Enhancing IVR Interactivity and Repurposing Digital Markers


April 22, 2014


Jennifer Pearson and Simon Robinson


Swansea University


Enhancing IVR Interactivity Telephone-based voice systems (e.g., IVRs) are ideal in many situations where factors such as literacy, cost or familiarity affect technology access. However, IVRs lack many of the interactive features of other services, such as support for content sharing, or visual interactivity. This talk will discuss two of our developments in this area. The first uses ‘audio codes’ to let people share their IVR call positions, and allows callers to hold their normal (low-end) handsets together to synchronise. The second allows cameraphone users to interact directly with their own photos of printed media to receive audio feedback or narration on demand. The talk will discuss ongoing deployments of the systems, and explore other potential areas for extending IVR interactivity.

Repurposing Digital Markers Digital markers such as barcodes and QR codes are all around us—on books, groceries and other products—but these everyday markers are typically used for a single focused purpose. In this talk we explore the concept of “piggybacking” on these ubiquitous markers. Two probes in this area will be discussed. The first allows library visitors to scan any nearby book to provide a custom map to the location of a desired item. The second adds a layer of social interaction to codes, allowing users to “tag” any marker in their environment with their own messages. The talk will explore the design of these types of systems, and discuss the potential benefits of designing for digital appropriation.


Jennifer Pearson and Simon Robinson

Dr. Jennifer Pearson is a Research Associate at Swansea University, UK. Her interests include mobile information interaction, digital reading and HCI for development. Her current work involves research into scaling rural enterprises in developing regions.

Dr. Simon Robinson is a Research Associate at Swansea University, UK. His interests range from multimodal, low-attention interfaces for mobile devices to future-looking mobile infrastructures for rural communities. His most recent work has involved designing for appropriation, including, for example, methods for supporting more advanced IVR interactions, and piggybacking on digital marker codes.