Managing Multiples Spaces

Posted: January 12th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

A. Dix, A. Friday, B. Koleva, T. Rodden, H. Muller, C. Randell, A. Steed, “Managing multiple spaces” In P. Turner, E. Davenport (eds.) Space, Spatiality and Technologies, Kluwer, 2005.

Building interactive experiences and applications that exploit space and location requires both low-level underlying infrastructure for linking sensors and managing spatial information and also high-level tools to aid content developers to produce spatially triggered information. This paper talks about the co-existance of virutal and physical spaces:

By this we eman that people and objects may have locations in an relationships to both physical space and one or more virtual spaces, and that these different space together interact to give an overall system behavior and user experience.

I am very interested by the notion of “measured space” and how its accuracy and quality influences the relationship between virtual and real spaces.

  • real space – the locations and activities of actual objects and people in physical space
  • measured space – the representation of that space in the computer and the representation of locations of objects and people from sensor data, etc.
  • virtual space – electronic spaces created to be portrayed to users, but not necessarily representing explicitly the real world

Three Types Of Spaces

This real-measured space relationship is about location sensing and the accuracy of sensors. I would add that the communication (latency, packet losses, data sanity, …) also impact the relationships between the spaces and ultimately the user’s experience. The dynamic of these relationships is not always controlled because it might not be instantaneous.

In fact, people are remarkably adapt at dealing with multiples spaces. Computationally things are more difficult. Like Nicolas rightly questions, we still have to more deeply find out on how much and to what extent that is true.

The window of the virtual space into the real space has 3 aspects:

  • point of projection – The device that embodies the projection is actually in the real space (on a screen, in virtual reality goggles, in the the Ambient Wood periscope, on the Drift Table porthole, on a runner’s PDA in ‘Can You See Me Now?’)
  • range of detection – There will be a set of locations in the real world where the projection can be seen (or heard, smelt etc.)
  • extent of target – The projection appears to occupy some part of real space, usually ‘behind’ the projection surface for visual projections. For example, in a video wall, the space being projected would appear to be ‘the other side’ of the screen – that is occupying actual space (albeit through a wall!)

A space can be in fact be made of multiple space, depending on the context. Those spaces moving relatively to each other and can differ in accuracy and extent:
Train Spaces

One Comment on “Managing Multiples Spaces”

  1. 1 7.5th Floor » Blog Archive » Follow-Ups at SENSEable said at 6:09 am on March 11th, 2008:

    [...] The main theme/question would be to better understand how do people relate to space (and its multiple spaces) through location information with a set of evidences each study would bring. CatchBob! indicated [...]