Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, Volume 1 Issue 4, December 2017
We explore the potential use of mobile devices as a collaborative sensing system that can proactively mediate casual group conversations. In this study, we aim to investigate (i) the impacts of a mobile system’s passive and active conversation facilitation and (ii) the ways in which sociocultural aspects that affect casual group conversation should be considered in the design of proactive mobile systems. Toward this goal, we developed Flower-Pop, a mobile system that monitors group conversations and visualizes interaction patterns using metaphorical expressions based on blossoms. This system provides passive facilitation as well as active facilitation modes such as proactive conversation visualization and photo sharing. The active modes can encourage inactive participants to share photos and select random people to speak. Focusing on Korea, our field study showed that Flower-Pop’s mediation created smooth topic/speaker transitions and encouraged less-active speakers to better engage in group conversation. We also found that the sociocultural aspects of casual group conversation, such as the location’s characteristics, social relations, and the group’s interests, affected participants’ use of the Flower-Pop system. Based on our findings, we discuss methods for designing mobile systems for conversation facilitation and outline how opportune sociocultural factors could be identified based on mobile devices.
Mobile devices; collocated social interaction; group conversation.
Field Study in the Coffeehouse