HxI: A national research initiative in ICT-Augmented Human Interactivity

Rudi Vernik1,2, Belinda Kellar1, Julien Epps1,3, Claudia Schremmer1,4
1
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HxI Initiative – Project [braccetto]

DSTO, West Avenue, Edinburgh SA 5111 Australia National ICT Australia, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh NSW 1430 Australia 4 CSIRO ICT Centre, Cnr Pembroke & Vimiera Roads, Marsfield NSW 2122 Australia
3

rudi.vernik@dsto.defence.gov.au, belinda.kellar@nicta.com.au, julien.epps@nicta.com.au, claudia.schremmer@csiro.au

Abstract
Three of Australia’s publicly funded research organisations (CSIRO, DSTO and NICTA) have recently joined forces to lead a new national initiative in ICTAugmented Human Interactivity. The HxI Initiative focuses on the “x” factor of Human Interactivity, where the effective application of ICT itself is used to augment human cognitive and social abilities, often seen as the limiting factor in highly networked organisations and societies. This paper describes the context, scope, and vision for the initiative. A reference model has been developed to help define the scientific and technical challenges to be addressed and to support a multidisciplinary and cross-organisational program of research. This reference model is discussed, along with the approach and scientific challenges that have been devised for HxI projects such as Braccetto, the first and foundational project of the initiative . Keywords: Human interactivity, collaboration, creative teamwork. distributed intense

than simply providing more information at an employee’s finger tips. The HxI Initiative was initiated by the National ICT Roundtable, a body formed in response to the recommendations of the Australian Government’s Framework for the Future report (DCITA, 2003). This report highlighted the need to focus on collaborative national initiatives that address some of these future challenges and opportunities facing Australia. The Roundtable comprises members of the Publicly Funded ICT Research Organisations, University representatives, and representation from the Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs). Through a commissioned report, the Roundtable identified the area of ICT-enabled Human Interaction as an area requiring deep investigation. This report noted that related research areas in Australia which focused on the inter-relationships between people and ICT, such as Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Ubiquitous Computing, Interaction Design and Information Visualisation, were fragmented, and on a world scale Australia was seen as a minor player. The report suggested that researchers engaged in these areas (i.e., computer scientists, social scientists, designers, engineers, and artists) dwelt in separate communities and seldom mixed. However, the researchers were seen to have different but related visions of how to address the dream of ubiquitous computing, i.e. where ICT moves into the background of human activity. The HxI Initiative was established to focus on a number of identified limitations within the national research community: a lack of leadership, uncoordinated activities, a lack of scale, little research infrastructure and a limited focus on exploitation and commercialisation. The term ‘HxI’ was coined to describe these trends towards ubiquity and human experience. The “x” in the term ‘HxI’ represents research from a number of disciplines that collectively enhance the ability of humans to interact with information, with each other, and with their environments through the effective application of ICT. This defines the focus and context for the HxI Initiative which has been designed to support a number of related collaborative projects. The development of a distributed cross-organisational and multi-project program of research, such as that envisaged for the HxI Initiative, poses significant challenges in

1

Introduction

The rapid pace of change in business environments over the last 10 years has been enabled by the increasing use of information and communication technology. This has resulted in significant challenges for those involved in highly networked organisations. One challenge for the future will be addressing the many human factors that need to be considered in this changing environment. A New York Times article titled “Meet the Life Hackers” (Thompson, 2005) suggests that “Information is no longer a scarce resource – attention is!” As computers become more ubiquitous in the workplace, multi-tasking has become paramount in business as time and productivity drivers have moved the computer into the hub of almost every conceivable activity. Dealing with copious amounts of information in net-enabled organisations is itself a major challenge, and there is a greater emphasis on interactions between people and providing approaches to enable effective teamwork rather

Copyright © 2007, CSIRO, DSTO, NICTA. Reproduction for not-for profit purposes permitted provided this text is included.

itself. Issues to be addressed include providing a common vision and frame of reference for the multi-disciplinary teams engaged in the research, providing a common research infrastructure to support the geographically distributed teams, and providing the cultural basis for undertaking the work. This paper introduces a reference model which has been developed to provide the context for the research thrusts, science challenges and research activities of the HxI Initiative and its projects. It provides a common framework to support effective collaboration between organisations and between multi-disciplinary teams engaged in coordinated research activities. The paper is structured as follows: Section 2 discusses the research context and drivers for the HxI Initiative, thereby providing the background for the HxI Reference Model which is described in Section 3. Section 4 then describes the Braccetto project and provides an example of how the HxI Reference Model can be used to define and develop cross-organisational and multi-disciplinary projects.

the most effective, although costly, means of supporting creative teamwork activities.

