Systems that support collocated interaction conventionally require expensive non-portable devices. This dissertation suggests a multi-mobile tangram display that makes playful collocated interaction possible anytime, anywhere; it also identifies characteristics and design attributes of a multi-mobile tangram display and their influence on users’ perceptions and gaming experiences.
Multi-mobile tangram display is a type of groupware interface in which several mobile devices are assembled to create an image that is recognized as unified display of a specific shape. The display is characterized by visual continuity and functional independence. This dissertation derived the design attributes of multi-mobile tangram display from design workshops aimed at developing its appropriate content. During the research process, we relied on two design cases, distinguished by device size. The first case was a homogeneous multi-mobile tangram display, composed only of smartphones, the most accessible mobile devices. The second case was a heterogeneous multi-mobile tangram display, composed of a combination of smartphones and tablet PCs.
Through generative workshops, we derived six design attributes, to build the contents of the display: topology, directionality, inter-device space, movement of devices, layer and the role of devices. These attributes function differently depending on the size of devices involved. We also applied the derived attributes to the game content design, verified derived attributes’ effectiveness and investigated the influence of each attribute on users’ perceptions of the system’s structure and the gaming experience. The result is expected to be a design guideline that can be utilized to develop contents of multi-mobile tangram displays, and applied not only to mobile devices, but also to other devices and application domains.