Jan 28, 2011

W3C Touch Events Specification! Editors Draft 1/29/11 (quick link)

Touch Events Specification, W3C

https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/webevents/raw-file/tip/touchevents.html

"The Touch Interface specification defines a set of low-level events that represent one or more points of contact with a touch-sensitive surface, and changes of those points with respect to the surface and any DOM elements displayed upon it (e.g. for touch screens) or associated with it (e.g. for drawing tablets without displays). It also addresses pen-tablet devices, such as drawing tablets, with consideration toward stylus capabilities."



Editors: Doug SchepersW3CSangwhan MoonOpera Software ASAMatt BrubeckMozilla

"Microsoft is Imagining a NUI Future". You can, too!

Microsoft is Imagining a NUI Future
Steve Clayton, Next at Microsoft Blog, 1/26/11


"Our research shows that the vast majority of people polled in both developed and emerging markets see great potential for NUI applications beyond entertainment. This is especially true in China and India, where 9 out of 10 respondents indicate they are likely to use NUI technology across a range of lifestyle areas – from work, education and healthcare, to social connections, entertainment and the environment. We believe that taking technology to the next billion can be aided by NUI – making technology more accessible and more intuitive to a wider audience". - Steve Clayton, Microsoft


The people at Microsoft don't own the concept!  I'm a member of the NUI Group (May, 2007) and SparkOn.  Both are on-line communities where you can find people who live and breathe NUI, learn about their work, and even share designs and code. If you are intrigued by NUI - as a designer, developer, or user, please join us.


Note: 
I've been an evangelist and cheerleader for the NUI cause for many years.  If you search this blog for "post-WIMP", "NUI", "multi-touch", "gesture", "off-the-desktop""natural user interaction", "natural user interface", or even "DOOH", you'll be provided with an overwhelming number of posts that include videos, photographs, and links to NUI-related resources, including scholarly articles.  There is a small-but-growing number of people from many disciplines, quietly working on NUI-related projects.


RELATED
Microsoft Plans a Natural Interface Future Full of Gestures, Touchscreens, and Haptics
Kit Eaton, Fast Company, 1/26/112
Rethinking Computing (video)
Craig Mundie, Microsoft
Interactive Touch-Screen Technology, Participatory Design, and "Getting It" - Revised
Touch Screen Interaction in Public Spaces:  Room for Improvement, if "every surface is to be a computer".

State of Information Visualization, 2011 InfoVis in HTML5 "how-to", and more (Thanks to Robert Kosara)

Take a look at Robert' Kosara's recent post on his eagereyes blog:
 
The State of Information Visualization, 2011

In this post, Robert reviews of some of the important trends in information visualization in 2010, discusses the potential of HTML5 for creating information visualization experiences on the web, and makes a few predictions about the near future.  Robert is pretty sure that the world is ready for "truly interactive, browser-based visualization".  He notes that the Protovis Primers he shares on his website are quite popular.

Most of the following resources and links were taken from the eagereyes website:

Information Visualization, HTML5, and JavaScript Resources (more to come)
HTML5 and Visualization on the Web
Robert Kosara, eagereyes, 12/21/10
Canvas Tutorial (HTML element used to draw graphics using scripting)
HTML5 Canvas Cheat Sheet
Dive Into HTML5 Tutorial (canvas element)
node.js: (How to run JavaScript on a server.)
JavaScript: The Key to In-Browser Visualization
Robert Kosara, eagereyes, 2/11/10
PROTOVIS
A Protovis Primer, Part 1
A Protovis Primer, Part 2
A Protovis Primer, Part 3
"Protovis is a very powerful visualization toolkit. Part of what makes it special is that it is written in JavaScript and runs in the browser without the need for any plugins. Its clever use of JavaScript's language features makes it very elegant, but it can also be confusing to people who are not familiar with functional programming concepts and the finer points of JavaScript." -Robert Kosara

Robert Kosara, eagereyes, 3/10/10
VisWeek 2010
Caroline Ziemkiewicz and Robert Kosara




Thanks, Robert, for sharing these very useful resources!

Jan 22, 2011

Close Encounter with "Best Buy On": Example of a multi-channel marketing approach using in-store digital media that includes an on-line magazine.

Over the next 9 months or so,  I'll be in the market for a computer, an iPad or something similar, a Kinect, and maybe a mid-size Internet-enabled HDTV.  As a consequence,  I turned in to  a Best Buy on my way home from work Friday to see what I could find.  I didn't want to spend much time at the store, since I'm the type of shopper who goes in, finds the desired item(s), and leaves.  


During this trip to Best Buy, my shopping habits were broken, at least temporarily.  I found myself wandering around, looking at the numerous displays of all sizes located about the store.  The displays distracted me from my intended mission.  Below is a slideshow of the pictures I snapped as I wandered about Best Buy:





As a result of the displays,  I spend more time in the store than I'd planned. I left the store empty-handed.  But that is OK, since I think that this strategy, in the long run, will have the power to entice me back to the store and leave knowing that I've made an informed purchase.


According to Gail Chiasson in her Daily DOOH post,"Best Buy's New In-Store Network", Best Buy established an internal advertising and editorial team in 2009, and officially launched a multichannel network called Best Buy On, which extends the in-store network of displays, to the online magazine, also called Best Buy On .   Best Buy On focuses on different theme each month. This month's theme featured all of the cool things that were unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. 


The bottom line with in-store DOOH is that customers are provided with with enhanced information about various products in each department, and this information is coordinated with the enhanced information they can access on-line.  Put together, this might lead to better sales,  and happier repeat customers in the long run.  


As I went about Best Buy,  I thought that it would be better if the in-store network of displays was less disjointed.  I also was puzzled by the somewhat inconvenient placement of some of the displays.  People who stand in the middle of an aisle to look at a screen block the view of the screen and the other items on display, and also block the paths of other shoppers!


Although I didn't spend a lot of time scrutinizing the content on all of the screens I encountered, what I did look at gave me the impression that there is need for improvement.  Pretty multimedia content might be attractive to the eye, but if it doesn't  meet the needs of customers in specific departments, it might not be effective.  


Here is a personal scenario:
My 80-year-old mother needs a new laptop and would also like to find an eReader that is suitable for someone her age.  She needs a new printer and is thinking about getting a digital camera.  She has some money to spend, but from what I can tell, she'd be a little confused by all of the flashing screens!  


I'm not sure what my mother would make of the displays, especially those that run animated comments about products from Facebook fans!


(Note:  I plan to go with my mom to Best Buy soon, and I'll share this experience on this blog in the future.)


Although there is room for improvement, the Best Buy On approach is a start.   I would like to see more touch-enabled displays as part the in-store network, given the fact that Best Buy sells touch-screen gadgets, tablets, and all-in-one PCs.   The large-screen touch-enabled displays could provide customers with an Amazon- like advisory feature.  This is something that would be very helpful to my mom and other non-geeks.


Best Buy also needs to get the Kinect demo up and running!


RELATED

FAR OUT 1/9/11 (Best Buy On video about products at CES)
video platform video management video solutions video player
What is Best Buy On?  (Description of on-line magazine)
Best Buy Addresses High-Tech Obsolescence
Shirley Brady, Brand Channel, 1/18/11
Buy Back Program from Best Buy Helps "Future-Proof" Today's CE Purchases
Jeremy Baier, Best Buy, 1/10/11
"Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn describes the consumer electronics retailer's just-launched Buy Back program as "a game-changer." The goal: to help customers embrace new technology with greater confidence."

Jan 21, 2011

MIT MediaLab's DepthJS: Now your web page can interact with the Microsoft Kinect using Javascript (Link to code, more)

MIT Media Lab's DepthJS website

Info from the DepthJS website:
"Navigating the web is only one application of the framework we built - that is, we envision all sorts of applications that run in the browser, from games to specific utilities for specific sites. The great part is that now web developers who specialize in Javascript can work with the Kinect without having to learn any special languages or code. We believe this will allow a new set of interactions beyond what we first developed."


