Enhancing privacy in public spaces through crossmodal displays

Han Cao, Patrick Olivier, Daniel Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The authors introduce the notion of a crossmodal display as a proposal for enhancing the privacy of public information displays. The selection of appropriate display technology and interaction techniques relies on an understanding of the public-private nature of information and the spaces from which it is accessed. The crossmodal display framework supports multiple users simultaneously accessing information that contains public and personal elements. Crossmodal displays are multiuser interfaces that facilitate the efficient public access of personalized information, while maintaining the anonymity of each user in physical public spaces. Based on psychological theories of crossmodal attention that characterize human capabilities for matching information received through different modalities, the framework takes advantage of public displays and mobile devices through the use of peripheral cues and allows information personalization in public space. Two example systems are presented, in the first individuals access situated ambient displays of directions to destinations, and in the second a structured combination of cues is used to provide access to information board displays. The configuration and implications for privacy of both systems is introduced and analyzed within the wider context of access to public information displays in pervasive computing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-102
    Number of pages16
    JournalSocial Science Computer Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


    • Crossmodal displays
    • Pervasive computing
    • Privacy
    • Public displays
    • Trust

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