: "Exploring..large scale networks of pervasive public displays..."

I love the concept of interactive, networked public displays!   The PD-NET project has a fairly new website and a Facebook page.  If this interests you, take the time to learn about the PD-NET project, a collaborative effort between researchers from several different universities in Europe. I'd like to see this take hold in the US.  

PD-NET Project Objectives (From the PD-NET Website):
  • To create enabling technologies for large-scale pervasive display networks through the design, development, and evaluation of a robust, scalable, distributed and open platform for interconnecting displays and their sensors.
  • To establish Europe as the international centre for work on pervasive display networks.
  • To address key scientific challenges that may inhibit the widespread adoption of pervasive display network technology:  Tensions between privacy and personalization, situated displays, business and legislative requirements, User Interaction.
Here is a list of participating universities and researchers, taken from the PD-NET website:

Participants from Lancaster University (UK):
Participants from University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany):
Participants from University of Lugano (Italy):
Participants from University of Minho (Portugal):
J. Müller, F. Alt, D. Michelis, and A. Schmidt, "Requirements and Design Space for Interactive Public Displays," in Proceedings of the 18th annual ACM international conference on Multimedia (Multimedia 2010), to appear, 2010.

If you are familiar with this blog, you know that I am passionate about interactive displays, especially in public spaces.  I've devoted numerous posts to this topic on this blog, and also on  The World Is My Interactive Interface, a blog I started a few years ago when I was working on projects for large interactive displays.  

I am interested in how interactive displays, of any size, can be accessible and universally designed, especially those that can inter-operate with mobile devices, including devices that support communication for people with special needs.

Here are links to some of my previous blogposts related to the topic of interactive displays in public spaces.  Some have links to scholarly publications.  
What is DOOH and Why Should We Care? (DOOH- Digital Out-Of-Home)
Interactive Displays and Interaction (Presentation via Daniel Michelis)
Thoughts about technology on a cruise ship, and other reflections
Multi-touch and gesture interaction out-and-about
UPDATED: More News, Videos, and Links about Multi-Touch and Screen Technologies
Technology-Supported Shopping and Entertainment User Experience at Ballantyne Village:  "A" for concept, "D" for touch screen usability.
Usability/Interaction Hall of Shame (In a Hospital)
Think Globally, Act Locally:  Exploring the Problem Space - Top-down, bottom-up, local and the global...

Good News: Unity 3D (Game Dev Co.) and Electronic Arts Join Forces

I discovered Unity 3D a few years ago and was impressed by the company's great game development products.  I especially liked the company's Unity Web Player- it makes web-based 3D interaction come to life.I shared my impressions of the company on a post,  Chill in an on-line 3-d tropical paradise from Unity 3D At the time, Unity 3D was a very new company.

A lot has changed since then!  

I learned today that "the companies are announcing that EA has signed a multi-year enterprise deal with Unity: EA will be using Unity’s platform across multiple franchises, and all of EA’s developers will have access to the “entire range of Unity products from web and mobile to consoles and beyond”. The timing is also good: Unity is launching its 3.0 upgrade next week."   -Jason Kincaid, TechCrunch 

What I like about Unity 3D is that it was created to support cross-platform development.

For more details:
(Jason Kincaid, TechCrunch 9/22/10)

Unity to Be Used Across Multiple Franchises; New Unity Enterprise License Gives Every EA Studio and Developer Access to All unity Products 
(MarketWire Press Release, 9/22/10)

Unity 3D Demo Reel

Unity Spring 2010 Highlight Reel from Unity3D on Vimeo.

Unity Technologies Motto:  
"Taking the Pain out of Game Development"

Sep 21, 2010

Emerging Tech News: Immersive Technology Summit 2010. LA Center Studios, October 21st

Immersive Tech (imTech) is a "non-profit think tank created to promote the development and adoption of immersive technology for the benefit for advancing fields in public interest, such as education, health, arts and entertainment."  

Immersive Tech hosts an annual summit.  On October 21st, 2010, the summit will be held at the Los Angeles Center Studios:

"The summit organizes a community that bring together technologists, visionaries, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry leaders in various fields of immersive technology. This year's summit will feature groundbreaking speakers, a 360° fulldome installation (think planetarium style), exhibitors demonstrating cool new technology, and with your support, this simulation system!"

