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Issue No.12 - December (2004 vol.37)
pp: 4
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Mikael Lindvall, Dirk Muthig, Aldo Dagnino, Christina Wallin, Michael Stupperich, David Kiefer, John May, and Tuomo Kähkönen
Developers need evidence that a new technology works in a certain context before they promote and deploy it on a larger scale. This need looms greater in large organizations because of their complexity and the need to integrate new technologies and processes with existing ones.
To further evaluate agile methods and their underlying software development practices, several Software Experience Center member companies initiated a series of activities to discover if agile practices match their organizations' needs. Based on the experiences of these organizations, researchers concluded that agile practices match the needs of large organizations, but integrating new practices with existing processes and quality systems that govern the conduct of software development requires further tailoring. The challenge here lies not in applying agile practices to a project, but in efficiently integrating the agile project into its environment.
Brad A. Myers, Jeffrey Nichols, Jacob O. Wobbrock, and Robert C. Miller
Many appliances already communicate wirelessly, and the smart homes of the future will have ubiquitous embedded computation. Unfortunately, many computerized features are more of a hindrance than a convenience because their user interfaces are often too complex to intuitively understand.
In 1997, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute and their colleagues launched the Pebbles project to determine whether a handheld device, such as a personal digital assistant or cell phone, could serve as a simpler, more effective remote control. As part of the project, they have been studying the simultaneous use of multiple devices. They have created more than 30 applications to explore novel ways users can apply handhelds as wireless remote controls in offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, homes, factories, and military command posts.
Thorsten Prante, Norbert A. Streitz, and Peter Tandler
When engaging in brainstorming, strategic planning, and decision making, many people still use traditional media such as felt pens on whiteboards. Apparently, interacting with real physical objects feels easier than operating and interacting with computer monitors in these situations. Unfortunately, the information generated during such meetings cannot be captured immediately for digital postprocessing and can easily be lost altogether.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute in Darmstadt seek to design environments that combine the affordances of real objects with computer-based support's potential in the virtual world. This combination generates hybrid worlds that have significant consequences for the design of human-computer interaction.
Bill N. Schilit and Uttam Sengupta
Although getting notebook computers, cell phones, PDAs, and similar devices to work together can be frustrating today, these and other digital devices will eventually work in concert, like an ensemble of musicians that achieves a total effect greater than that of its individual performers.
Some claim that all personal devices will disappear except for full-featured cell phones, which already have integrated cameras, PDAs, GPS tracking, and music players. In a future built around one device, some may think ensemble computing is a red herring.
Although some capabilities will merge into adjacent form factors, such as personal information management merging into cell phones, other combinations will find a steady state. Familiar ensembles such as the PC workspace are rapidly giving way to personalized mobile ensembles that rely heavily on portable devices and a user-centric model of communication and media engagement.
Chandra Narayanaswami and M.T. Raghunath
Despite the increasing image resolution, storage capacity, and wireless connectivity of cellular camera phones, human preferences dictate their physical size, which essentially limits the integrated display's size. Although immediately viewing pictures on the integrated display is a valuable feature, it can show only a limited amount of detail.
To address this limitation, one futuristic scenario foresees mobile computers establishing symbiotic relationships with stationary devices in the environment to offer users a combination of both systems' best attributes: large, easy-to-read, high-quality displays and content personalization through mobile computers.
Digital cameras with short- and long-range wireless communication capabilities and large storage capacities are thus poised to change the way we capture, view, and use digital images.
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