1st Round of Activities

The following activities were network activities open to all members of all DC projects:

  • Kick-off Meeting
    (31/01/2001, Darmstadt)

    This first meeting allowed identification of means to start and establish the DC community and network
  • Disappearing in the White Nights
    (20-21/06/2001, Stockholm)

    The meeting was was for all DC projects to get acquainted with each other's work and find common interests for planning future common workshops, troubadour visits, etc. Each project was given 25-30 minutes for a presentation of their work.
  • First DC Jamboree
    (18-19/10/ 2001, Zurich)
    Organised by the ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), the event, which was not open for the general public, was attended by 150 participants from all the partner projects. The dedicated website contains the latest program updates, as well information for exhibitors.

A first call of of proposals for DC inter-project collaboration activities was launched in 26/06/2001. 8 proposals were submitted under the headings of Research Ateliers and Disappearing Days, all of which were accepted for funding. 12 of the 17 existing projects in the Disappearing Computer Initiatives were/are involved in these activities. The detailed list follows (note: tentative dates are enclosed between double asterisks). For further information about individual activities contact the projects involved.

  • DD01: "Sound perception and Modelling"
    (02/08/2001, Helsinki)

    Abstract (Excerpt): This one-day workshop is organised as a satellite activity of the International Conference on Auditory Display - ICAD2001 in Espoo (Helsinki). The topic of the workshop is sound perception, with special focus on sound modelling issues, and integration with other sensorial modalities. Its purpose is twofold: (i) to get a state-of-the-art view of the topic that can benefit several DC projects; (ii) to get hints for further developments from experts of the field.
    Associated projects: SOB, AMBIENT AGORAS, and SHAPE;

  • DD02: "New Modes of Interaction: Deconstructing the GUI Interface" (24-25/01/2002, Limerick)
    Abstract (Excerpt): We propose a 1 or 2-day Disappearing Days workshop to be hosted by the Interaction Design Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland on the topic: "New Modes of Interaction: Deconstructing the GUI Interface". The Disappearing Computer projects, which seek to move computational power out of the PC box and distribute it in artefacts and settings, still require mechanisms that allow for interaction between people and the computational infrastructure. It is the nature of these object and ambient interfaces that we wish to investigate in this workshop. How do we go about providing interaction mechanisms between human and computational agents? What features of the settings are appropriate to animate? How can people discover the active elements of an augmented reality environment? How do we provide non-intrusive feedback? The design and use of tangible bits, physical movements and sound are all aspects of the setting that need to be examined. The shift from GUI's to implicit forms of interaction and novel forms of the interface requires a thorough reflection on the methods and sensitivities for designing, testing and evaluating the "interface" - in whatever form it may take.
    Associated projects: SOB and SHAPE;

  • DD03: "How to interact with disappearing computers in hybrid worlds?" (9/12/2001-11/12/2001, Athens)
    Abstract: This workshop addresses a range of topics that arise from the question "How to interact with disappearing computers in hybrid worlds?" Today computers are used as primary artefacts, which means that people have to interact with them directly. The problem with this approach is that humans are not primarily interested in interacting with the computer as a device, but in interaction with information or co-operation with other humans. How can we get the computers "out of the way" / "out of sight" to allow to concentrate on the task at hand and make the interaction activity again the priority task?
    In order to give priority back to human activities, computers have to become secondary artefacts. This can be achieved in several ways resulting either in "physical disappearance" or "mental disappearance" of computers as devices. Both cases of disappearance imply new challenges for answering the question "how to interact with disappearing computers?" This will be even more challenging when dealing with groups of people using multiple devices/artefacts.


