Here is a sample of research projects that we are currently working on.

Mobile interruption management

Interruption Management is an area that deals with different aspects of interruptions as part of the interaction between systems and their users. One of these aspects is developing different strategies to determine appropriate moments for interruptions in order to reduce the resulting costs and then deciding on how to perform the interruption. Appropriate interruption methods need to be considered as well. Most of interruption research so far focuses on implementing these strategies in stationary devices. For mobile devices such as cell-phones and PDAs, the adaptation of these strategies may be problematic because of the difficulty in determining the user’s current status and activity. So far, interruption of museum visitors using a mobile guide for service provisioning was addressed intuitively and heuristically. This work is an initial step towards integrating relevant resent research results from the area of interrupt management, adapted to support the unique aspects of the museum visit scenario.

Group navigation using mobile projection

PathLight is an artifact for the museum context, which will allow users to interact, select and navigate to an agreed destination using handheld projection technology. The navigation will be computed via the location model and presented to the user via audio and/or visuals. The basic model is of landmark navigation. Pathlight takes into consideration, the fact that navigation in this environment may not be continuous, but may include stops for points of interest (i.e. that the path of getting there may be a factor as well as arriving at the destination), and that time constraints play a more ameliorated role. Other considerations are the contexts which are appropriate for the museum visitor.

Large screen interaction

The work focuses on interaction of museum visitors (individuals and groups) with large situated displays by using smartphones in a “visit planning” scenario. Visitors can state their preferences towards their visit ahead of time on the museums’ website and then revise them as needed during the visit. When visitors arrive to the museum, the system will be able to recognize an individual or a group approaching the large screen situated at the entrance of the museum and present the pre-planned path calculated by the system. The visitors can then change their preferences for the visit and create an integrated plan agreed upon by all group members. They will also be able to revise their selections during the tour on large displays situated in various locations in the museum. The study aims to evaluate ways for collaborative control of large displays in the museum, including how to control the displays, how to share the control in a collaborative task, and how to preserve privacy – what personal information may be displayed over large displays.

Social Signal Processing In Cultural Heritage Environment

Social Signal Processing and Intelligent User Interfaces research fields provide innovative tools, based on novel sensors to monitor people’s behavior both as individuals and as group members. This includes detection of characteristics such as position, voice, eye gaze, temporal and stochastic behavior, movements, and proximity that may be cues to better understanding of needs and expectations. These may be used to identify museum visitor's needs and therefore to support systems adaptation and provide personalized services to the visitors. Being able to use technology to measure the visitors' behavior, and more than that the interpretation of the meaning of that behavior, may be needed for better use of technology for enhancing the onsite museum visit experience.