We present UbiSketch, a ubiquitous real-time sketch-based communication tool, supporting information sharing and social communication based on natural interactions with paper-based supports. Our interactive system enables people to write text notes or draw sketches with digital pens and paper and share them in real time via their mobile phones. We are evaluating different mechanisms for displaying this information to support group awareness and social communication through infrastructures such as mobile phones, online social networks, and public displays. We are first evaluating SketchBook andSketchTweet, applications that enable people to easily share their sketches on Facebook and Twitter. The natural and quick interaction with several social contexts supported by UbiSketch has the potential to radically change and improve current communication practices.
The introduction of novel information channels is changing the ways people communicate. Social networks and a wide range of new networked applications and devices are shifting well-established practices for social communication and group awareness. People increasingly use networked mobile communication platforms as a primary mechanism for social interactions.
With people constantly on the go, mobile devices and smart phones are becoming the central tools for communicating and accessing information, enabling people to send text, pictures, and multimedia messages, and interact directly with their social networks via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, online picture galleries, etc. While the rapid nature of this new communication paradigm provides an easy and natural way to share information with online communities, users still need to accept many of the limitations of a classic computer interface, such as entering text via a hard or soft keypad, and finger or stylus gestures on a small touch-screen.
People commonly carry a pen as well as a phone because it provides a simple way to make notes and annotate paper documents. Today digital pen and paper technologies enable input of text or drawings, exploiting the many affordances of paper , including portability, flexibility, readability in bright light, and high resolution. We believe that combining the natural interactions enabled by digital pens and paper with the communication capabilities of mobile phones provides a new platform for developing a wide range of novel applications to better support social communication and interaction.