Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Tam, D., MacLean, K., McGrenere, J. and Kuchenbecker, K. J. “The Design and Field Observation of a Haptic Notification System for Timing Awareness During Oral Presentations,” in Proc. of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '13), Paris, FR, pp. 1689-1698, 2013.
To moderate oral presentations a chair must manage time, and communicate time parameters to speakers through a variety of means. But speakers often miss time cues, chairs cannot confirm their receipt, and the broken dialogue can be a sideshow for the audience. We developed HaNS, a wireless wrist-worn chair-speaker Haptic Notification System that delivers tactile cues for time-managing oral presentations, and performed field observations at university research seminars and two mid-sized academic conferences (input from 66 speakers, 21 chairs, and 65 audience members). Results indicate that HaNS can improve a user's awareness of time, facilitate chair-speaker coordination, and reduce distraction of speaker and audience through its private communication channel. Eliminating overruns will require improvement in speaker 'internal' control, which our results suggest HaNS can also support given practice. We conclude with design guidelines for both conference-deployed and personal timing tools, using touch or another notification modality.
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