2.2

Related Science and Technology

The HxI Initiative science and technology program under development is intended to support humans in their interactions with machines, with their environments, with information, and between each other. The work includes the development of innovative interaction technologies, novel interactive visualisation approaches, ubiquitous computing environments, and integrated telepresence for cooperative work. This section provides an overview of some of these aspects, setting the context for the scope, focus and challenges of the HxI Initiative. Ubiquitous computing relates to a future where computers become embedded in our natural movements and interactions with our environments, both physical and social. In his seminal article on “The Computer of the 21st Century”, Weiser (1991) described a future where computers will become largely invisible to users, being “woven into the backdrop of natural human interactions”. A community of researchers in this area has been focusing their attention on the augmentation of physical collaborative workspaces such as meeting rooms. Examples of research initiatives in this area include Interactive Workspaces (Johanson et al., 2002), iLand (Streitz et al., 1999), Intelligent Room (Coen et al., 1999), and Active Spaces (Cerqueira et al., 2001). Much of the research has focused on the infrastructure and human interfaces required for these types of environments. Related research is being undertaken into the processes and facilities to support extreme (or intense) collaboration within work environments, often referred to as project or war rooms (Covi et al., 1998). Mark (Mark, 2002) describes extreme collaboration as “Working within an electronic and social environment that maximizes communication and information flow.” Her study of a 16-person team that designs space missions for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab showed that the amount of time required to create a space mission design was reduced from 3-6 months to about 9 hours by switching to a technologically rich “war room” environment. In Australia, the LiveSpaces Project (Vernik et al., 2003), is undertaking research into how these types of workspaces can be used individually and in combinations to facilitate intense group activities such as time-critical decision making, analysis, and planning. This research programme is led by DSTO, with contributions from other research organisations including the University of South Australia, and previously with the CRC for Enterprise Distributed Systems Technology (DSTC). Mixed Presence Groupware (Tang et al., 2004) has been a recent new research focus for the CSCW community, in which both single display groupware and shared display groupware share a visual workspace in a synchronous manner. This approach allows support of multiple distributed teams, whose members each control their own input devices to edit and annotate content in a shared application. Early implementations of MPG, such as MPGSketch (Tang et al., 2004) have uncovered some of the challenges in remote collaboration between teams,

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Research Context and Drivers

This section provides an overview of some of the economic and business factors that may drive future change and describes areas of science and technology that could perpetuate and support these changes. We conclude this section by discussing how these drivers and characteristics shape the challenges for the HxI Initiative in terms of the “x” factor of human interactivity.

2.1

Economic and Business Factors

The HxI Initiative focuses on addressing many of the challenges facing business and organisations into the future. The advent of global networks, workforce virtualisation and increasing information overload require new tools and processes. Gloria Mark (Mark et al., 2003) describes the need to merge communication technologies with information-sharing technologies to create a synchronous environment for collaboration to support these new economic and business drivers. Dawson (Dawson, 2005) recognises the importance of face-to-face human interactions to the quality of knowledge work stating that “despite technological advancements that allow people to telecommute and work in different locations, organisations are effective chiefly because people who work closely together have the opportunity for rich interaction and learning on an ongoing and often informal basis.” This is reiterated by Ware (Ware, 2003) who suggests that “Despite the hype and the growing belief that the internet and information technology generally have meant the ‘death of distance’, managing distributed work and a distributed workforce remains incredibly difficult”. Technologies such as teleconferencing, email, WebEx, and Instant Messenger assist in coordinating action between teams, but they still fall short on fostering effective social relations. This is evidenced by the continuing growth in air travel for business purposes. In 2006, physical co-location through airline travel is still

