Together Anyplace, Togerher Anytime

Together Anywhere, Together Anytime

Technologies for Intimate Interactions

Dick C.A. Bulterman, Editor
2012, 341 p. 96 figs., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-90-6196-5619
Published: May, 2012
Price: Eur 95, ex-VAT. Postage for the EU: Eur 7,25.
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Modern social media systems are geared to serving weak ties: informal collections of individuals acting in relative isolation. But what about strong ties: the family and friends who form life's inner circle? More and more people are living apart. Can technology help keep them together?

This book surveys research into technologies for maintaining a feeling of togetherness, anywhere and anytime. It provides new results in networked audio and video for real people: playing games, sharing videos, reading stories. The book also considers the social implications of enhanced togetherness: can these be measured, can they be improved upon?togetherness. This book presents some of the major results of the project and reflects on the project's strengths and challenges in providing support for technology that could help people stay together, anywhere or anytime.

This book is divided into three sections. Part One provides a general introduction to the TA2 project, and to the theoretical and social literature on togetherness. Part One also contains a motivation for the use of concept demonstrators as the main vehicle for evaluating project results.

Part Two contains chapters that cover a wide range of technologies that have contributed to the goals of the overall TA2 project. We consider full-functional technical systems and time-delayed asynchronous sharing. We also consider low-impact togetherness: studying basic concepts on an easy-to-share iPad platform. Because of space limitations, it is impossible to survey all project results. For this, the interested reader is directed to the public deliverables on the TA2 website: http://www.ta2-project.eu.

Part Three contains evaluation results from the project. We consider all three threads of our work: the full TA2 system, the asynchronous TA2 work and a robust version of the TA2 system developed for long-term in situ user trials.

The book was edited by Dick Bulterman. Bulterman is a senior researcher at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam where he heads the Distributed and Interactive Systems group. Prof. Bulterman holds the chair Distributed Multimedia Languages and Infrastructures at the VU University. Together with over 40 researchers and scientists from across Europe, he has compiled these results on technological support for togethernessin a readable and accessible manner.

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