Family portals: connecting families through a multifamily media space

TitleFamily portals: connecting families through a multifamily media space
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsJudge, T. K., C. Neustaedter, S. Harrison, and A. Blose
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Conference Name2011 annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '11)
Date Published05/2011
Conference LocationVancouver, BC Canada

Video conferencing allows distance-separated family members to interact somewhat akin to being together at the same place and time. Yet most video conferencing systems are designed for phone-like calls between only two locations. Using such systems for long interactions or social gatherings with multiple families is cumbersome, if not impossible. For this reason, we wanted to explore how families would make use of a video system that permitted sharing everyday life over extended periods of time between multiple locations. We designed a media space called Family Portals that provides shared video between three locations and deployed it within the homes of six families. Results show that the media space increased feelings of connectedness and the focus on a triad, in contrast to a dyad, caused new styles of interaction to emerge. Despite this, families experienced new privacy challenges and non-adoption by some family members, not previously seen in dyadic family media spaces.