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Painting Portals

Feeling co-present and connected over distance is a challenge. To create a sense of sharing a space over distance and being together in the periphery of daily life, we designed and implemented a pair of connected picture frames that display paintings generated from live camera streams. These paintings are abstracted based on the distance of the user from the device, and are sent between two portals that can be placed anywhere in the world. We deployed the Painting Portals during a week-long field study investigating how a distance-separated mother and daughter experienced the use of the Painting Portals. We generated recommendations for future design and research, including: (1) stylizing the paintings in a way that better captures emotion/sentiment, (2) placing multiple Painting Portals in different common areas throughout a home, (3) incorporating a video call feature into the Painting Portals, and (4) adding the option to turn off one's camera for more privacy.

For more info:

Shakeri, H. & Neustaedter, C. (2021) Painting Portals: Connecting Homes Through Live Paintings Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction New York, NY, USA, ACM Press.

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