  • DD04: "The interrelationships between ethnographic studies and the design and development of hybrid systems"
    (9/11/2001, Nottingham)

    The Accord and Paper++ projects propose a one-day workshop to discuss the interrelationships between ethnographic studies and the design and development of hybrid systems, particularly those technologies that interweave the uses of paper and electronic documents. Both projects are undertaking detailed ethnographic studies, although in different settings, and developing prototype technologies that make use of the advantages of paper and digital resources. The workshop would be an opportunity to:
    1. Discuss the findings and analytic issues emerging from the studies of domestic environments
    (ACCORD); educational settings (Paper++) and public spaces (Paper++ and Shape);
    2. Consider the analytic and methodological developments necessary when studying such
    domains, in particular the innovative ways of informing the developments of systems (for example through various kinds of technical interventions and novel ways of assessing prototypes);
    3. Discuss the approaches to the development of technology being developed by the projects,
    particularly with regard to choices for the substrate, devices, architectures and interworking between components.
    Associated projects: ACCORD, PAPER++ (MIME and SHAPE invited)
  • RR01:"E-GADGETS and MIME RR Team"

    Associated projects: E-GADGETS and MIME
  • AT01: "Translating Aspects of Human Interaction with Collections of Objects into Artifact Architecture Specifications"
    (28/11/2001-04/12/2001, Eindhoven-Amsterdam)

    Abstract (Excerpt): Most objects in our everyday lives have been designed for specific tasks; but this specificity constrains the ways we might use them for. In general, everyday objects can be used in different ways, providing that the limits of their physical properties are not violated. As everyday objects are "enhanced" with sensing, computing and communication capability, in order to become artefacts, people have to learn any new ways that they can be used (that may have to be indicated by appropriate new affordances) and the tasks these objects might participate in. People may initially have to use objects in more complex ways. Moreover, people may end up interacting at the same time with individual objects and with their configuration.
    The introduction of artefacts is expected to affect people's everyday lives at least in two ways: Firstly, people may have to update their task models, as they will no longer interact with a computer but with computationally enabled objects. Many of the tasks they used to carry out with a computer will now be feasible without using one. On the other hand, these new artefacts will be capable of participating in many more new and complex tasks.
    Secondly, people may have to change established habits and form new models for the everyday objects that they use. The conceptual models people have of objects and of computing may have to evolve in order to incorporate the new affordances of combined computationally enhanced objects.
    Associated projects: E-GADGETS, MIME, and 2WEAR;

  • AT02: "Artifacts and applications: can we reach compatible (although diverse) solutions on technical and architectural issues?"
    (23/01/2002-25/01/2002, Athens)

    Abstract (Excerpt): In their effort to design (possibly intelligent) artifacts out of everyday objects, which will dynamically participate in user-configured applications and exhibit emerging behaviour within that context, the participating projects sensed the need to record a number of common issues and then propose possible solutions to them. A large part of those issues will concern technical or technology problems, which, if not dealt with on time, may result to duplication of effort and incompatible solutions.
    The proposed research atelier constitutes a first step towards identifying and elaborating on those conceptual and technical issues that surface when one tries to design an artifact or an application (as a collection of co-operating artifacts). Although these issues are common to all projects, the aim is not to reach a commonly accepted solution to all issues, but mainly to identify different possible solutions and, where possible, define compatibility mechanisms.

    Associated projects: E-GADGETS, SMART-ITS, 2WEAR and ORESTEIA;

  • AT04: "A Conceptual Framework for Context"
    (11-14/02/2002, Glasgow)

    Abstract (Excerpt): The concept is to work towards a common vocabulary and sense of context, resulting in an architectural overview of relationship between sensor input and the systems interaction with the user. Specifically we will try to answer the following questions:
    1. Sensor abstraction: What is the canonical set of primitive sensor abstractions?
    2. Context abstraction: What are the combinators for sensor primitives that can be used to define context? How can higher notions of context be built out of more primitive ones?
    3. Interaction abstraction: What is the canonical set of primitive abstractions relating function, interaction and context? What is their relationship to the 1 and 2.
    4. Communication Mechanisms: How can context information be forwarded to the application and how transparent should contextual changes be for applications and for users?
    Associated projects: GLOSS, E-GADGETS, SMART-ITS, 2WEAR, ORESTEIA and ACCORD;

The Disappearing Computer Initiative © 2002