Publication statistics

Pub. period:1997-2012
Pub. count:26
Number of co-authors:44


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Keng-hao Chang:
Mike Y. Chen:
Ana Ramirez Chang:



Productive colleagues

John Canny's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Shumin Zhai:67
Eric Paulos:42
Edward Cutrell:35

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John Canny

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Publications by John Canny (bibliography)

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Sun, David and Canny, John (2012): A high accuracy, low-latency, scalable microphone-array system for conversation analysis. In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Uniquitous Computing 2012. pp. 290-300.

Understanding and facilitating real-life social interaction is a high-impact goal for Ubicomp research. Microphone arrays offer the unique capability to provide continuous, calm capture of verbal interaction in large physical spaces, such as homes and (especially open-plan) offices. Most microphone array work has focused on arrays of custom sensors in small spaces, and a few recent works have tested small arrays of commodity sensors in single rooms. This paper describes the first working scalable and cost-effective array that offers high-precision localization of conversational speech, and hence enables ongoing studies of verbal interactions in large semi-structured spaces. This work represents significant improvements over prior work in three dimensions -- cost, scale and accuracy. It also achieves high throughput for real-time updates of tens of active sources using off-the-shelf components. We describe the system design, key localization algorithms, and a systematic performance evaluation. We then show how source location data can be usefully aggregated to reveal interesting patterns in group conversations, such as dominance and engagement.

© All rights reserved Sun and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Chang, Keng-hao, Chan, Matthew K. and Canny, John (2011): AnalyzeThis: unobtrusive mental health monitoring by voice. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011. pp. 1951-1956.

Mental illness is one of the most undertreated health problems worldwide. Previous work has shown that there are remarkably strong cues to mental illness in short samples of the voice. These cues are evident in severe forms of illness, but it would be most valuable to make earlier diagnoses from a richer feature set. Furthermore there is an abstraction gap between these voice cues and the diagnostic cues used by practitioners. We believe that by closing this gap, we can build more effective early diagnostic systems for mental illness. In order to develop improved monitoring, we need to translate the high-level cues used by practitioners into features that can be analyzed using signal processing and machine learning techniques. In this paper we describe the elicitation process that we used to tap the practitioners' knowledge. We borrow from both AI (expert systems) and HCI (contextual inquiry) fields in order to perform this knowledge transfer. The paper highlights an unusual and promising role for HCI -- the analysis of interaction data for health diagnosis.

© All rights reserved Chang et al. and/or their publisher

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Wang, Jingtao, Zhai, Shumin and Canny, John (2010): SHRIMP: solving collision and out of vocabulary problems in mobile predictive input with motion gesture. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 15-24.

Dictionary-based disambiguation (DBD) is a very popular solution for text entry on mobile phone keypads but suffers from two problems: 1. the resolution of encoding collision (two or more words sharing the same numeric key sequence) and 2. entering out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words. In this paper, we present SHRIMP, a system and method that addresses these two problems by integrating DBD with camera based motion sensing that enables the user to express preference through a tilting or movement gesture. SHRIMP (Small Handheld Rapid Input with Motion and Prediction) runs on camera phones equipped with a standard 12-key keypad. SHRIMP maintains the speed advantage of DBD driven predictive text input while enabling the user to overcome DBD collision and OOV problems seamlessly without even a mode switch. An initial empirical study demonstrates that SHRIMP can be learned very quickly, performed immediately faster than MultiTap and handled OOV words more efficiently than DBD.

© All rights reserved Wang et al. and/or their publisher

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Kumar, Anuj, Tewari, Anuj, Shroff, Geeta, Chittamuru, Deepti, Kam, Matthew and Canny, John (2010): An exploratory study of unsupervised mobile learning in rural India. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 743-752.

