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Distributed Work support through component based SPAtial Computing Environments

Objective

The disappearing computer is about moving from traditional screen and keyboard interfaces into pervasive computing where the users' interface to computing becomes a variety of appliances and devices. The objective of the WorkSPACE project is to develop software components and hardware artefacts that may be combined and integrated into various kinds of augmented reality work places, environments, and fields. The WorkSPACE components will enable support for a diversity of work situations ranging from individual work, through local collaboration, to distributed collaboration.
We call such augmented work environments for Spatial Computing Environments emphasising:
1. that computing takes place inside many components of the distributed space, and;
2. computing tracks objects and people and affects the physical spaces through projections, sounds, lights etc.
The work will focus on development of three demonstrators:
1. Spatial Computing in the Distributed Project Room;
2. Object Centred Spatial Computing and;
3. Spatial Computing Artefacts in the Field.
The disappearing computer is about moving from traditional screen and keyboard interfaces into pervasive computing where the users' interface to computing becomes a variety of appliances and devices. The objective of the WorkSPACE project is to develop software components and hardware artefacts that may be combined and integrated into various kinds of augmented reality work places, environments, and fields. The WorkSPACE components will enable support for a diversity of work situations ranging from individual work, through local collaboration, to distributed collaboration.
We call such augmented work environments for Spatial Computing Environments emphasising:
1. that computing takes place inside many components of the distributed space, and;
2. computing tracks objects and people and affects the physical spaces through projections, sounds, lights etc.
The work will focus on development of three demonstrators:
1. Spatial Computing in the Distributed Project Room;
2. Object Centred Spatial Computing and;
3. Spatial Computing Artefacts in the Field.

OBJECTIVES
The main aim is to augment the work environment through spatial computing components, initially for members of the design professions, but with applicability to a wide range of work domains. The main specific objectives are:
1. To enable documents and working materials to be represented, displayed, organised and worked on in a collaborative spatial computing environment;
2. To go beyond the WIMP screen and keyboard to realise this spatial computing environment in a range of forms and media - some small and portable, others large and immersive;
3. To enable people and their working materials to combine together in more fluid and transparent ways than through conventional electronic networks and interfaces;
4. To make significant further steps in bridging between physical and digital objects and in providing a common environment for them;
5. To take initial steps, using spatial positioning technologies, towards connecting physical spaces in the outside world, such as (landscape) architecture sites, and their digital representations, allowing users to act in one through the other.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
- Ethnographic studies of and with design professionals will be used to identify the diverse ways in which they use their spatial environment to accomplish their work. These studies will inform the design of systems and artefacts to achieve all of the above objectives, in a manner that connects with the real-world requirements of their work. Participatory design methods will be used to interactively construct and test three prototypes with associated devices;
- Demonstrator 1, Spatial Computing in the Distributed Project Room, will augment traditional office and project room settings with spatial computing capabilities that allow users in a distributed organisation to work together in a common information and object space across time and space;
- Demonstrator 2, Object Centred Spatial Computing, will enable physical objects in the workspace to be tracked when moving within or between work environments, and to constitute anchors for related information, which can be visualised together with the object. It will also be able to recognise the presence of a participant and to enable the local computing environment to support their workspaces and materials;
- Demonstrator 3, Spatial Computing Artefacts in the Field, will explore spatial positioning technologies to augment the capabilities of people working in the field with information and digital spaces that relate to specific geographic locations.
The participatory design and ethnographic methods mean that assessment and evaluation are deeply built-in and continuous. But there will also periodically be specific demarcated assessment and evaluation procedures conducted by Lancaster, to separate them from the detailed technical design. These evaluations will be formally reported to the Project Co-ordinating Committee and integrated with its timetable and procedures, to ensure that their findings are acted upon. The development of appliances and interaction devices and of spatial computing components and infrastru cture, ongoing throughout the project, will be stabilised in its closing phases in forms suitable for hand-over for further prototype and product development.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

AARHUS UNIVERSITET
Address
Nordre Ringgade 1
8000 Aarhus
Denmark

Participants (2)

ARKITEKTSKOLEN I AARHUS
Denmark
Address
Noerreport 20
8000 Aarhus
THE UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER
United Kingdom
Address
Bailrigg
LA1 4YW Lancaster