for example disparities between the relative perceived presence of remote and co-located users. Recent work in Australia, conducted by NICTA and UniSA (Hutterer et al., 2006) suggests that by supporting legacy applications, MPG can be realised as a powerful and generic tool for simultaneous collaboration. MPG implicitly links the ‘task space’ (i.e. the shared artefact, e.g. a document) with the ‘person space’ (i.e. the video presence) as defined by Buxton (1992). It is believed that the integration of the task space the form of mixed presence groupware, the person space in the form high quality telepresence, ubiquitous computing environments for session coordination, and new awareness tools that bridge the task and person spaces, represents a novel and compelling research area for simultaneous distributed remote collaboration between teams. Advanced Telepresence has been seen as an important enabler of distributed collaboration. Olson and Olson ( 2000) suggested in an elaborate study of distance communication that ”There are several broad reasons why distance will persist as an important element of human experience. […] Our findings in these settings fall into two categories: behaviour that will change for the better when technology achieves certain qualities we think are possible in the next 20 years, and behaviour that will never change.” In Australia, the CSIRO’s Telepresence team has been developing and experimenting with the Virtual Tearoom: a high-quality telecollaboration platform which enables high-quality audio and video communication with integrated services over a distance. The team is addressing a number of research challenges, including communications protocols and quality of service issues. In networked group communication, data needs to be replicated for each participant in a multipoint connection. The Virtual Tearoom's signalling component allows synchronised audio and video (i.e., lip-synchronicity) whilst its underlying multicast transmission allows for multipoint connectivity without the need for a multipoint control unit. A recent development by HP and Dreamworks called Halo (Sandow, 2006) provides some interesting insights into the challenges of providing telepresence capabilities that augment human interaction abilities. Halo studios are purpose-built videoconferencing rooms, designed with a careful choice of the room dimensions and layout, reverberation, lighting, and audio. The display of remote participants in a meeting is life-size, the furniture in all locations is identical and arranged around the videoconferencing screen in a way that the remote locations form an integral part of the physical room. The Age (The Age, 2005) commented on the Halo project that …“HP's Halo Collaboration Studio offers a nearly immersive environment where people can see each other, talk and collaborate remotely as if they were in the same room”. This suggests that some collaboration systems are at the verge of changing human collaborative activities as predicted. However, Halo demonstrates the fact that technology alone is not the answer - there are important science and technology challenges that to be addressed in supporting the human experience.

2.3

The “x” Factor in Human Interactivity

As discussed in this paper, an emerging trend in ICT is ubiquity where the interface between human and machines is becoming blurred. For example, through new ubiquitous and human-computer interaction approaches such as the use of speech and gesture, people can begin to perceive that they are interacting with the information itself rather than through a machine interface. We refer to this as human-information interaction. Another dimension of human interactivity relates to human-human interaction, the focus of research areas such as CSCW. Other important trends relate to the application of interaction design methods. For example, the success of many human interaction approaches lies in the feelings that people have based on human experience. New research in the areas of participatory design focus on the notion of eX – those elements of human experience which factor into the acceptance and use of technologies and work environments. For example, the success of the HP/Dreamworks Halo environment discussed in Section 2.2 lies in the effective design of the interfaces and the environment. The “x” factor, or human interactivity, of the HxI Initiative is focused on augmenting humans’ interfaces with each other and their environment, as discussed in section 1. This is achieved through the augmentation of underlying human cognitive and social attributes.

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HxI Reference Model

The proposed HxI Reference Model, as depicted in Figure 1, provides the context and a common point of understanding for the HxI research thrusts, science challenges and research activities undertaken jointly between organisations and disciplines.

Figure 1: HxI Reference Model

3.1

Key Dimensions

As shown in Figure 1, the Reference Model has three key dimensions: Capability. Capability defines the means by which users are supported within particular work contexts. This includes new tools, combinations of technologies, work practices, content, and environmental factors such as lighting and furnishings. Work Context. The Work Context describes the setting for teamwork activities. It can be defined in terms of, goals, roles, and artefacts employed by people engaged in a particular work activity. Teamwork Mechanics. These are the underlying cognitive and social aspects that need to be supported for effective teamwork, and include aspects such as communicating, understanding, reasoning, synthesizing, deciding, recording, recalling, and learning. Of particular importance for HxI are the mechanics that support human creativity such as visualization, invention, synthesis, imagination, insight, and problem-solving. Mechanics related to human experience are also important aspects to be explored. The notion of teamwork mechanics is an extension of the concepts first defined by Pinnelle et al (2003) and subsequently defined in terms of Mechanics of Ubiquitous Collaboration in the Orchestrated Evaluation Approach of the AUSPLANS project (Evdokiou et al., 2004). The HxI Reference Model has been designed to support a range of scientific perspectives. For example, in the CSCW area, there is often a technology focus to the work being undertaken. However, individual technologies themselves do not generally provide advantage to people engaged in particular work activities. Often it is a combination of technologies and work practices, together with appropriate access to required information (or content) that enhances a team’s abilities to effectively achieve desired goals. In the HxI Reference Model, the term capability is used to define the technology(s) together with other aspects that unite to provide users with the basis for effective use of the technology. Capabilities need to be considered in terms of their work context when addressing their utility and effectiveness. The work context is a model of the activities/tasks, roles and people that define the work to be done. Ultimately, the use of capabilities within a work context needs to support the underling basis for team working. Teamwork mechanics help focus attention on the impact of introducing new capabilities, provide support for identifying what new capabilities might be required, support evaluation activities by identifying measurable attributes, and provide a basis for considering enhancement activities such as process improvement.