Here is the list of speakers and their bios, from the website:

johnsmart2005 SpeakersJohn Smart, Acceleration Studies Foundation John Smart is a developmental systems theorist who studies accelerating change, computational autonomy, and the singularity. He is President of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, a nonprofit community for research, education, consulting, and selected advocacy of communities and technologies of accelerating change. He co-produces the annual Accelerating Change Conference, an annual meeting of 350 change-leaders and students at Stanford University, and edits ASF's free newsletter, Accelerating Times, read by future-oriented thinkers around the world. He is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, the FBI Futures Working Group, and the editorial advisory board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
KUCHERA MORINcolorphoto 150x150 SpeakersDr. Joanne Kuchera-Morin, UCSB Allosphere Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin is a composer, Professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music, and a researcher in multi-modal media systems, content and facilities design. She created, built, and designed the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology and has been the Center’s Director since its inception in 1986. Her years of experience in digital media research led to the creation of a multi-million dollar sponsored research program for the University of California, the Digital Media Innovation Program. In 2000 she began the creation, design, and development of a Digital Media Center within the California Nanosystems Institute. The culmination of her design is the Allosphere Research Laboratory, a three-story metal sphere inside an echo-free cube, designed for immersive, interactive scientific and artistic investigation of multi-dimensional data sets. She serves as Director of the Allosphere Research Facility.
rizzo1 150x150 SpeakersDr. Albert "Skip" Rizzo,  USC Institute for Creative Technologies Albert "Skip" Rizzo's work in Virtual Reality has created technologies being used to treat combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, help clinicians practice skills for challenging clinical interviews and diagnostic assessments, address the use of VR applications to test and train attention memory visuospatial abilities, and executive function, and has created VR Game systems to address physical rehabilitation post stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury and for those aging with a disability.
Chris Noessel 150x150 SpeakersChris Noessel, Cooper His prior experience has seen him developing interactive kiosks and spaces for museums, helping to visualize the future of counter-terrorism, building prototypes of coming technologies for Microsoft, and designing telehealth devices to accommodate the crazy facts of modern health and healthcare.  His spidey sense goes off about random topics, and this has led him to speak at conferences about a wide range of things including interactive narrative, ethnographic user research, interaction design, sex-related interactive technologies, free-range learning, and, most recently, the relationship between science fiction and interface design with co-author Nathan Shedroff.
Greg Hyver 150x150 SpeakersGreg Hyver, BCINet  Mr. Hyver has 30 years of high-technology experience working in Silicon Valley firms. He spent ten years working within the Aerospace and Defense industry at Lockheed Missiles and Space, serving as a software and hardware engineer for “Star Wars” defense projects. In the late 80’s, Mr. Hyver joined Market Intelligence Research Company as Senior Market Researcher and, in 1994, joined Xilinx as Product / Test Engineering Manager in the ASIC division. In 2005, he joined NeuroSky as VP of Marketing and became VP of Business Development at BCInet in 2009, two companies in the Brain-Computer Interface industry.
goulthorpe11 150x150 SpeakersMark Goulthorpe, dECOi Architects / MIT Mark Goulthorpe was educated in England and the USA, and apprenticed professionally for 4 years with Richard Meier in New York and Paris. In 1991 he established the dECOi atelier to undertake a series of architectural competitions, largely theoretically biased. These resulted in numerous accolades around the world, which quickly established a reputation for thoughtful and elegant design work suggestive of new possibilities for architecture and architectural praxis. The Hyposurface was designed principally by Mark Goulthorpe and the dECOi office with a large multi-disciplinary team of architects, engineers, mathematicians and computer programmers, among others. The piece is a facetted metallic surface that has potential to deform physically in response to electronic stimuli from the environment (movement, sound, light,etc). Driven by a bed of 896 pneumatic pistons, the dynamic 'terrains' are generated as real-time calculations.
sheryl flynn 150x150 SpeakersDr. Sheryl Flynn, Blue Marble Rehabilitation, Inc Dr. Sheryl Flynn is the founder and CEO of Blue Marble Game Co, a serious games company that focuses design and development of video games to enhance rehabilitation for people with disabilities worldwide. The heart of which is centered on a passion for using technology to revolutionize health care delivery and outcomes. Recently, her company received funding from the Department of Defense to develop a video game for troops with mild traumatic brain injury who wish to return to work. Sheryl has also begun the development of the social network that aims to bring together individuals with disabilities, clinicians, researchers and game industry professionals to push the games for rehabilitation agenda forward quickly. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Dr. Flynn also consults with the University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technologies and Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy on the NIDRR funded OPTT-RERC grant to develop a suite of games that clinicians can use in rehabilitation settings.
TinoSchaedler 150x150 SpeakersTino Schaedler, NAU Tino Schaedler is an established art director, production designer and trained architect. He is something of a chimera, moving seamlessly across disciplines, always working at the leading edge of change. Be it production design for feature film and commercials, event design or architecture: His work is about spaces that tell and frame stories. Tino is a regular guest speaker at universities and conferences worldwide, whilst also regularly contributing on film design to ‘Mark’ and ‘Build’ Magazine. His designs have won various awards and have been widely featured in internationally renowned publications.
Aaron Walsh 150x150 SpeakersAaron E. Walsh, MediaGrid Walsh is Director of the Grid Institute, an international best-selling author, and a Boston College faculty member. In 2006 Walsh received the Teaching with New Media award for his work on Immersive Education. He received this prestigious national award for his pioneering work on immersive education, which was recognized as “…innovative, promising technology which holds the potential to significantly affect society in the near future.” In 2007 Computerworld named him one of the forty most innovative people in the information technology industry. After more than a decade of research and development in the field, Walsh began using his prototype technologies to teach Boston College courses from a distance. At that time he coined the term “Immersive Education” to describe learning platforms that combine interactive 3D graphics, commercial game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice chat, Web cameras, and rich digital media with collaborative online course environments and classrooms.
HSL Speaking in Lake Geneva 300x199 SpeakersHoward S. Lichtman, Human Productivity Lab Howard S. Lichtman is a productivity-focused technology technologist, author, publisher and consultant with specialties in telepresence and visual collaboration to improve organizational and personal productivity. He is the founder and president of the Human Productivity Lab, an independent consultancy and research firm that helps organizations design telepresence strategies and deploy telepresence solutions. He is the publisher of Telepresence Options, the #1 website on the Internet covering the telepresence revolution and editor of the Telepresence Options Telegraph, the world’s most widely read publication covering telepresence technologies.
Bruno UzzanBruno Uzzan, CEO & Co-Founder Total Immersion Bruno Uzzan has been driving the growth of Total Immersion since 1999 – from start-up to the company’s current position of global category leader. As a pioneer and AR visionary, he has led Total Immersion’s global expansion and built the company’s client roster with blue chip accounts that include Disney, McDonald’s, Mattel, Twentieth Century Fox and Nissan Motors. He also is responsible for developing strategic alliances, bringing his vision for the potential of next gen AR to these relationships. Before establishing Total Immersion, Uzzan served as a consultant for Pierre Henri Scacchi and Associates (Price Waterhouse Group). He holds a masters degree in management from the University of Paris Dauphine.