Cellphones have the potential to improve education for the millions of underprivileged users in the developing world. However, mobile learning in developing countries remains under-studied. In this paper, we argue that cellphones are a perfect vehicle for making educational opportunities accessible to rural children in places and times that are more convenient than formal schooling. We carried out participant observations to identify the opportunities in their everyday lives for mobile learning. We next conducted a 26-week study to investigate the extent to which rural children will voluntarily make use of cellphones to access educational content. Our results show a reasonable level of academic learning and motivation. We also report on the social context around these results. Our goal is to examine the feasibility of mobile learning in out-of-school settings in rural, underdeveloped areas, and to help more researchers learn how to undertake similarly difficult studies around mobile computing in the developing world.

© All rights reserved Kumar et al. and/or their publisher

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Tian, Feng, Lv, Fei, Wang, Jingtao, Wang, Hongan, Luo, Wencan, Kam, Matthew, Setlur, Vidya, Dai, Guozhong and Canny, John (2010): Let's play Chinese characters: mobile learning approaches via culturally inspired group games. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 1603-1612.

In many developing countries such as India and China, low educational levels often hinder economic empowerment. In this paper, we argue that mobile learning games can play an important role in the Chinese literacy acquisition process. We report on the unique challenges in the learning Chinese language, especially its logographic writing system. Based on an analysis of 25 traditional Chinese games currently played by children in China, we present the design and implementation of two culturally inspired mobile group learning games, Multimedia Word and Drumming Strokes. These two mobile games are designed to match Chinese children's understanding of everyday games. An informal evaluation reveals that these two games have the potential to enhance the intuitiveness and engagement of traditional games, and children may improve their knowledge of Chinese characters through group learning activities such as controversy, judgments and self-correction during the game play.

© All rights reserved Tian et al. and/or their publisher

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Ramachandran, Divya, Canny, John, Das, Prabhu Dutta and Cutrell, Edward (2010): Mobile-izing health workers in rural India. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 1889-1898.

Researchers have long been interested in the potential of ICTs to enable positive change in developing regions communities. In these environments, ICT interventions often fail because political, social and cultural forces work against the changes ICTs entail. We argue that familiar uses of ICTs for information services in these contexts are less potent than their use for persuasion and motivation in order to facilitate change. We focus on India's rural maternal health system where health workers are employed in villages to persuade pregnant women to utilize health services. Health workers face challenges due to resistance to change in the village, and because of their limited education, training and status. These factors appear to reduce the motivation of health workers and impair their performance. For two months, we deployed short videos on mobile phones designed to persuade village women and motivate health workers. We also asked health workers to record their own videos. While our results are preliminary, they show evidence that the creation and use of videos did help (1) engage village women in dialogue, (2) show positive effects toward health worker motivation and learning, and (3) motivate key community influencers to participate in promoting the health workers.

© All rights reserved Ramachandran et al. and/or their publisher

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Kam, Matthew, Mathur, Akhil, Kumar, Anuj and Canny, John (2009): Designing digital games for rural children: a study of traditional village games in India. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 31-40.

Low educational levels hinder economic empowerment in developing countries. We make the case that educational games can impact children in the developing world. We report on exploratory studies with three communities in North and South India to show some problems with digital games that fail to match rural children's understanding of games, to highlight that there is much for us to learn about designing games that are culturally meaningful to them. We describe 28 traditional village games that they play, based on our contextual interviews. We analyze the mechanics in these games and compare these mechanics against existing videogames to show what makes traditional games unique. Our analysis has helped us to interpret the playability issues that we observed in our exploratory studies, and informed the design of a new videogame that rural children found to be more intuitive and engaging.

© All rights reserved Kam et al. and/or ACM Press

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Nguyen, David T. and Canny, John (2009): More than face-to-face: empathy effects of video framing. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 423-432.

Video conferencing attempts to convey subtle cues of face-to-face interaction (F2F), but it is generally believed to be less effective than F2F. We argue that careful design based on an understanding of non-verbal communication can mitigate these differences. In this paper, we study the effects of video image framing in one-on-one meetings on empathy formation. We alter the video image by framing the display such that, in one condition, only the head is visible while, in the other condition, the entire upper body is visible. We include a F2F control case. We used two measures of dyad empathy and found a significant difference between head-only framing and both upper-body framing and F2F, but no significant difference between upper-body framing and F2F. Based on these and earlier results, we present some design heuristics for video conferencing systems. We revisit earlier negative experimental results on video systems in the light of these new experiments. We conclude that for systems that preserve both gaze and upper-body cues, there is no evidence of deficit in communication effectiveness compared to face-to-face meetings.

