SIPS-LOGO-Imax-ExperienceThis year the SIPS project will be presenting an Interactivity Exhibit and an alt.chi paper at CHI 2015.  We’re very excited to bring the sphere to new places and share some of our experiences completing evaluations in public spaces.

Deep Cover HCI: A Case for Covert Research in HCI

Julie R. Williamson and Daniel Sundén

The growing popularity of methodologies that turn “to the wild” for real world data creates new ethical issues for the HCI community. For investigations questioning interactions in public or transient spaces, crowd interaction, or natural behaviour, uncontrolled and uninfluenced (by the experimenter) experiences represent the ideal evaluation environment. We argue that covert research can be completed rigorously and ethically to expand our knowledge of ubiquitous technologies.  Our approach, which we call Deep Cover HCI, utilises technology-supported observation in public spaces to stage completely undisturbed experiences for evaluation.  We complete studies without informed consent and without intervention from an experimenter in order to gain new insights into how people use technology in public settings.  We argue there is clear value in this approach, reflect on the ethical issues of such investigations, and describe our ethical guidelines for completing Deep Cover HCI Research.

Multi-Player Gaming on Spherical Displays – Interactivity

Julie R. Williamson, John Williamson, Daniel Sundén, Jay Bradley

Players can crowd around the sphere to play a classic volley game together.

Players can crowd around the sphere to play a classic volley game together.

Spherical displays offer unique affordances for multi-player games and playful interactions in social spaces.  The shape of a spherical display allows users to face each other and maintain eye contact during interaction, creating a different social dynamic than at a flat display.  There is also no intrinsically defined front or centre of the display, offering different views from different viewing angles. This creates shared and private areas of the display given users’ varying perspectives.  Trajectory based games have a dramatically different experience when played on a spherical surface.  Side-scrolling games are also exciting on a spherical surface, becoming “rotating” games where users’ action affect others playing at different points around the screen.  This Interactivity exhibit showcases two multi-player games that specifically exploit the affordances of a spherical display in a social setting.