DepthJS is open source under the AGPL license. Code: https://github.com/doug/depthjs

RELATED
Gestures that your TV Will Understand (Features information about PrimeSense)
Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review, 1/21/11


Hackers Take the Kinect to New Levels
Timothy Carmody, MIT Technology Review 12/2/10


Microsoft Kinect: How the device can respond to your voice and gestures
Erica Naone, MIT Technology Review, January/February 2011






Comment:
I went to Best Buy today and almost bought a Kinect.  Unfortunately, the demo hadn't come in yet, so I decided to wait until I could give it a try.  I'm curious to experiment with what it can do. 

Quick Link: Bill Gerba's Updated Graphic of the Digital Signage Ecosystem, 2011

This might interest readers who are interested in digital signage and DOOH (Digital Out-of Home):


Bill Gerba is the author of Wirespring's Digital Signage Insider blog and his articles are worth taking the time to read.  I especially like the way he's conceptualized the world of digital signage.  He includes a graphic from 2008 and rolls out an updated version that shows how things have changed in the industry over the past few years. 


Visualizing How to Add Value to the Digital Signage Ecosystem
Bill Gerba, The Digital Insider, 1/21/11




As I read Bill's post, it occurred to me that the changes represented in the 2011 graphic are similar to those occurring in other technology-related areas.  Things are changing rapidly and it is not always easy to conceptualize things on the fly.  It is helpful to understand complexity through an ecosystems model, in my opinion.







Jan 17, 2011

Social Sound Waving: Sound Cloud

One of my Facebook friends recently shared a link to the SoundCloud website, a site that is new to me.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn about it!


"SoundCloud is a platform that puts your sound at the heart of communities, websites and even apps. Watch conversations, connections and social experiences happen, with your sound as the spark." -SoundCloud

Here is the screenshot and the link:

Jurassic Park Theme (1000% Slower)

Yet another rabbit hole for me to follow in the future!

Quick Links: Reasons why we need effective, efficient methods of info and data visualization: "In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly" (NYT article)

Reasons why we need effective, efficient methods information and data visualization:


In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly
Thom Shanker, Matt Richtel, New York Times, 1/16/11



Thom Shanker, Matt Richtel, New York Times,   via the Charlotte Observer 1/17/11

Jan 15, 2011

Video Interview of 114 Year-Old Walter Bruening: Words of wisdom from the timeline of his life.

"Everyday is a good day...and make it that way!" - Walter Bruening



Some quotes from the video:

If you could give one piece of advice to today's youth, what would it be?

"I'd tell them to stay in school, get educated, as much as you can, because if you're not educated today, fully, all about computers and everything like that, you are not going to get a job, because you got to be fully qualified to go to work on any kind of job right now."


Walter Bruening's words to live by:
"Be good to everybody, be kind to them."
"People should be helping other people."
"The more you do for other people, the better your going to help your self."

Interview of Walter Breuning at age 11, includes a multimedia timeline:
(Video starts at the end of the CSI ad)


Idea:
Although younger generations will leave the world digital legacies in some form or another,  the ideas, and views of our elders are not often found online. Wouldn't it be great if we could capture the wisdom of our elders in a broad way and get it on the web?

It would be great if students in schools around the world could work on a shared on-line multimedia timeline project like this, highlighting their elderly relatives and friends of the family!

If something like this exists, please let me know.

RELATED
Centuries of Wisdom From the World's Oldest Man
Aaron Saenz, Singularity Hub, 1/8/11

Cross-posted on the TechPsych blog.

Gem of a video clip: Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way

I'm always on the lookout for videos that work nicely on interactive whiteboards for students with multiple special needs, including autism.  The video below is a time-lapse of the Perseid Meteor Shower and the galactic core of the Milky Way, from Joshua Tree National Park.  It was produced by Henry Jun Wah Lee, of Evosia Studios.

Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.


Teachers of studets with special needs might want to incorporate this short video clip into lessons, (in this case, science). It provides a soothing touch through the use of music, and looks fantastic on a large interactive whiteboard. The video isn't too boring if it is looped, making it great for students who require repetition of content.

