About the Workshop

Key Dates
Submit to round 1:
Submissions due: 8th December 2015
Notifications sent: 15th December 2015

Alternatively submit to round 2:
Extended Submissions due: 14th January 2016
Notifications sent: 15th January 2016

Saturday, 7th May 2016

Recent research on mobile collocated interactions has been looking at situations in which collocated users engage in collaborative activities using their mobile devices. However, existing practices fail to fully account for the culturally-dependent spatial relationships between co-present others and their digital devices (i.e. the proxemic relationships). Building on the ideas of proxemics, this workshop is motivated by the concept of ‘proxemic mobile collocated interactions’ by harnessing new or existing technologies to create engaging and interactionally relevant experiences. Such approaches would allow devices to not only react to presence and interaction, but also other indicators, such as the interpersonal distance people naturally use. The aim of this one-day workshop is to bring together a community of researchers, designers and practitioners who are interested in exploring proxemics and mobile collocated interactions.

Workshop Background

Early workshops on the subject of mobile collocated interactions (e.g. at MobileHCI ’11) identified a number of core related areas for research including group size, physical distance, device-binding, operating systems privacy, extending to public displays and tabletops, and conducting in-the-wild evaluations. More recent workshops, such as at CHI ’15, have examined the use of technology, gadgets and prototyping ideas for mobile collocated interactions. Another workshop, at MobileHCI ’15, focused on the body, materials, and bodily exploration with wearable devices, essentially harnessing the trend of technology to become evermore personal and closer to the body.

However, a question that, as yet, remains still unanswered through all of these workshops, is of how to incorporate the untapped value of proxemics in designing for face-to-face interactions with mobile devices. Whereas some previous workshops have focused on specific interactive technologies, such as interactive tables, smartphones, or wearable devices, with this workshop we wish to explore the implications of introducing a more theoretical approach to mobile collocated interactions, to help promote research in the overall domain and to ground existing design practices further.

In order to answer this question, we must first better understand the implications of designing experiences that account for and mediate the intricate proxemic relationships that naturally exist between people and their personal objects. Furthermore, this means we must account for the non-uniform interactional abilities of both people and their devices, mobile or stationary (e.g. wearable, tablet, interactive table), and the ecological implications of the space in which individuals co-inhabit and interact. The impact of such complexities involves exploring the details of how devices can sense, and act as one unified ecosystem to support the proxemic relationships engendered by people.

For more information on the workshop goals and activities, please see the Call for Participation.