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"William R. Hazlewood" <[log in to unmask]>
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William R. Hazlewood
Mon, 4 Dec 2006 21:56:00 -0500
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CFP: Workshop: Issues in the Design and Evaluation of Ambient 
Information Systems

To be held at Pervasive 2007: The 5th International Conference on 
Pervasive Computing

Sunday, May 13, 2007, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Workshop website:

Conference website:


Submissions due: Jan 26 2007 by 11:59pm PST
Notifications by: Mar 2nd 2007
Final version due: Mar 29th 2007 by 11:59pm PST

The current research in pervasive and ubiquitous computing suggests a 
future in which we are surrounded by innumerable information sources all 
competing for our attention. These are likely to manifest as both novel 
devices and as devices embedded in common objects such as refrigerators, 
automobiles, toys, furniture, clothes, even our bodies. While this 
vision of the future has prompted great advancements in context-aware 
computing, wireless connectivity, multi-sensor platforms, smart 
materials, and location-tracking technologies, there is a concern that 
this proliferation of technology will cause us to become increasingly 
overwhelmed by information. This scenario moves us away from Weiser's 
notion of calm technology, which proposes that information should move 
seamlessly between the periphery and the center of our attention. Weiser 
stated that good technology should not be experienced as technology at 
all, and we believe that ambient information systems could support this 

Ambient information systems (which include ambient, peripheral, 
glance-able, and subtle displays) are non-invasive and provide useful 
information while blending smoothly into our surroundings. These 
technologies are meant to be minimally attended and perceivable from 
outside the range of a person's direct attention, providing 
pre-attentive processing without being overly distracting. Examples 
range from large ubiquitous public displays to small bouncing icons on 
the Macintosh's dock.

There have been many interesting  implementations of ambient information 
systems (e.g., AmbientDevices’Stock Orb, Koert van Mensvoort's 
Datafountain, Philips Electronics' Ambilight, Jafarinami et al.'s 
Breakaway, Mynatt et al.'s Audio Aura and Digital Family Portrait, and 
Mankoff et al.'s Daylight Display and BusMobile). However, ambient 
information systems research is is suffering from a lack of consensus on 
terminology, methodology, plausibility, and the general design space of 
ambient information. We see this workshop as an opportunity for invited 
participants to explore and discuss such issues.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore topics of ambient information 
with respect to the various technologies and smart materials with which 
they might be implemented; identify problems in design, development, and 
evaluation; and derive new fundamental questions that need to be 
addressed. Workshop attendees should leave with a better understanding 
of what ambient is and next steps to further research in this domain.

Questions we would like to address in this workshop include:

· How are ambient information systems distinct from other information 
technologies? (i.e., what defines technology as being ambient?)
· What are the appropriate methods for evaluating ambient information 
· How much ambient information can one perceive and comprehend correctly?
· What sorts of information are best conveyed by an ambient display?
· What are examples of useful heuristics, frameworks, taxonomies, or 
design principles for
   implementation of ambient information?
· What, if any, are the appropriate interaction methods for these 
information devices?
· How can we best make use of existing technologies? (e.g. smart 
materials, wearable
   systems, etc.)
· How do we measure the impact of ambient information systems?
· What knowledge from other domains should we apply such systems? (e.g. 
art, cognitive
   science, design, psychology, sociology)

The workshop format will consist of a short presentation by each 
participant, which should conclude with a problem statement relative to 
the workshop topics. These problem statements will be ordered, and the 
participants will decide which are most relevant to future research on 
ambient and subtle information systems. We will then break out into 
groups and discuss strategies for addressing the selected topics.

We invite submissions including descriptions of works in progress, 
research contributions, position statements and demonstrations. 
Submissions should attempt to address one or more of the aforementioned 
questions regarding the design and evaluation of ambient information 
technologies. Submissions should be between 4 and 6 pages long in ACM 
SIGCHI Proceedings format ( Each 
submission must conclude with a specific question regarding issues faced 
conducting research in this domain.

Please send you submission in PDF format to: [log in to unmask]

William R. Hazlewood ([log in to unmask])
School of Informatics, Indiana University @ Bloomington

Lorcan Coyle ([log in to unmask])
Systems Research Group, University College Dublin

Sunny Consolvo ([log in to unmask])
Intel Research, Seattle

PROGRAM COMMITTEE (subject to additions)
Liam Bannon, University of Limerick, Ireland
Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Tara Matthews, UC Berkeley, US
Aaron Quigley, University College Dublin, Ireland
Leslie Sharpe, Indiana University, US
Ian Smith, Intel Research Seattle, US
John T. Stasko, Georgia Institute of Technology, US
Erik Stolterman, Indiana University, US

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