© All rights reserved Nguyen and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Chang, Ana Ramirez and Canny, John (2009): Illuminac: simultaneous naming and configuration for workspace lighting control. In: Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2009. pp. 413-418.

We explore natural and calm interfaces for configuring ubiquitous computing environments. A natural interface should enable the user to name a desired configuration and have the system enact that configuration. Users should be able to use familiar names for configurations without learning, which implies the mapping from names to configurations is many-to-one. Instead of users learning the environment's command language, the system simultaneously learns common configurations and infers the keywords that are most salient to them. We call this the SNAC problem (Simultaneous Naming and Configuration). As a case study, we design a speech interface for workspace lighting control on a large array of individually-controllable lights. We present an approach to the SNAC problem and demonstrate its applicability through an evaluation of our system, Illuminac.

© All rights reserved Chang and Canny and/or their publisher

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Kam, Matthew, Agarwal, Aishvarya, Kumar, Anuj, Lal, Siddhartha, Mathur, Akhil, Tewari, Anuj and Canny, John (2008): Designing e-learning games for rural children in India: a format for balancing learning with fun. In: Proceedings of DIS08 Designing Interactive Systems 2008. pp. 58-67.

Poor literacy remains a barrier to economic empowerment in the developing world. Of particular importance is fluency in a widely spoken "world language" such as English, which is typically a second language for these low-income learners. We make the case that mobile games on cellphones is an appropriate solution in the typical ecologies of developing regions. The challenge is to design e-learning games that are both educational and pleasurable for our target learners, who have limited familiarity with high technology. We propose the receptive-practice-activation cycle that could be used as the conceptual model for the designs. We then report how this format could be refined, based on our experiences in the field with three games that have collectively undergone nine rounds of iterations. In particular, it appears that maintaining a distinction between learning and fun to some extent is necessary for effective designs.

© All rights reserved Kam et al. and/or ACM Press

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Agarwal, Sheetal K., Rajput, Nitendra, Canny, John and chavan, apala lahiri (2008): IUI4DR: intelligent user interfaces for developing regions. In: Proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2008. p. 437.

Information Technology has had significant impact on the society and has touched all aspects of our lives. So far, computers and expensive devices have fueled this growth. The challenge now is to take this success of IT to its next level where IT services can be accessed by masses. "Masses" here mean the people who (a) are not yet IT literate and/or (b) do not have the purchase power to use the current IT delivery mechanisms (PC centric model) and/or (c) do not find current IT solutions and services relevant to their life or business. Interestingly, a huge portion of the world's population falls in this category. To enable the IT access to such masses, this workshop focuses on easy-to-use and affordable, yet powerful, user interfaces that can be used by this population.

© All rights reserved Agarwal et al. and/or ACM Press

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Rattenbury, Tye and Canny, John (2007): CAAD: an automatic task support system. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 687-696.

Recent HCI research shows strong interest in task management systems (e.g. [19, 27]) that support the multi-tasked nature of information work [13]. These systems either require users to manually create and maintain task representations or they depend on explicit user cues to guide the creation and maintenance process. To access and use the task representations in these systems, users must also specify their current task. This interaction overhead inhibits the adoption of these systems. In this paper, we present a novel approach to task management that automates the creation and maintenance of task representations. Our system supports the user by making commonly used information more "ready-at-hand" through an intuitive visualization of their task representations. Users can correct and organize their task representations by directly manipulating the visualization; however, this interaction is not required. We describe a feasibility study that demonstrates the actual utility (in terms of overhead reduction) and perceived utility of our system.

© All rights reserved Rattenbury and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Ramachandran, Divya, Kam, Matthew, Chiu, Jane, Canny, John and Frankel, James F. (2007): Social dynamics of early stage co-design in developing regions. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 1087-1096.