RELATED
Under the Milky Way in Joshua Tree National Park

Saturday Quick Links: Digital Signage and Digital Out of Home (DOOH), via The Digital Signage Insider, Digital Signage Today, and more

The links:

Walmart and Microsoft Talk Up Digital Signage at the NRF
Bill Gerba, The Digital Signage Insider, 1/14/11
Wirespring


NRF: Walmart unveils ROI data for in-store digital signage campaigns
James Bickers, Digital Signage Today, 1/10/11


"C-Tailing" (Converged Retailing)  - NCR
NRF: Convergent technologies on the retail horizon
Cherrhy Butler, Digital Signage Today, 1/11/11

RELATED
Connecting Your Business to Devices and Customers with Windows Embedded

View more presentations from Microsoft Windows Embedded.
Barb Edson, Sr. Director of Marketing, Windows Embedded



Here are a few resources related to this topic:


(LocaModa blog)

LocaModa's whitepapers
Blogs:

COMMENT
Designers and developers need to think about off-the-desktop technologies as a new form of the web/internet.  Information architects who understand interactive media/transmedia, cross-display/device, cross-platform, and interaction design within a broader context are sorely needed in this space.  


The presentation below, by Chris Thorne, Lead Information Architect and User Experience Consultant working for the BBC, provides a good overview about this topic:
Over the past months I've been gathering video and photos of my encounters and interactions with digital signage as a consumer/customer/user during my every-day activities such as shopping, traveling, vacationing, and so forth, which will be included in a post or series of posts in the near future.   


I have content related to interaction with various QR tags,  interactive kiosks, interactive displays and TV on a cruise ship, an interactive touch screen at J.C. Penny, and more.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that my interests include user experience of DOOH, interactive displays in public spaces, and so forth.  


Note:  Despite all of the technological innovations in this converging field, issues related to context, usability, and accessibility are not consistently addressed from a broader systems point of view.

Saturday Quick Link: Finnish Multi-touch Twitter Wall at CES

Today I'm starting something new for this blog, "Saturday Quick Links".  I'll post videos and links.  I'll revisit the topics highlighted in my "Saturday Links" with my comments/analysis/reflections.  There is so much happening now in the converging world of interactive multimedia technology!



Multi-touch LTD

Jan 13, 2011

Quick Link: InteractiveTV Today website -lots of interesting things are happening in this converging field!

Interactive TV Today http://itvt.com

From the "about us" section of the itvt.com website:

"Founded in 1998 by Tracy Swedlow and co-owned by Richard Washbourne, InteractiveTV Today [itvt] is the most widely read and trusted news source on the rapidly emerging medium of multiplatform, broadband interactive television (ITV).
We provide concise, original coverage of industry developments, technologies, content projects, and the people building the business to our readership, which is made up of hundreds of thousands of executives from around the world..."


Jan 12, 2011

Multi-modal Interactive Maps for People with Visual Impairments: Featuring a Stantum multitouch screen with a tactile layer.

To learn more about this project, take a look at the video and related publications below. This is a great example of a team that is harnessing emerging technologies to improve the lives of people with disabilities.


Video: "Multimodal Maps for Blind People"


Website


Publications
Anke Brock, Philippe Truillet, Bernard Oriola, Christophe Jouffrai (IRIT CNRS and Universite de Toulouse) Usage of Multimodal Maps for Blind People: Why and How
ITS’10, November 7–10, 2010, Saarbr├╝cken, Germany
Paper: http://www.irit.fr/~Philippe.Truillet/projects/doc/MultimodalMapsForTheBlind-ITS10.pdf
Poster: http://www.irit.fr/~Philippe.Truillet/projects/doc/Poster-ITS10.pdf

Stantum (Multi-touch screen used for the application.)
Ivy Middleware (Used in this application.)

Cross-posted on the TechPsych blog.

Child-Computer Interaction Workshop on May 7th at CHI 2011: Deadline Extended to February 18th!

The deadline for submissions to the CHI 2011 Child Computer Interaction: 2nd Workshop on UI Technologies an their Impact on Educational Pedagogy has been extended to February 18, 2011.