Innovation defines the innovation required to adapt and enhance capability optimally for the work context. Innovation can result in higher effectiveness of team activities through the rapid adaptation of technologies, work environments, work practices, information sources and the like. Studies undertaken by DSTO (Evdokiou et al., 2004) on intense teamwork involving military planning teams as part of the Command TeamNets and AUSPLANS projects have identified that rapid innovation by capability developers and end users is an important element of team effectiveness, particularly when the planning teams are supported by advanced ICT such as ubiquitous computing environments, collaboration tools, and telepresence capabilities. Innovation, in serving to improve capabilities, in turn relies on experimentation on scientific models for fresh insights

Figure 2: HxI Reference Model – Key Enablers Experimentation is identified as a key enabler because of the important role that it plays in the development and evaluation of capabilities within particular work contexts. The term experimentation is used to cover a range of activities including evaluation, laboratory experiments, and ethnography. Experimentation is undertaken in relation to Teamwork Mechanics. Of importance is the relationship between innovation and experimentation within the context of teamwork (Thomke, 2003). Experimentation poses some significant challenges for the types of work contexts and capabilities that are the focus of HxI project research, e.g. intense collaboration for creative teamwork involving combinations of collocated and distributed teams. Some of the challenges relate to the ability to undertake observations across teams involved in distributed collaboration. Moreover, there are challenges in the development and evaluation of new theories of collaborative creative teamwork, new ICT-enabled experimentation approaches based on advanced sensing techniques and new models and storage approaches for ethnographic data. Modelling reflects the importance of developing solid theoretical foundations through the consolidation of knowledge and understanding, often derived through experimentation, into sets of underlying models. A range of models are required to support HxI, including models of teamwork activities, capability models that show the relationship between sets of technologies, work practices, and information resources, ethnographic models that

3.2

Enablers

The reference model defines four key enabling mechanisms, shown as planes in Figure 2: Innovation, Experimentation, Modelling, and Enhancement.

support the fusion of observational data collected by ICT sensors and human analysts, and models of teamwork mechanics. Of central importance for the HxI Initiative are models that support reasoning and models which can be enacted using ICT approaches such as intelligent services. Some of the challenges to be considered for HxI Modelling are: What approaches best support the modelling of teamwork mechanics and activities? How can modelling support the development and validation of theories of distributed creative teamwork? How can capability models be developed and used to capture the relationships between technologies, work practices, and information? How can innovation processes be modelled to help understand and enable team-based innovation of capabilities in relation to particular work contexts? What modelling approaches support the storage, fusion, analysis and use of ethnographic data collected by ICT sensors and human analysts? Enhancement is seen as an enabler of team performance and improvement. It uses of the results of experimentation to augment capabilities in relation to specific work contexts and in terms of particular teamwork mechanics. Of particular importance for the types of teamwork contexts being considered for the HxI Initiative is the rapid feedback of evaluation results. Evaluation results in dynamic creative teamwork situations may only prove useful within the context of the actual activity, while traditional evaluation results produced after months of video analysis may be of limited use to meeting participants. One of the challenges to be addressed by the HxI community is how the knowledge gained from evaluation activities might be captured in executable models that can be used by new types of intelligent services for enhancing teamwork activities. These might include services to support mediation or social protocols for distributed teams, or orchestration services.

