Pervasive Information For Everyday Decision-Making: Will People Become Wiser or Simply Ignore It?

Yvonne Rogers

(Pervasive Interaction Lab, Open University.)

Recent advances in affordable ubiquitous technology, including wearables with micro-projectors, ambient displays and sensor-based devices are beginning to excite researchers. Last month, Pattie Maes (Media Lab, MIT), in her much talked about TED talk, claimed that her team’s $250 ‘6th Sense” wearable device will enable ‘profound’ interactions with the world. A goal of my research is to promote 'proactive' and 'provocative' interactions with the environment through investigating how augmentation devices can encourage, entice and engage people to change their behaviour in response to a particular desired human value, e.g., environmental impact or well being. The focus is at the point of decision-making during everyday activities. The aim is to provide ‘just-in-time’ information in places that can nudge, nag or nod people, such as on their clothing, food packaging, the dinner plate and other mundane objects. One project I have just started working on is investigating how to provide shoppers in food supermarkets with dynamically updated computational visualisations, through designing pervasive technologies that represent multi-dimensions they care about, e.g., price, nutritional value, carbon footprint, farming methods, etc. We are interested in whether people will pay attention to more information when making their purchase choices. Moreover, will it enable them to make more informed decisions or will the new forms of ambient information be overwhelming and simply ignored like other kinds of food labelling? In my talk I will discuss how new ubiquitous computing approaches can overcome the ‘information overload’ problem through enhancing in situ decision making activities.

Since 2006, Yvonne Rogers has been a professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Computing Department at the Open University, where she directs the Pervasive Interaction Lab. From 2003-2006 she had a joint appointment in the schools of Informatics and Information Science at Indiana University (where she continues to be a visiting professor). Prior to that she was a professor in the former School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at Sussex University. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Stanford, Apple, Queensland University and UCSD. Her research focuses on augmenting and extending everyday, learning and work activities with a diversity of interactive and novel technologies. She was one of the principal investigators on the UK Equator project (2000-2007), where she pioneered and experimented with ubiquitous learning. She has published widely, beginning with her PhD (Swansea) on graphical interfaces and icons in the early 80s to her most recent work on shareable interfaces and extended cognition.

Tuesday 5th May 2009, 14:00
Robert Recorde Room
Department of Computer Science