Technology arguably has the potential to play a key role in improving the lives of people in developing regions. However, these communities are not well understood and designers must thoroughly investigate possibilities for technological innovations in these contexts. We describe findings from two field studies in India and one in Uganda where we explore technological solutions in the domains of communication, microfinance and education. Two common underlying themes emerge from these studies: (1) local stakeholders can contribute cultural information relevant to design such as needs and practices through interaction with technology artifacts and (2) unique social network structures embedded within communities are crucial to the acceptance and potential adoption of technology. We end with a synthesis of the three experiences that draws some practical lessons for ICT designers to elicit meaningful feedback and participation from local stakeholders in developing regions communities.

© All rights reserved Ramachandran et al. and/or ACM Press

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Kam, Matthew, Ramachandran, Divya, Devanathan, Varun, Tewari, Anuj and Canny, John (2007): Localized iterative design for language learning in underdeveloped regions: the PACE framework. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 1097-1106.

Poor literacy remains a decisive barrier to the economic empowerment of many people in the developing world. Of particular importance is literacy in a widely spoken "world language" such as English, which is typically a second language for these speakers. For complex reasons, schools are often not effective as vehicles for second language learning. In this paper we explore game-like language learning on cell phones. We argue that phones are an excellent technology platform in the typical ecologies of developing countries. We present the PACE framework that is intended to support the rapid, scalable development of language learning software localized for a particular community of learners. These learners are usually skeptical of formal education and of cultural biases they encounter in learning "remote" languages in particular. Localization of content is crucial to make the language relevant to them and to encourage them to adopt it.

© All rights reserved Kam et al. and/or ACM Press

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Nguyen, David T. and Canny, John (2007): Multiview: improving trust in group video conferencing through spatial faithfulness. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2007. pp. 1465-1474.

Video conferencing is still considered a poor alternative to face-to-face meetings. In the business setting, where these systems are most prevalent, the misuse of video conferencing systems can have detrimental results, especially in high-stakes communications. Prior work suggests that spatial distortions of nonverbal cues, particularly gaze and deixis, negatively impact many aspects of effective communication in dyadic communications. However, video conferencing systems are often used for group-to-group meetings where spatial distortions are exacerbated. Meanwhile, its effects on the group dynamic are not well understood. In this study, we examine the effects that spatial distortions of nonverbal cues have on inter-group trust formation. We conducted a large (169 participant) study of group conferencing under various conditions. We found that the use of systems that introduce spatial distortions negatively affect trust formation patterns. On the other hand, these effects are essentially eliminated by using a spatially faithful video conferencing system.

© All rights reserved Nguyen and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Chang, Keng-hao, Chen, Mike Y. and Canny, John (2007): Tracking Free-Weight Exercises. In: Krumm, John, Abowd, Gregory D., Seneviratne, Aruna and Strang, Thomas (eds.) UbiComp 2007 Ubiquitous Computing - 9th International Conference September 16-19, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria. pp. 19-37.

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Kam, Matthew, Ramachandran, Divya, Raghavan, Anand, Chiu, Jane, Sahni, Urvashi and Canny, John (2006): Practical considerations for participatory design with rural school children in underdeveloped regions: early reflections from the field. In: Proceedings of ACM IDC06: Interaction Design and Children 2006. pp. 25-32.

This paper draws on a 2-week design workshop conducted at a rural primary school in northern India to provide recommendations on carrying out participatory design with school children in rural, underdeveloped regions. From our experiences in prototyping low-tech and hi-tech English language learning games with rural student participants, we advocate that researchers build a more equal relationship that is qualitatively different from one between teachers and students, enlist local adults and children as facilitators, and explore hi-tech prototyping to inspire the best designs.

© All rights reserved Kam et al. and/or ACM Press

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Wang, Jingtao, Zhai, Shumin and Canny, John (2006): Camera phone based motion sensing: interaction techniques, applications and performance study. In: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2006. pp. 101-110.

