Why interaction paradigms need to become scalable – everywhere!

The computer of our day-to-day environments including notebooks, smartphones, desktop computers, cars, intelligent lighting, and multi-room entertainment systems offer a plethora of interaction techniques using touch, voice, mouse, gestures, or gaze. While they are each consistent in itself, they are nevertheless slightly different, which leads to errors, increased time to learn and often frustration. The shift from interacting with dedicated “computers” to interacting with distributed ensembles of computational devices (so-called pervasive computing environments, PCE) will fundamentally change our understanding of interacting with a “system” in which almost any action turns into “operating a computer.” While the trend towards PCEs is already apparent, we have a scant understanding of scalable interaction paradigms, when the number, diversity and complexity of devices increase.

The overarching research question of this Priority Programme is to understand the nature of interaction with large and complex pervasive computing environments and to explore suitable interaction paradigms.