Immersive Technology Summit Agenda (From the Immersive Technology website)
Time Event/Topic Speaker
8:00am Registration & Morning Refreshments
9:00am Welcome Ken Rutkowski & Harold Tan
9:10am Collaboration Successes Jody Turner
9:25am Collaboration Challenges John Canning
9:40am I-Cocoon Tino Schaedler
9:55am Q&A Panel
10:10am Virtual Choir Eric Whitacre
10:15am Panel Discussion TBA
10:30am Refreshment Break & Networking
11:15am Video
11:20am Telepresence Howard S. Lichtman
11:35am Immersive tech in physical therapy Dr. Sheryl Flynn
11:50am Immersive education Aaron Walsh
12:05pm Q&A Panel
12:15pm Imagined Communities Bonnie Bucker
12:30pm Lunch & Dome presentations
2:00pm Video
2:05pm Institute of Creative Technologies Dr Belinda Lange (USC)
2:20pm Augmented Reality Bruno Uzzan (Total Immersion)
2:35pm The Allosphere Dr JoAnn Kuchera-Morin (UCSB)
3:05pm Brain-Computer Interfaces Greg Hyver (BCINet)
2:50pm Q&A Panel
3:05pm Immersive Tech Awards Arts / Health / Education / Communication / Startup
3:30pm Refreshment Break & Networking
4:20pm World Builder Bruce Branit
4:25pm Future Visualizations of Spatial Relations Tali Krakowsky, Ed Lantz, Greg Downing, Bruce Branit
4:40pm Science Fiction & Immersive Tech Chris Noessel
4:55pm Immersive Tech Ubiquitousness Benjamin Bratton (UCSD)
5:10pm 10 Years and Beyond John Smart
5:25pm Closing Remarks