Threshold devices: looking out from the home

Threshold devices present information gathered from the home's surroundings to give new views on the domestic situation. We built two prototypes of different threshold devices and studied them in field trials with participant households. The Local Barometer displays online text and images related to the home's locality depending on the local wind conditions to give an impression of the sociocultural surroundings. The Plane Tracker tracks aircraft passing overhead and imagines their flights onscreen to resource an understanding of the home's global links. Our studies indicated that the experiences they provided were compelling, that participants could and did interpret the devices in various ways, that their form designs were appropriate for domestic environments, that using ready-made information contributed to the richness of the experiences, and that situating the information they provided with respect to the home and its locality was important for the ways people engaged with them.

PDF file

In  Proceeding of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Florence, Italy, April 5-10, 2008

Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
Copyright © 2008 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept, ACM Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or The definitive version of this paper can be found at ACM’s Digital Library --


> Publications > Threshold devices: looking out from the home