CHI 2008 Workshop – Urban Mixed Realities: Technologies, Theories and Frontiers

We would like to welcome you to the Urban Mixed Realities workshop which is being hosted as part of CHI 2008 in the stunning city of Florence. In common with CHI, this workshop embraces the themes of art, science and balance from the perspective of urban mixed realities and brings together researchers, practitioners and students from a range of backgrounds and countries.

Urban mixed reality environments encompass a range of user experiences from games through to systems which help people uncover the invisible elements of the city. They also range from single user industrial applications through to multi-user shared experiences which utilise anything from mobile phones through to large multi-touch displays. However one aspect remains common across all these experiences in that they are inherently linked to the underlying aspects of the city, and in doing so rely as much on the advanced technologies as they do on the diversity of city life.

In common with the field of mixed reality this workshop is very much a mesh of prior and new work, with classic HCI research through to CSCW, virtual environments, mobile spatial interaction, pervasive games and art all playing a part. However it was felt that the diverse array of user experience issues within urban mixed realities represented a real challenge and one which (as the field is growing in popularity) required a specific workshop. One which would allow us to explore the wide range of aspects such as:  meshing reality with unreality; understanding constructive perception and social action; presence; group behaviours and co-location; materiality vs immateriality and meaning making.

All papers and posters selected for presentation in the workshop were reviewed by a team of experts, and in all cases had to pass a quality threshold. We received three times more submissions for presentation than we could accept so in the end only chose the nine best papers, this resulted in us asking many people to present their work as a poster. We have also initiated a special edition of the “Psychology Journal” which will cover much of the work presented today. The precise details of how to submit to the journal will be announced after the workshop.

We would like to thank you for preparing and presenting your work.

Kind regards,

The Urban Mixed Realities Workshop Organising Committee