Hello, visitor, and happy to see you here!

I’m a researcher at the Community Imaging Group at University of Oulu, Finland.

Over the years I’ve been dabbling in many different research topics, but recently I’ve focused more on public displays and situated technologies in general.

Public displays

One fascinating thing that I’ve been lucky to work with is the “Open UBI Oulu” initiative (or something like that, a dear child has many names). The most visible part of the infrastructure deployed during the initiative is a grid of large, interactive public displays in downtown Oulu: hotspots.

Some of the hotspots in downtown Oulu, Finland

Examples of hotspots in downtown Oulu, Finland (click to see a larger image)

The hotspot grid enables studying public display services and their users in an authentic (and ruthless) environment, with thousands of uncoached end-users. My particular responsibility in this mess has been exploring integration of social networking services to hotspots in a way that is convenient for display users as well as software developers. In practice, I’ve been involved in developing different types of middleware solutions and a plethora of services leveraging the solutions. There’s a lot more into it than just this short intro, so why not read more about social networking services on public displays here?

Another topic where we have successfully utilized public displays is civic engagement. Interactive public displays are artifacts which are often used without a clear motive in mind. Thus, they’re effective in reaching users (i.e. citizens) that are hard or impossible to reach using many of the traditional means, such as paper forms, dedicated offices, newspaper ads, telephone, etc. People just stumble upon public displays and start exploring what they can achieve with them. This gives us a window of opportunity to motivate them to participate in public governance and decision-making processes, or in other words: civic engagement. Read more about civic engagement on public displays here!