A Communications Medium for the 21st Century : Towards Open Public Display Networks

August 21, 2012


Monday, August 27, 2012
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Room 1132 Harold Frank Hall

HOST: Elizabeth Belding

SPEAKER: Nigel Davies
Professor, Lancaster University

Title: A Communications Medium for the 21st Century : Towards Open
Public Display Networks

Abstract: Most public displays deployed today literally disappear:
people have become so accustomed to their low utility that they have
become highly skilled at ignoring them. In contrast to Mark Weiser’s
influential vision of the “Computer for the 21st Century,” however,
public displays of the 21st century should not disappear. Rather they
should become the backbone of a new global communications medium that
provides valuable information to viewers who are motivated to actively
embrace the technology. In this talk I will argue that the
transformation of public displays to this new communications medium
requires significant innovation that can only occur through opening
display networks to applications and content from a wide range of
sources, such as city officials, local residents, and visitors. Based on
this idea I will discuss our work in creating the building blocks to
realise this vision and our experiences of running an experimental
public display system for over seven years.

Bio: Nigel Davies is a Professor in the School of Computing and
Communications at Lancaster University and was the Department Head from
2008-2011. He was previously an Associate Professor at the University of
Arizona and has held visiting positions at SICS, Sony’s Distributed
Systems Lab in San Jose, the Bonn Institute of Technology and ETH Zurich
where he worked on public display systems. At present he is a visiting
scientist at Google Research. He holds a PhD from Lancaster University.
Nigel is active in the research community and has co-chaired both
Ubicomp and MobiSys conferences. He is the editor-in-chief of IEEE
Pervasive Computing and chair of the steering committee for ACM
HotMobile. Nigel is a member of the ACM and the IEEE.