Interactive technologies, that is, devices and systems with embedded computers, have created a new class of design problems and issues (Thackera 2005, Vincente 2003). The interplay between person and device and among people using devices remains poorly understood both empirically and in terms of design methods and results (Abowd et al. 2000). The aim of the Interactive Technologies theme is to leverage and extend Canadian design research in new technologies, new design and creative methods, and new modes of evaluation for human experience.

The new interactive technologies can invoke all human senses and integrate across time to create new human experience (Abowd et al. 2002).. Design processes that fully consider the richness of this experience are essential (Beyer and Holtzblatt, 1998, Winograd 1997). Establishing such processes requires both empirical research on how people use interactive systems (Louridas 1999) and the development and evaluation of design methods and systems (Consolvo and Walker 2003, Sanders 2002). The theme’s focus is on wearable and ubiquitous computing technology as this domain reveals both a rich range of interactive possibilities and applies in many areas such as health, wellness, sports, entertainment, and culture ( Starner 2001 & 2002, Bell 1997). The theme has the objectives of (1) sharing research results with receptor communities; (2) defining new strategic research projects in partnership with receptor communities; and (3) sharing its results in human experience modeling across the network’s other themes.

The core researchers and receptors of this theme have collaborated and continue to collaborate (funded by SSHRC, NSERC, Canadian Heritage, Canarie Inc., NSF and industry). This allows us to leverage the past research outcomes such as prototyped technologies, new design methods and evaluation results with a broader research and industry community. Through the theme events we will identify the key application issues raised by receptor communities and relate these to current and future research goals and actions. This will lead to a multi-sector strategy for sharing of knowledge and training. This strategy will develop through the project’s workshops, dissemination fora, graduate student mobility and research methodology transfer. It will provide the basis for developing a long-term multi- sector research strategy. A major impact will be a cohort of new highly qualified personnel who understand both real need and rigorous method.


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