The workshop will be held on May 7, 2011, Vancouver, Canada, in conjunction with ACM's CHI 2011 conference. Interested researchers should submit a 4-page position paper in the ACM CHI adjunct proceedings style to the workshop management system. Note that the best 3 papers will be pre-accepted for a upcoming for a theme issue of the Springer Journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing on “Child Computer Interaction”.
IMPORTANT DATES
Submission Deadline: February 18th, 2011
Author Notification: March 15th, 2011
Final Version Deadline: April 1st, 2011 
Workshop Date: May 7th, 2011

DETAILS 
2011 Workshop Website
Call for Papers
Workshop Management System

Note:  Deadlines for several other CHI 2011 workshops have also been extended to February 18th. (Pictures and links from the CHI 2010 workshop are located at the end of this post.)


CALL FOR PAPERS
IN CONJUNCTION WITH CHI 2011
Child Computer Interaction: Workshop on UI Technologies and Educational Pedagogy
in conjunction with CHI 2011, Vancouver
May 7th, 2011
Topic: Given the emergence of Child Computer Interaction and the ubiquitous application of interactive technology as an educational tool, there is a need to explore how next generation HCI will impact education in the future. Educators are depending on the interaction communities and to deliver technologies that will improve and adapt learning to an ever- changing world. In addition to novel UI concepts, the HCI community needs to examine how these concepts can be matched to contemporary paradigms in educational pedagogy. The classroom is a challenging environment for evaluation, thus new techniques need to be established to prove the value of new HCI interactions in the educational space. This workshop provides a forum to discuss key HCI issues facing next generation education.

We invite authors to present position papers about potential design challenges and perspectives on how the community should handle the next generation of HCI in education. Topics of interest include:
• Gestural input, multitouch, large displays, multi-display interaction, response systems
• Mobile Devices/mobile & pervasive learning
• Tangible, VR, AR & MR, Multimodal interfaces, universal design, accessibility
• Console gaming, 3D input devices, 3D displays
• Co-located interaction, presentations, tele-presence, interactive video
• Child Computer Interaction, Educational Pedagogy, learner-centric, adaptive “smart” applications,
• Empirical methods, case studies, linking of HCI research with educational research methodology
•Usable systems to support learning and teaching: Ecology of learning, any where, anytime, (UX of cloud computing to support teaching and learning)

Submission: The deadline for workshop paper submissions is February 18, 2011. Interested researchers should submit a 4-page position paper in the ACM CHI adjunct proceedings style to the workshop management system. Acceptance notifications will be sent out March 15, 2011. The workshop will be held May 7, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Please note that at least one author of an accepted position paper must register for the workshop and for one or more days of the CHI 2011 conference.

The best 3 papers will be pre accepted for a upcoming for a theme issue of the Springer Journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing on “Child Computer Interaction”. Other authors are also invite to submit/ resubmit their work. We will send a separate call for paper for this special issue soon.
Contact: Edward Tse, SMART Technologies, edwardtse@smarttech.com

CHI 2010
NEXT GENERATION OF HCI AND EDUCATION
Join an interdisciplinary, international group of like-minded peers and colleagues.


Brainstorm with thought leaders.

After the workshop, relax, dine, and converse with interesting people.

Jan 10, 2011

Technology Out and About: DOOH at the Porche Design Shop in St. Martin (Video)

Video Window, Porche Design, St. Martin from Lynn Marentette on Vimeo.


I came across this video display at a Porche Design shop in St. Martin. The video was well-done, but the display was difficult to see from a distance. The saleswoman wasn't sure who produced the content.

I thought that it would be more interesting if the content was interactive- something for do while my husband shopped!

ImageFlow for streaming image search; Content-Aware Dynamic Timeline for Video Browsing, and more from Microsoft Research

I thought I'd share a couple of interesting videos about the work of some researchers at Microsoft Research and their colleagues:



RELATED
Japani, V., Ramos, G., and Drucker, S.  ImageFlow: Streaming Image Search (pdf) (Microsoft Research Publication, 11/18/2010)
Link to abstract

Fisher, D., Drucker, S., Fernandez,R. and Ruble,S. Visualizations Everywhere: A Multiplatform Infrastructure for Linked Visualizations, in Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE, Salt Lake City, UT, November 2010


The following video and article focuses on some research that I think will be very useful for creating interactive multimedia timelines in the future.  I'd like to learn more about ways this interaction can be implemented in gesture-based systems!





