Gradual Engagement between Digital Devices as a Function of Proximity: From Awareness to Progressive Reveal to Information Transfer

Connecting and information transfer between the increasing number of personal and shared digital devices in our environment – phones, tablets, and large surfaces – is tedious. One has to know which devices can communicate, what information they contain, and how information can be exchanged. Inspired by Proxemic Interactions, we introduce novel interaction techniques that allow people to naturally connect to and perform cross-device operations. Our techniques are based on the notion of gradual engagement between a person’s handheld device and the other devices surrounding them as a function of finegrained measures of proximity. They all provide awareness of device presence and connectivity, progressive reveal of available digital content, and interaction methods for transferring digital content between devices from a distance and from close proximity. They also illustrate how gradual engagement may differ when the other device seen is personal (such as a handheld) vs. semi-public (such as a large display). We illustrate our techniques within two applications that enable gradual engagement leading up to information exchange between digital devices.
Design, Human Factors