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Ken Hinckley Microsoft Research Collaborators: Jeff Pierce, Mike Sinclair, Eric Horvitz. Sensing & Mobility. Disclaimer: Opinions are Ken’s only and may not reflect the views of Microsoft, or anyone else for that matter . Sense more than just explicit commands

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Sensing mobility l.jpg

Ken Hinckley

Microsoft Research

Collaborators: Jeff Pierce, Mike Sinclair, Eric Horvitz

Sensing & Mobility

  • Disclaimer:

  • Opinions are Ken’s only and may not reflect the views of Microsoft, or anyone else for that matter 


Background sensing can it live up to its promise l.jpg

Sense more than just explicit commands

Background info (presence, sounds, physical contact, …) can be sensed & exploited

Simplify & enhance the user experience via better awareness of context

Background Sensing: Can it Live Up to its Promise?


Sensing what s unique about mobile devices l.jpg

What are the unique input challenges for mobility?

Mobile devices used under far more demanding conditions than desktop (e.g while driving)

Even “click on button” difficult due to attentional demands

Provide services/enhancements the user would not have cognitive resources or time to perform.

Device automatically senses what it needs? Push?

Getting text into device? Communication/read-only?

Environs changing, but what properties to sense?

Do you need lots of sensor fusion to do anything useful?

Sensing only useful for small, task-specific devices?

Sensing: What’s Unique about Mobile Devices?



Dilemma intentional control vs cognitive physical burden l.jpg
Dilemma: Intentional Control vs. Cognitive / Physical Burden

  • Button-click  Touch  Hand-near-device

    • less intentional control, more SW inferential burden

  • Use these “problems” to your advantage?

    • Decrease cognitive burden to make decisions

    • {Touching, …} is something the user must do anyway?

  • Benefit vs. cost of errors (intent / interpretation)

  • Is sensing necessarily annoying if “wrong”?

    • How to quantify penalty of failure?

    • Perhaps the key is designing for graceful failure?

    • Need to encourage mental model of what’s sensed?


Background sensing some open issues l.jpg

Few interaction techniques, almost no studies

What do users expect? Do they like sensing? Do they care?

How to overcome false positives / negatives?

Evaluative / scientific approach to sensing UI’s?

Automatic action vs. user control & overrides

Limits? Where is explicit user input necessary?

“Special cases” & complexity of mobile environments may confuse sensors / override with noise

What are some issues / tradeoffs?

Quick access vs. inadvertent activation of features

Sensor & display quality vs power consumption

cost, weight, features vs. UI complexity, …

Background Sensing: Some Open Issues


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