Towards Rapid Prototyping of Cross-Device Interaction

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

Over the last decade we have seen a significant increase in new electronic devices dealing with digital information and services. The management of digital information has become particularly challenging due to the diversity of devices and the lack of effective ways for communication between these devices. The problem is that interactions across multiple devices are either completely decoupled or predefined in a non-customisable manner. Often we see that only a part of the data can be shared across devices, for example only webpages or web elements can be shared. In other cases the data can only be transferred across a fixed set of devices. Finally, most of these interactions cannot be changed or modified by the users.












Hamilton, P., Wigdor, D.J.: Conductor: Enabling and Understanding Cross-Device Interaction.
In Proceedings of CHI 2014. Toronto, Canada, April 2014.

Yang, J., Wigdor, D.: Panelrama: Enabling Easy Specification of Cross-Device Web Applications.
In Proceedings of CHI 2014. Toronto, Canada, April 2014.



In order to solve these problems, we will start by searching effective ways for the development of cross-device interaction, which should be extensible, flexible and customisable. Therefore a first step is to look into prior work on active components [2,3], which have already been used in a cross-media example application to allow flexible interaction between paper and digital information and services [1]. Later on, alternatives to active components will also need to be investigated. After a comparison between the different alternatives and active components, we will then build a framework for the rapid prototyping of cross-device interactions. Finally, based on this framework a proof of concept application will be implemented.

Contact: Audrey Sanctorum (
Background Knowledge: 
  • Java
  • HTML and CSS
Technical challenges: 
  • You will explore different cross-device interaction techniques
  • You will learn about distributed user interfaces
  • The implementation of a proof of concept application

[1] Beat Signer and Moira C. Norrie. PaperPoint: A Paper-based Presentation and Interactive Paper Prototyping Tool. In Proceedings of TEI 2007, International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, pages 57–64, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 2007.

[2] Beat Signer and Moira C. Norrie. A Framework for Developing Pervasive Cross-Media Applications based on Physical Hypermedia and Active Components. In Proceedings of ICPCA 2008, International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Applications, pages 564–569, Alexandria, Egypt, October 2008.

[3] Beat Signer and Moira C. Norrie. Active Components as a Method for Coupling Data and Services - A Database-Driven Application Development Process. In Proceedings of ICOODB 2009, International Conference on Object Databases, Zurich, Switzerland, July 2009.

Academic Year: