O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference - March 3-6, 2006 - San Diego, CA
Conference Coverage


Reading Rooms: The Design of Immersive Social Media Spaces

Maribeth Back, Senior Research Scientist, FXPAL(Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Laboratory)

Date: Tuesday, March 07
Time: 5:30pm - 6:15pm
Location: Elizabeth Ballroom C

Reading is one of our oldest technologies; we continually recreate it as one of our newest. Reading is at the core of our technological society, more vital than computers, telephones, or the automobile. It is central to our social, legal, cultural, and economic systems. Reading impacts each one of us personally, every day of our lives.

We read not only text, but context. The way the words are presented changes their meaning. The form of a reading device affects the way the people understand its content: magazines, books, newspapers, and the Web all have different "voices" and ways of presenting information. The company in which we read and how our co-readers give voice—in person, via SMS, via blog comments—creates a rich, immersive atmosphere for reading.

How can we make sense of the rich data environment in which we live our daily lives? How can socially and cognitively ept reading technologies improve learning, or help people with reading difficulties? How does the increasingly sophisticated remix culture impact authoring for immersive social text? Er, what "is" immersive social text...

Several interactive devices that offer new models for combined personal/social reading will be shown: the Listen Reader, which combines the richness of movie soundtracks with the canonical pleasures of the printed paper page; Speeder Reader, which offers a powerful interaction metaphor for the control of dynamic (RSVP) text; and Walk-In Comix, a physically immersive reading environment.


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