A series of multidisciplinary HxI workshops is being undertaken to help define and refine scientific challenges for the HxI Initiative. A recent workshop on “The future of evaluation in HxI” identified a range of scientific challenges that need to be addressed in relation to evaluation approaches (Schremmer et al, 2006). The workshop also proposed a range of models to support future HxI evaluation, including a formative model of evaluation, a Capability Pipeline model, Concurrent Ethnography, a Knowledge-centred evaluation model, a Teamwork Mechanics Focused Engagement model, and an Evaluation Hierarchy model, each yet to be reported. A key theme to emerge from the workshop was the notion of ICT-enabled Experimentation. This was in response to the challenge of undertaking experimentation activities, such as evaluation and ethnographic studies, in dynamic distributed teamwork contexts. This approach employs ICT-based capabilities to support the sensing, fusion, and storing and analysis of observational data. Challenges in this area underpin research in the Braccetto project, which will define, develop and evaluate new capabilities whereby data derived through experimentation provides a basis for new models. In turn, the new executable models will be used to provide rapid feedback to enhance team effectiveness. There are also challenges in understanding the role of design in the innovation and development of capabilities. For example, the success of new capabilities such as the Halo system lies in user experience. The design of future interactive applications and environments poses some interesting challenges, particularly where these capabilities need to engender and support human creativity. For example, we need to find answers to questions such as: What are the underlying mechanisms that need to be considered in the design of interaction capabilities? How can these be accommodated through participatory design? How can these be evaluated? Reference Model parameter Work Context Capability Area Teamwork Mechanics Addressed Braccetto focus intense distributed collaboration for creative teams mixed presence groupware awareness

3.3

Defining Science and Technology Challenges for HxI Projects

The HxI Reference model provides the context for identifying and communicating science and technology challenges in HxI projects. Fundamentally, these challenges of the HxI Initiative focus on how ICT-based capabilities can extend human combined cognitive and social abilities in relation to underlying teamwork mechanics. Many of the challenges are central to the capability dimension while the key enablers are experimentation, modelling, and enhancement. However, some of the major challenges lie at the intersection of these. For example, when defining research thrusts for a project consideration need to be given to the following types of questions: How does innovation play a part in the development and evolution of capabilities? How can a capability be articulated and modelled? How does experimentation support the definition and development of capability? What is the relationship between innovation and experimentation in the definition new capabilities? And, how can the results of experimentation be used to rapidly enhance capability to improve the effectiveness of a team?

Table 1: Braccetto focus areas

4

Project Braccetto

The HxI Braccetto project is the first and foundational project of the HxI Initiative, and draws upon the HxI Reference Model to provide the framework for identifying specific Braccetto science and technology challenges. Table 1 summarises the Braccetto focus areas in terms of the HxI Reference Model. Braccetto undertakes research into how the effective application of ICT in the area of Mixed Presence Groupware can assist teams of co-workers to collaborate more effectively across a distance. Specifically, the project is undertaking research into the principles underlying effective, intense distributed collaboration and is implementing the results

as new capabilities for supporting teams involved in creative activities such as collaborative design, planning, analysis, and decision making. These new approaches will be evaluated against various underlying teamwork mechanics, focusing specifically on enhancing the effectiveness of distributed teams through enhanced awareness. The science and technology challenges and activities for Braccetto are articulated in relation to the HxI Reference Model. Table 2 provides a summary of the Braccetto research challenges, and their inter-relationships. As stated in Section 3.3, many of the major challenges lie at the intersection of the reference model axes. The notations used in the table are: • “R” for Requires • “S” for Supports, and • “P” for Provides.
Challenge Area Capability S&T Activity • MPG Awareness Approaches and Tools • Integrated Telepresence • Braccetto TeamNets • SEA Framework • Awareness Experiments • Living Laboratory • Domain Experimentation • Teamwork Awareness theories and Models • Reference Models and Architecture • Modeling of Ethnographic Stores • Executable Models for Creative Teamwork • Models of Inprocess Innovation • Intelligent Teamwork Services • Teamwork Improvement Processes R Inter-relationship Map
Innov Cap Exp Mod Enh

