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CFP: Workshop: Ambient Information Systems (AIS2008)

At Ubicomp 2008 ( Sunday, September 21, 2008, COEX, Seoul, South Korea

Short work-in-progress papers (up to 4 pages), Long papers (up to 10 pages) Demonstrators, designs, and artwork

Submissions due: Jun 27th 2008 by 11:59pm PST



Ambient Information Systems describe a large set of applications that publish information in a highly non-intrusive manner, following on from Mark Weiser’s concept of calm technology. This form of information delivery has manifested in several different implementations, but the overall theme revolves around how best to embed information into our surroundings.

Building on the success of our last workshop at Pervasive 2007, we will bring together researchers working in the areas of ambient displays, peripheral displays, slow technology, glanceable displays, and calm technology, to discuss and collaborate on developing new design approaches for creating ambient information systems. We are calling for paper submissions describing early-stage and mature research on Ambient Information Systems and for demonstrators across the spectrum from technology to art and design.


The current research in pervasive and ubiquitous computing suggests a future in which we are surrounded by innumerable information sources, all competing for our attention. These information sources may manifest as both novel devices and as devices embedded in common objects, such as refrigerators, automobiles, toys, furniture, clothes, and even our own bodies.

While this vision of the future has prompted great advancements in context-aware computing, wireless connectivity, multi-sensor platforms, smart materials, and location-tracking technologies, there is a concern that this proliferation of technology will increasingly overwhelm us with information. Our belief is that information should move seamlessly between the periphery and the center of one’s attention, and that good technology is highly transparent. We see ambient information systems as a way to support these ideas.

Some work has already been done to explore the value ambient information systems (e.g., AmbientDevices’ Stock Orb, Koert van Mensvoort’s Datafountain, Jafarinami et al.’s Breakaway, Mynatt et al.’s Audio Aura and Digital Family Portrait, and Mankoff et al.’s Daylight Display and BusMobile). However, ambient information systems research is fragmented, and suffering from a lack of consensus on terminology, methodology, plausibility, and general agreement on how to think about such technologies. We see this workshop as an opportunity for invited participants to explore and discuss such issues.


The workshop will be used as an opportunity to work as a group to identify problems in the design, development, and evaluation of AIS and to derive fundamental challenges of AIS research. Attendees should develop a deeper understanding of the challenges that need to be addressed and some potential solutions to the problems that have been encountered by others. The group discussions throughout the workshop will also be used to encourage new collaborations within the community.

We will publish the accepted submissions and slides on the workshop’s website upon receiving consent from the authors. The publication of submissions to the website will not be considered official publications and therefore will not prohibit attendees from developing their work further and publishing it elsewhere. This will be made clear on the website and on the online proceedings. After the workshop, the organizers will contact relevant journals with the goal of producing a special issue on ambient information systems containing extended versions of the best papers from this workshop. The organizers will also put together a document outlining the grand challenges for the field of ambient information systems with a view to publishing either in the special issue or as a stand-alone journal publication.


The workshop topics are for the most part listed as a set of questions:

  * How are ambient information systems distinct from other
    information technologies?
  * What are examples of useful heuristics, frameworks, taxonomies, or
    design principles for the implementation of ambient information?
  * Should Ambient Information Systems move beyond the traditional
    scope of vision; is there merit in Ambient Noise, Ambient Smells,
    Tactile Ambience, and Ambient Taste?
  * How much ambient information can one perceive and comprehend?
  * What, if any, are the appropriate interaction methods for these
    information devices?
  * Where should ambient systems be placed to improve their chances of
    being used, without becoming distracting or annoying?
  * What sorts of information are best conveyed by an ambient display?
  * What are the appropriate methods for evaluating ambient
    information systems, particularly those that are not necessarily
  * How do we describe the values of these particular technologies in
    our everyday lives?
  * How can we make use of existing technologies? (e.g. smart
    materials, wearable systems, etc.)
  * What knowledge from other domains should we apply such systems?
    (e.g. art, cognitive science, design, psychology, sociology)

We are also particularly interested to hear about ambient information systems in the following areas:

  * Resource Consumption, e.g., power, heat, water, food, and for
    shared or personal resources)
  * Work and workload “progress” (eg., explicitly or implicitly
    gathered data, or those based on a workflow)

If you have any topics you’d like to suggest please comment on the topics list on the website:


The workshop format will consist of a short presentation by each participant, which should conclude with a problem statement describing a possible grand challenge for research on ambient information systems. These problem statements will be ordered, and the participants will decide which are most relevant to future research on ambient information systems. We will then break out into groups and discuss strategies for addressing the selected topics.


We invite submissions including descriptions of works in progress, research contributions, position statements, demonstrations, demos, and vision papers. We are looking for a wide range of submissions this year. Papers should be whatever length is most appropriate for the presented idea, but we ask that it be no longer than 10 pages in the ACM SIGCHI Proceedings format ( Each submission must conclude with a specific question regarding issues faced conducting research in this domain.

Please send you submission in PDF format to: <>


Submissions due: Jun 27th 2008 by 11:59pm PST Acceptance notifications by: Jul 25th 2007


William R. Hazlewood ( <>) School of Informatics, Indiana University @ Bloomington

Lorcan Coyle ( <>) Systems Research Group, University College Dublin

Youn-kyung Lim ( <>) Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Zach Pousman ( <>) Georgia Institute of Technology

INVITED PROGRAM COMMITTEE (subject to additions)[edit]

Frank Bentley, Motorola Labs, USA Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie Mellon University, USA Steve Neely, University College Dublin, Ireland Aaron Quigley, University College Dublin, Ireland Erik Stolterman, Indiana University, USA Martin Tomitsch, Vienna University of Technology Andrew Vande Moere, University of Sydney, Australia