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Exploiting the Cognitive and Social Benefits of Physically Large Displays

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Doctoral thesis

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There exists an emerging trend in the workplace towards multiple display systems. Within these workplaces, large wall-sized displays are becoming prevalent. Although researchers have articulated qualitative benefits of large displays, little has been done to systematically quantify and exploit these benefits. My work is composed of three distinct components, each contributing to an improved understanding of physically large displays. First, I isolate and study specific cognitive benefits unique to large displays. I present results from a series of experiments suggesting that large displays immerse users more within virtual environments and bias them into adopting egocentric strategies when performing spatial tasks. These strategies allow users to perform tasks such as 3D navigation and mental map formation more effectively on large displays than on smaller ones, even when viewed at constant visual angles. Second, I explore social affordances offered by large displays and describe tools that I have developed to exploit these affordances. Recognizing the potential of large displays for facilitating co-located collaboration, I have developed WinCuts, an interaction technique that allows multiple users, each with their own personal computing devices, to simultaneously place and arrange information on a large shared display. In separate work, I explore the issue of privacy on large displays. Using a novel application of an implicit memory priming paradigm, I show that people are more likely to read someone elses private content on large displays than on smaller ones, even with constant visual angles and legibility. Finally, I explore some of the pragmatic issues surrounding the integration of large displays into our workspaces. I describe Preemptive Shadows, a system that uses infrared light and computer vision to eliminate blinding light cast onto an observer standing in front of a projector.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
  • Computer Hardware
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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