Towards Proxemic Mobile Collocated Interactions

Towards Proxemic Mobile Collocated Interactions

Andrés Lucero (Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland) and Marcos Serrano (University of Toulouse - IRIT, Toulouse, France)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/IJMHCI.2017100102
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Abstract

Research on mobile collocated interactions has been exploring situations where collocated users engage in collaborative activities using their personal mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets), thus going from personal/individual toward shared/multiuser experiences and interactions. The proliferation of ever-smaller computers that can be worn on our wrists (e.g., Apple Watch) and other parts of the body (e.g., Google Glass), have expanded the possibilities and increased the complexity of interaction in what we term “mobile collocated” situations. Research on F-formations (or facing formations) has been conducted in traditional settings (e.g., home, office, parties) where the context and the presence of physical elements (e.g., furniture) can strongly influence the way people socially interact with each other. While we may be aware of how people arrange themselves spatially and interact with each other at a dinner table, in a classroom, or at a waiting room in a hospital, there are other less-structured, dynamic, and larger-scale spaces that present different types of challenges and opportunities for technology to enrich how people experience these (semi-) public spaces. In this article, the authors explore proxemic mobile collocated interactions by looking at F-formations in the wild. They discuss recent efforts to observe how people socially interact in dynamic, unstructured, non-traditional settings. The authors also report the results of exploratory F-formation observations conducted in the wild (i.e., tourist attraction).
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Proxemic Interactions

Proxemics, as defined by anthropologist Edward Hall, is a research area focused on the culturally dependent use of space and physical measures (e.g., distance, orientation, and posture) to mediate and comprehend interpersonal interactions (Hall, 1963). The knowledge of proxemics has long been employed in other disciplines such as architecture, although its use in HCI is a relatively recent addition (e.g., Greenberg et al., 2014; Kortuem et al., 2005; Mueller, et al., 2014). One particularly pertinent aspect of the theory is that of proxemic ‘zones’, which are essentially boundaries of people’s interpretations of interpersonal distance defined as intimate (less than 1.5 feet), personal (1.5– 4 feet), social (4–12 feet), and public (12–25 feet).

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