This paper introduces a spatial model for mediating interaction between persons and/or objects inhabiting a virtual space that is commonly present in CSCW systems.
Such a spatial model builds upon several concepts:
- Medium: through which interactions take place, e.g., image, audio;
- Aura: a bounding box of an entity in which interaction with it is possible through certain media;
- Focus: a field of view in which an entity is dedicating its attention to;
- Nimbus: the periphery of an entity in which it can be kept aware of by the others.
- Adapter: artefacts that affect the above measures of an entity.
- Spatial metrics: a way of measuring position and direction
- How the model is used:The model uses the properties of space as the basis for mediating interaction. Thus, objects can navigate space in order to form dynamic sub-groups and manage conversations within these sub-groups.
- Where the interacting objects are humans, the model provides mechanisms for conversation management;
- Where the interacting objects are artefacts, the model provides mechanisms for constructing highly reactive environments where objects dynamically react to the presence of others.
- The level of awareness that object A has of object B in medium M is some function of A’s focus on B in M and B’s nimbus on A in M.
- Some of this stuff is very similar to proximity, e.g., “The aura surrounding the whiteboard is used to enable whiteboard access and use (e.g., by automatically assigning a pen to a user when their aura collides with that of the whiteboard)”
- Actually, focus and nimbus can be represented by a vector anchoring to the entity (e.g., the ‘forward’ vector)
- Try considering the mobile device and the user (even his body parts) are two entities and see if this model works for them.