How can we enable users to temporarily share their personal devices for creating a joint cross-device system for a social and fun data exploration?



UCL ,University of Konstanz

HuddleLamp is a low-cost technology that turns the exploration of maps or visualisations of urban data in a social and fun experience. It uses a desk lamp with an integrated depth camera to track mobile devices and hands on a table. This enables a new breed of spatially-aware multi-user and multi-device applications for collaboration without expensive interactive tabletops or large displays.

HuddleLamp is our first step towards a “sharing economy” for excess display and interaction resources in a city: Instead of letting their devices idling away in pockets or bags, citizens can temporarily add them to a shared multi-user and multi-device system at any time without installing software or attaching markers. There is no need for setup or pairing. Instead this happens

implicitly as a by-product of natural use in space, for example, by bringing multiple devices to the same room, placing them side-by-side on a table or desk, and moving them around as needed.

HuddleLamp got great attention in social media and was featured in international tech blogs such as Gizmodo or Hackaday and has over 50,000 views on YouTube. After having created our free and open source base technology (see, we are now looking at creating and studying examples for the visual exploration of urban data. Our goal is to enable citizens to create their own bottom up urban observatories for community engagement and activism in spaces such as schools, public libraries, community centres, or museums.