Content-Aware Dynamic Timeline for Video Browsing
From Gonzalo's YouTube channel: "When videos have more frames than pixels in the player's timeline slider, frames become inaccessible and scrolling actions cause sudden jumps in a video's continuity. We propose a content-aware dynamic timeline control that decouples video speed and playback speed and allow salient shots to be presented at an intelligible speed."


Article
Pongnumkul, S., Wang, J., Ramos, G., Cohen, M.  Content-Aware Timeline for Video Browsing (pdf). UIST '10, ACM


Note: The researchers are investigating the use of audio/sound in a similar manner, making this form of video browsing/search truly multimedia. An example of this is included near the end of the above video clip.


The following video is a demonstration of something I could use in my work as a school psychologist, since I use a lot of video for assessing students with disabilities, including those with autism.  I also use video to create digital social stories for many of the students.

FedEx's "Our Changing World" Website: Interactive Information Graphics (Cartograms) and Augmented Reality Holographs on the FedX

Following a link from Nathan Yau's recent Flowing Data blog post, Our Changing World in Cartograms, I discovered that FedEx's "Our Changing World" website.  It provides an interesting way to explore data about various countries by mousing over countries on a map.

I have an HP TouchSmart PC, and found that the touch-screen interaction offered by this website was better than using the mouse.   I'm pretty sure that this website would be fun to use on a larger touch-enabled display, and in in the classroom, on interactive whiteboards.



To my surprise, I also discovered that the website offers a 3D augmented reality version of "Our Changing World": Experience the changing world in augmented reality
"See the world and the information that shapes it.  Watch it come to life as a 3-D hologram..."




(I'll play with the AR hologram later today.)


Note: 
The FedEx website provides links to additional resources for each topic area, as well as a link to the sources used for the data included in the information graphics.  It is important to remember that graphics do not always accurately depict the numbers!


RELATED
FedEx Launches Global Business Data Visualization Experience

"At experience.fedex.com, visitors can interact through a world map with data and content provided by The Economist Intelligence Unit on eight world trends initially, including air travel, people in cities, entrepreneurs and success, paper trail, business growth, education, money and happiness, and research and development.  Visitors also have an opportunity to analyze the data, share information, or participate in real-time, online polls....“At FedEx, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer great customer experiences,” said Malcolm Sullivan, vice president, Marketing, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “Experience.fedex.com is an effective way for us to extend these experiences to the virtual world.  By making visualizations of complex and important information available to people everywhere, FedEx makes it easy for anyone to learn about their world and share their discoveries with friends.”"


FedEx Data Sources
FedEx: Our Changing World


FedEx Multimedia Center



Interactive Timeline of Political Shootings in the US - Wall Street Journal, related resources on-line

Interactive Graphic (Timeline)
Political Targets
"Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is not the first member of Congress to be attacked while in office.  Take a look back at some prominent political shootings involving members of Congress".  Wall Street Journal Research

Article  
Shooting Puts Focus on Gun Laws
Brent Kendall, Wall Street Journal, 1/10/11

RELATED
Slideshow
On the Scene in Tucson
"In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and a number of bystanders Saturday, police investigators began to piece togehter clues while friends and onlookers mourned."
Wall Street Journal, 1/10/11
(Pictures were taken by photographers from various news media organizations.)
Article
Victims in Giffords Shooting
"Six people died in the shooting that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically injured.  Learn more about Judge John Roll, Christina Taylor Green, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard, Gabriel Zimmerman and Dorothy Morris."
Wall Street Journal, 1/10/11

RESOURCES


Blog Post
Ways to Teach About the Arizona Shootings (Includes lesson plans, if you are a teacher!)
The Learning Network: Teaching & Learning With The New York Times
Sarah Kavanagh and Holly Epstein Ojalvo,  1/9/11

Blog Post
The Best Resources For Teaching About The Arizona Shooting
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL
1/10/11