This paper presents TinyMotion, a pure software approach for detecting a mobile phone user's hand movement in real time by analyzing image sequences captured by the built-in camera. We present the design and implementation of TinyMotion and several interactive applications based on TinyMotion. Through both an informal evaluation and a formal 17-participant user study, we found that 1. TinyMotion can detect camera movement reliably under most background and illumination conditions. 2. Target acquisition tasks based on TinyMotion follow Fitts' law and Fitts law parameters can be used for TinyMotion based pointing performance measurement. 3. The users can use Vision TiltText, a TinyMotion enabled input method, to enter sentences faster than MultiTap with a few minutes of practicing. 4. Using camera phone as a handwriting capture device and performing large vocabulary, multilingual real time handwriting recognition on the cell phone are feasible. 5. TinyMotion based gaming is enjoyable and immediately available for the current generation camera phones. We also report user experiences and problems with TinyMotion based interaction as resources for future design and development of mobile interfaces.

© All rights reserved Wang et al. and/or ACM Press

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Kam, Matthew, Wang, Jingtao, Iles, Alastair, Tse, Eric, Chiu, Jane, Glaser, Daniel, Tarshish, Orna and Canny, John (2005): Livenotes: a system for cooperative and augmented note-taking in lectures. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 531-540.

We describe Livenotes, a shared whiteboard system and educational practice that uses wireless communication and tablet computing to support real-time conversations within small groups of students during lectures, independent of class size. We present an interface design that enables group members to interact with one another by taking lecture notes cooperatively, as well as to augment student note-taking by providing instructor slides in the background to annotate over. Livenotes was designed to facilitate more efficient, stimulating modes of learning that other collaborative approaches do not. We report how the system impacts cooperative learning in an undergraduate class and how students interacted with background slides in the workspace. We conclude with directions for improving the system and learning practice.

© All rights reserved Kam et al. and/or ACM Press

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Nguyen, David and Canny, John (2005): MultiView: spatially faithful group video conferencing. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 799-808.

MultiView is a new video conferencing system that supports collaboration between remote groups of people. MultiView accomplishes this by being spatially faithful. As a result, MultiView preserves a myriad of nonverbal cues, including gaze and gesture, in a way that should improve communication. Previous systems fail to support many of these cues because a single camera perspective warps spatial characteristics in group-to-group meetings. In this paper, we present a formal definition of spatial faithfulness. We then apply a metaphor-based design methodology to help us specify and evaluate MultiView's support of spatial faithfulness. We then present results from a low-level user study to measure MultiView's effectiveness at conveying gaze and gesture perception. MultiView is the first practical solution to spatially faithful group-to-group conferencing, one of the most common applications of video conferencing.

© All rights reserved Nguyen and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Canny, John (2004): GaP: a factor model for discrete data. In: Proceedings of the 27th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval 2004. pp. 122-129.

We present a probabilistic model for a document corpus that combines many of the desirable features of previous models. The model is called "GaP" for Gamma-Poisson, the distributions of the first and last random variable. GaP is a factor model, that is it gives an approximate factorization of the document-term matrix into a product of matrices A and X. These factors have strictly non-negative terms. GaP is a generative probabilistic model that assigns finite probabilities to documents in a corpus. It can be computed with an efficient and simple EM recurrence. For a suitable choice of parameters, the GaP factorization maximizes independence between the factors. So it can be used as an independent-component algorithm adapted to document data. The form of the GaP model is empirically as well as analytically motivated. It gives very accurate results as a probabilistic model (measured via perplexity) and as a retrieval model. The GaP model projects documents and terms into a low-dimensional space of "themes," and models texts as "passages" of terms on the same theme.

© All rights reserved Canny and/or ACM Press

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Canny, John (2002): Collaborative filtering with privacy via factor analysis. In: Proceedings of the 25th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval 2002. pp. 238-245.

