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Saskia Bakker
Industrial Design Department
Eindhoven University of Technology
the Netherlands

Doris Hausen
Human-Computer-Interaction Group
University of Munich (LMU)

Ted Selker
University of California Berkeley

Publication date: Spring 2016

Peripheral Interaction: Challenges and opportunities for HCI in the periphery of attention

Edited Book forthcoming in Springer's HCI Series


In everyday life we perform several perceptions and physical actions without focused attention. For example, we are aware of what the weather is like and we can wash our hands without actively thinking about it. These perceptions and actions take place in the periphery of attention, while they may easily shift to the center of attention when relevant. Computing technology is becoming increasingly present in our everyday routines. Interactions with these technologies usually require focused attention, which makes it challenging to fluently embed them in everyday life. Addressing this challenge, various researchers studied displays (e.g. ambient displays, peripheral displays, calm technology, ambient information systems), which subtly present information for peripheral perception. Moreover, a few recent studies explored physical interaction with technology to take place in the periphery. As both actions and perceptions shift between the center and periphery in everyday life, both perceptions of and interactions with technology could potentially take place in the periphery of attention.

This book targets the upcoming field of peripheral interaction: interaction with computing technology which can take place in the periphery of attention and shift to the center of attention when relevant for or desired by the user. The goal of peripheral interaction is to fluently embed meaningful interactive systems into people's everyday routines. This book aims to lay out the challenges and opportunities in the field, and underpin these through research presented in various chapters. The goal is to help us contribute to a future where computing technology gracefully coexists with the physical world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: framing peripheral interaction
Saskia Bakker, Doris Hausen and Ted Selker

Section 1: Theoretical perspectives on peripheral interaction

Chapter 2: "Unseen, Yet Crescive": The Unrecognized History of Peripheral Interaction
John N. A. Brown

Chapter 3: Theories of focal and peripheral attention
James F. Juola

Section 2: Peripheral Interaction Styles

Chapter 4: Peripheral Tangible Interaction
Darren Edge and Alan F. Blackwell

Chapter 5: Microgestures Enabling gesture input with busy hands
Katrin Wolf

Chapter 6: Casual Interaction Moving Between Peripheral and High Engagement Interactions
Henning Pohl

Chapter 7: Fluent Transitions Between Focused and Peripheral Interaction in Proxemic Interactions
Jo Vermeulen, Steven Houben and Nicolai Marquardt

Section 3: Peripheral interaction in context

Chapter 8: Peripheral Displays to support Human Cognition
Tilman Dingler and Albrecht Schmidt

Chapter 9: Peripheral Interaction in Desktop Computing Why its Worth Stepping beyond Traditional Mouse and Keyboard
Kathrin Probst

Chapter 10: Peripheral interaction with light
Dzmitry Aliakseyeu, Bernt Meerbeek, Jon Mason, Remco Magielse and Susanne Seitinger

Section 4: Visions on the future of peripheral interaction

Chapter 11: Interactive Soundscapes of the Future Everyday Life
Berry Eggen

Chapter 12: Weaving peripheral interaction within habitable architectures
Brygg Ullmer, Alexandre Siqueira, Chris Branton, and Miriam K. Konkel