Chris Greenhalgh, update in progress...2014-04-08
I am interested in:
Most of my projects combine (to varying extents) software development, interaction design and user studies. Here are some project ideas; I'm happy to discuss your own proposals.
The OpenSharingToolkit is a project which I have started to create a set of tools to make mobile phones and tablets (especially Android ones) more useful for everyday sharing of content, information and resources. The first development target has been to create a "kiosk"-type device using an Android tablet (opensharingtoolkit-kiosk), initially for distributing selected content on and off the Internet.
The goal of this project is to identify, prototype and evaluate
content forms that will provide a great experience on a mobile phone or
tablet. It can be extended to include the creation of suitable
authoring tools. eBook readers provide good support for simple reading,
but will little or no interactivity. Websites are not available
offline. Apps are complex to develop and require access to trusted
internet servers (i.e. the app store) to download. Can you come up with
new "genres" of downloadable content, which are relatively easy to
author but also provide interactivity and engagement?
Most multi-user mobile games require a mobile internet connection to
a server on the Internet (or "in the cloud"). What if you could run the
server directly on your phone or tablet? Control would literally be in
the palm of your hand. With contemporary smart phones you can run a
range of server technologies directly on a phone or tablet (e.g.
node.js), and other player's devices can connect to it directly over
WiFi (hotspot or peer to peer). But how does this change the way that
games and experiences should "work"? What kinds of game play make sense
in this deployment scenario? What interaction challenges and
opportunities does it create? The goal of this project is to explore
some of these issues by designing, building and testing some
phone-as-server games. (a lot of the fiddly low-level work to make the
server(s) work on Android has been done, but good development skills
are probably still a "must")
Creating applications and sites that use maps on mobile devices is relative simple when you have a good Internet connection. But when you don't then a range of more specialist services are required. The goal of this project is to add off-Internet support for maps to the OpenSharingToolkit kiosk. Initially this would be for viewing pre-cached map data, but ideally would extend to include authoring and updating maps without an Internet connection.
In any given location many of the people present will have their a
smart or tablet with them, in addition to the other devices and
displays that may be present. The goal of this project is design, build
and test a system for authoring and showing content that is
synchronized across several nearby devices (e.g. mobile phones and
tablets). There are lots of existing tools and applications for
creating content to show on a single screen (e.g. Powerpoint, Flash),
but the goal here is to make it relatively easy to specialise content
to work across more than one screen at the same time. For example, each
device might provide a particular perspective on the content. Content
could be relatively passive (like a presentation) or interactive (like
a simulation or game). One option for the underlying technology would
be node.js on Android.
A range of small embeddable computers are now widely available (e.g. raspberry pi, cubieboard). These can be set up to run a range of embedded services and be accessed over a local WiFi connection. But they often have no directly connected display. The goal of this project is design, prototype and evaluate different means of managing, discovering and interacting with this kind of "invisible" service within a specific physical location.