Collaborative filtering (CF) is valuable in e-commerce, and for direct recommendations for music, movies, news etc. But today's systems have several disadvantages, including privacy risks. As we move toward ubiquitous computing, there is a great potential for individuals to share all kinds of information about places and things to do, see and buy, but the privacy risks are severe. In this paper we describe a new method for collaborative filtering which protects the privacy of individual data. The method is based on a probabilistic factor analysis model. Privacy protection is provided by a peer-to-peer protocol which is described elsewhere, but outlined in this paper. The factor analysis approach handles missing data without requiring default values for them. We give several experiments that suggest that this is most accurate method for CF to date. The new algorithm has other advantages in speed and storage over previous algorithms. Finally, we suggest applications of the approach to other kinds of statistical analyses of survey or questionnaire data.

© All rights reserved Canny and/or ACM Press

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Barrientos, Francesca and Canny, John (2001): Cursive: a novel interaction technique for controlling expressive avatar gesture. In: Marks, Joe and Mynatt, Elizabeth D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 14th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology November 11 - 14, 2001, Orlando, Florida. pp. 151-152.

We are developing an interaction technique for rich nonverbal communication through an avatar. By writing a single letter on a pen tablet device, a user can express their ideas or intentions, non-verbally, using their avatar body. Our system solves the difficult problem of controlling the movements of a highly articulated, 3D avatar model using a common input device within the context of an office environment. We believe that writing is a richly expressive and natural means for controlling expressive avatar gesture.

© All rights reserved Barrientos and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Connell, Joanie B., Mendelsohn, Gerald A., Robins, Richard W. and Canny, John (2001): Effects of communication medium on interpersonal perceptions. In: Ellis, Clarence and Zigurs, Ilze (eds.) Proceedings of the International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work 2001 September 30 - October 3, 2001, Boulder, Colorado, USA. pp. 117-124.

This paper uses a social psychological perspective to study the effectiveness of different media of communication and how they influence interactions in social groups and organizations. In particular, we are interested in the social richness of the media-how effectively they convey the personalities and intentions of their users. We studied CMC (email and chat) and voice telephony, and compared them with face-to-face interaction. Study 1 was a controlled laboratory study in which people got acquainted with a partner. Study 2 was a field survey in which employees reported on naturally occurring interactions at work that took place with people of varying levels of power (supervisor, peer, subordinate). The surprising result is that the telephone generally came out on top in both studies, suggesting that the telephone may provide the optimum blend of richness and presence for natural and satisfying interactions.

© All rights reserved Connell et al. and/or ACM Press

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Paulos, Eric and Canny, John (1998): PRoP: Personal Roving Presence. In: Karat, Clare-Marie, Lund, Arnold, Coutaz, Jolle and Karat, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 98 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 18-23, 1998, Los Angeles, California. pp. 296-303.

Current internet applications leave our physical presence and our real-world environment behind. This paper describes the development of several simple, inexpensive, internet-controlled, untethered tele-robots or PRoPs (Personal Roving Presences) to provide the sensation of tele-embodiment in a remote real space. These devices support at least video and two-way audio as well as mobility through the remote space they inhabit. The physical tele-robot serves both as an extension of its operator and as a visible, mobile entity with which other people can interact. PRoPs enable their users to perform a wide gamut of human activities in the remote space, such as wandering around, conversing with people, hanging out, pointing, examining objects, reading, and making simple gestures.

© All rights reserved Paulos and Canny and/or ACM Press

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Paulos, Eric and Canny, John (1997): Ubiquitous Tele-Embodiment: Applications and Implications. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 46 (6) pp. 861-877.

In the rush into cyberspace we leave our physical presence and our real-world environment behind. The internet, undoubtedly a remarkable modern communications tool, still does not empower us to enter the office of the person at the other end of the connection. We cannot look out of their window, admire their furniture, talk to their office-mates, tour their laboratory or walk outside. We lack the equivalent of a body at the other end with which we can move around in, communicate through and observe with. However, by combining elements of the internet and tele-robotics it is possible to transparently immerse users into navigable real remote worlds filled with rich spatial sensorium and to make such systems accessible from any networked computer in the world, in essence: tele-embodiment. In this article we describe the evolution and development of one such inexpensive, simple, networked tele-operated mobile robot (tele-mobot) designed to provide this ability. We also discuss several social implications and philosophical questions raised by this research.

© All rights reserved Paulos and Canny and/or Academic Press

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