by Nic Marquardt (UCLIC) and Saul Greenberg (University of Calgary)
In the everyday world, much of what we do as social beings is dictated by how we perceive and manage our interpersonal space. This is called proxemics. At its simplest, people naturally correlate physical distance to social distance. We believe that people's expectations of proxemics can be exploited in interaction design to mediate their interactions with devices (phones, tablets, computers, appliances, large displays) contained within a small ubiquitous computing ecology. Just as people expect increasing engagement and intimacy as they approach others, so should they naturally expect increasing connectivity and interaction possibilities as they bring themselves and their devices in close proximity to one another. This is called Proxemic Interactions. This book concerns the design of proxemic interactions within such future proxemic-aware ecologies. It imagines a world of devices that have fine-grained knowledge of nearby people and other devices—how they move into range, their precise distance, their identity, and even their orientation—and how such knowledge can be exploited to design interaction techniques.