Threshold devices: Looking out from the home

William Gaver*, Andy Boucher, Andy Law, Sarah Pennington, John Bowers, Jake Beaver, Jan Humble, Tobie Kerridge, Nicholas Villar, Alex Wilkie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


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 Tocal 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 readymade 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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings, CHI 2008
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, United States
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781605580111
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 5 Apr 200810 Apr 2008

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference26th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2008

Research Group keywords

  • Interaction Research Studio


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