Multi-User Interaction on Media Facades through Live Video on Mobile Devices
More and more urban landscapes are equipped with media facades. The Beijing National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China and the ARS Electronica Center in Linz, Austria are two prominent examples out of hundreds of such facades. However, due to their size and the required viewing distance, interacting with them directly (e.g., by touching them) is normally impossible. Recent advances in mobile computing allow users to interact with such facades in several ways. Current interaction approaches include controlling pointers on the facade's canvas or pushing content to it through multimedia messages.
The size, visibility, and large audience of media facades offer a great potential for collaborative interaction. Indirect pointing techniques, however, restrict the number of simultaneous users: (1) each pointer occludes a (small) portion of the facade, eventually leading to clutter and large content regions being invisible. (2) More pointers shown on the facade make finding one's own pointer rather difficult. In addition, facades showing pointers need reasonably high resolutions to provide enough pixels per pointer. One approach to solve these issues is to use an absolute and direct technique such as interaction through live video.
We apply and extend the concept of Touch Projector to media facades to avoid the limitations of current interaction techniques. With two applications, we demonstrate how multiple users can interact on a facade simultaneously. During the ARS Electronica Festival we found that our approach is (1) considered easy-to-learn, but (2) may leave users unaware of the actions of others.