Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Interactive Systems Architectures

August 31st, 2010 / in workshop reports / by Erwin Gianchandani

Thirty researchers met August 11-13 to discuss the future of interactive systems. This workshop was sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium, ACM/SIGCHI and Canada’s GRAND initiative. The interactive systems architecture is the foundation of what is feasible when people interact with computing technologies. An interactive architecture creates an ecosystem within which diverse user experiences can be developed. UNIX introduced the idea that software modules could be interactively “piped” together. X-Windows laid the foundation of distributed interaction. The Macintosh put graphical interaction in the hands of the masses and the Web distributed interaction around the world.

The researchers gathered at this workshop in Jackson, WY, envision a world where information and interaction readily flows from person to person and device to device with few walls or barriers. The interaction of the future must be highly adapted to the diverse needs and desires of individuals ranging from science and technology experts to the most marginalized members of society. In a world of multi-terabyte smart phones, interaction can adapt to the physical world in which we live. Such personal computing can simultaneously explore thousands of possibilities while searching for the solution that is best for each individual. Interactive systems can exploit extended histories of personal interactions to identify the right solution for each person. In this world groups of collaborators form and dissolve in unstructured ways that reflect social and physical situations rather than being siloed from each other based on server architectures.

With great computational leverage comes the power to do the wrong thing with huge consequences. With freely flowing information come potential losses of security and privacy. Powerful yet safe forms of interaction is less a mathematical problem than a social, human and interactive one. Designing powerful and effective yet safe interactive ecosystems is fundamental to the future of computing.

The Interactive Technologies Workshops continue September 23-25 in Burbank, CA (Persuasive Experiences), and October 25-27 in Chicago (Ultra-large-scale Interaction).

(Contributed by Dan Olsen, Jr., Brigham Young University)

Interactive Systems Architectures

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