I wanted to offer some reflections on two final articles in the current issue (23:1) of the journal that I edit — the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction:
Auditory Display in Mobile Augmented Reality
The first article delves into augmented reality of a somewhat unusual sort, namely augmentation of mobile and situated interaction via spatialized auditory cues.
A carefully structured study, designed around enhancing interactive experiences for exhibits in an art gallery, teases apart some of the issues that confront realities augmented in this manner, and thereby offers a much deeper understanding of both the strengths and weaknesses of various ways of presenting spatialized auditory feedback.
As such this article contributes a great foundation for appropriate design of user experiences augmented by this oft-neglected modality.
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Mass Interaction in Social Television
The final paper of TOCHI Issue 23:1 presents the first large-scale study of real-world mass interactions in social TV, by studying the key motives of users for participating in side-channel commentaries when viewing major sporting events online.
The large scale of the study (analysis of nearly six million chats, plus a survey of 1,123 users) allows the investigators to relate these motives to diverse usage patterns, leading to practical design suggestions that can be used to support user interactions and to enhance the identified motives of users—such as emotional release, cheering and jeering, and sharing thoughts, information, and feelings through commentary.
On a personal level, as a long-time resident of Seattle I certainly could have benefitted from these insights during last year’s Super Bowl—where yes, in the armchair-quarterback opinion of this Editor-in-Chief, the ill-fated Seahawks should indeed have handed the ball to Marshawn Lynch.
Alas. There is always next year.