Knowing by ear: Leveraging human attention abilities in interaction design

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Journal Article
Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 2012, 5 (3-4), pp. 197 - 209
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In a world in which intelligent technologies are integrated in everyday objects and environments, users are at risk of being overburdened with information and interaction possibilities. Calm technology therefore aims at designing interactions that may reside in the periphery of the user's attention and only shift to the center of the attention when required. However, for such designs to be effective, a detailed understanding of human attention abilities is needed. In this paper, we therefore present a qualitative study on the everyday periphery of the attention. As we expected, we found that sound plays a major role in this, which supports our approach to use interactive sonification as an interaction style for peripheral interaction. We present a range of rich examples of everyday situations that lay out the design space for peripheral interaction and support these findings by describing three initial designs that use interactive sonification for peripheral interaction. © 2011 The Author(s).
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