The Semiotics of Smart Appliances and Pervasive Computing

The Semiotics of Smart Appliances and Pervasive Computing

Peter Bøgh Andersen (University of Aarhus, Denmark) and Martin Brynskov (Center for Interactive Spaces, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-991-9.ch038


This chapter presents digital habitats, a conceptual and methodological framework for analyzing and designing smart appliances in the context of pervasive computing. The concrete topic is a project in pervasive gaming for children. The framework consists of a set of theoretical concepts supplemented by diagrams for representing semiformal models. We give a short overview of selected theories of play and gaming and apply the framework to an implemented simple pervasive game. Finally, we use the framework in a constructive manner to produce a concrete design of a new game. The result is discussed and compared to other approaches. The main points are the following: (a) it can describe communicative as well as material acts plus the way they hang together; (b) it provides an explicit link between human activities and their spatial context; (c) it has an explicit dynamic model that precisely describes the conditions for executing actions; and (d) it offers a typology of participant roles based on linguistic theory, which supports design processes.

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