With the significant price drops of large LCD panels, public displays are increasingly dominating the urban landscape. It is not hard to imagine that in the near future, public displays will shift from showing predefined still images or videos to becoming more interactive and highly personalized. By providing custom content to individual passers-by such as upcoming bus schedules, relevant news items, and even personalized messages (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ posts), public displays may increase their utility and become more appreciated in our environment. However, showing such a contextualized and personalized content increases privacy concerns and may impact the use of public displays.
The main goal of this project is to explore, uncover, and understand personalization needs of potential and actual users of public displays. The project will start with an online survey/questionnaire for assessing current understanding of personalization needs of public displays in a university environment. Following the initial survey, the student will conduct in-depth interviews with the student community members using snow-ball sampling method or conduct interviews next to the displays at the point of interaction. The main task is to identify different “work roles” of the community members and uncover their information needs and technologies used while “on the go” on-campus. The initial survey and in-depth interviews will be followed by an extensive data analysis looking into personalization needs and concerns of the display users and understanding what technologies are used, when, and how to satisfy the information needs on-campus. A possibility to strengthen the data analysis would be to conduct a second set of interviews after installation and initial use of implicit personalization extensions into the existing display system. These personalization extensions will allow users to personalize display applications and their content using a mobile application called “Tacita”.
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