Project Portfolio

Dan Maynes Aminzade

Research

Actuated Workbench
Audience Interaction
Hover
You're in Control
Edible User Interfaces
Fuzzmail
KC-135
OSCAR

Schools

Stanford
MIT
Carnegie Mellon

Industry

MERL
Microsoft
Adobe
Disney Imagineering

Fun

Unsafe Search
Music Visualization
Mobot
PantsCam
Taboo Database
Pointillism
Painting
WebAmp

Zany

Tacos
SETI Joke
Pepsi Database
Love Calculator

Hacks

AdBall
RCA Lyra
Stone Cold

Humor

SURG Proposals
Female Pop Singers
Satan Baby
Wesley Willis

Hover

Hover Technical Sketch, presented at SIGGRAPH 2002 in San Antonio, Texas.

Hover video (7.3 MB).

Hover Animation (requires Flash player).

Hover is a device that enhances remote telecommunication by providing a sense of the activity and presence of remote users. The motion of a remote persona is manifested as the playful movements of a ball floating in midair. Hover is both a communication medium and an aesthetic object.

 




Face-to-face dialogue can be more engaging than telephone conversation because of the added elements of gesture, touch, and body language. Videoconferencing attempts to provide these missing elements, but does so at the cost of high bandwidth, expensive equipment, and heightened demands on the attention of the user. Hover provides a low-cost, low-bandwidth, less distracting solution that enhances the experience of telephone conversations with family and friends. It provides visual awareness of remote persons in the form of an abstract physical representation with several affordances: a real-time indication of the level of physical activity of the remote person; the ability to personalize the representations of the remote persons in a way that makes sense to the user; and the ability to grasp and interact with a “surrogate” representing the remote person. Hover is not intended to convey the meaning of gestures in a conversation, but rather to convey a sense of presence of the remote person in a captivating and poetic fashion. We were inspired by other works that used physical objects to communicate, to show activity or presence, or to support intimacy.

Hover uses technology that can easily operate in a home or office environment. It is connected to a computer and telephone or an Internet phone. The user places multicolored balls representing persons with whom she frequently communicates (e.g. family and friends) on a stand on the Hover platform. She can personalize the identity of the balls by painting different colors and patterns on them.