indication of the skills and support required and provided by the various discipline areas involved in the project. A more detailed view of the requirements is provided by a vertical mapping. For example, for the experimentation requirements the MPG Awareness Approaches and Tools activity can be mapped to specific experimentation activities within the activity area of Awareness Experiments and the use of Domain Experimentation. The following paragraphs provide an overview discussion of the S&T areas and their relationships. However, this is done to provide an overview of the Braccetto project and give examples of the relationships to the reference model; space limitations restrict a more complete discussion of all activities and the reasoning behind the various mappings. The science and technology activities related to Capability include the development of novel MPG capabilities and the development of a national research platform called Braccetto TeamNets. The new MPG capabilities include: novel awareness approaches and tools such as integrated arm shadows (Tang and Minneman, 1991, Tang et al. 2004), more futuristic embodiments of remote collaborators such as field-ofview visualisations derived from real time tracking of user direction of attention; integrated telepresence approaches such as the use of spatial audio, low latency audio codecs and high definition video; and operating system-level multiple independent input device support such as the concepts enumerated by Hutterer et al. (2006). Braccetto TeamNets provides a common research infrastructure to support the innovation, experimentation, modelling and enhancement of future MPG capabilities. A family of systems components is being defined and developed to enable the composition of a range of collaboration systems. These include configurable interactive display units, interaction devices, cameras, and lighting. TeamNets allows the rapid set up of a range of configurations including the use of multiple displays in various orientations and combinations both within collocated and across distributed facilities. A particular challenge involves developing the infrastructure and interaction interfaces to provide ubiquitous access and support for: team information management, telepresence capabilities; coordination with and control across Braccetto systems, applications, and facilities; and ready access to advanced applications in specific domains of interest. A new capability being developed as part of Braccetto TeamNets is a Sensing, Evaluation and Automation (SEA) Framework. This involves the providing support for the acquisition and processing of signals from diverse sensors (e.g. video, audio, interaction, biomedical, human) to both record and summarise desired aspects of live interactive sessions. SEA will support researchers by allowing them to select the parameters to be observed, and then provide summarisation, markup, and analysis facilities. Finally, SEA will be the basis for intelligent enhancement support facilities to assist teams.

P

R

R

R

R S S S S S R

P P P R R R R

R S S P P P R

R S S S S S P

R S S S S S S

Experimentation

Modelling

S S R

S S P

S S R

P R R

S S S

S

P

R

R

S

Enhancement

S S

P P

R R

R R

P S

Table 2: Braccetto Research and Inter-relationships The table is read left to right to identify relationships between challenge areas for particular science and technology (‘S&T’) activities. For example, the development of “MPG Awareness Approaches and Tools” requires Innovation, provides a Capability, requires Experimentation support, requires Modeling and requires Enhancement to support the development of the capability through improvement. This provides an

Experimentation plays a major role in the Braccetto project. A number of experiments will be undertaken to develop and validate theories and models of awareness. For example, planned experiments focus on assessing the effect of distance on perception of remote participants, and how gesture and multiple simultaneous touch input can improve awareness between remote co-workers. New ICT-enable Experimentation approaches based on the use of the SEA framework will be developed. This will support ongoing ‘Live the Vision’ experimentation, in which the HxI projects will themselves provide the basis for experimentation activities. Large scale, realistic domain-based experimentation focusing on teams within the National Security (including Defence) and e-Research areas are planned in Braccetto. Modelling is central to the HxI Initiative. In Braccetto, a number of modelling activities have been defined to: provide the basis for capturing, fusing, and analysing of experimentation results; support the development of foundational theories and knowledge for HxI; and support the development of future capabilities such as intelligent services for teamwork enhancement through the use of executable models. Enhancement activities in Braccetto will deal with improvements that can be made to team awareness through the use of intelligent services, such as social protocol and orchestration services. Work will be undertaken on new Teamwork Improvement Processes based on the use of experimentation results, models and theories developed through the project.

DSTO and NICTA. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of HxI [braccetto] team members including Alex Krumm-Heller, Peter Evdokiou, Bruce Thomas, Masa Takatsuka, Paul Swatman and Peter Eades.

7

References

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5

Conclusion

This paper has provided an overview of the HxI Initiative, a new research program in ICT-augmented human interactivity. In particular, an HxI Reference Model has been proposed to as a framework for defining the HxI scientific and technical challenges in a manner that facilitates the multidisciplinary and cross-organisational program of research. The model defines the context for supporting teamwork activities through capabilities, whilst maintaining a focus on the underlying cognitive and social mechanics of teamwork. The term “capability” has been introduced to focus attention on the means of supporting teamwork through combinations of technology, work practice, content, and environmental factors. The model also defines innovation, experimentation, modelling, and enhancement as key enablers and foci for research activities. The model has been used as the basis for defining, establishing and supporting Project Braccetto, the first project of the initiative. In future work, Braccetto will undertake research into how the effective use of ICT capabilities can assist teams of co-workers to collaborate more effectively across a distance, and in so doing establish the practical validity and implications of the HxI Reference Model.

6

Acknowledgements

The work reported in this paper forms part of the HxI Initiative, a national program of research led by CSIRO,

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