INTERACTING ACROSS SURFACES: Multi-Device Ecologies “In the Wild”

Theme Issue on interacting across surfaces and devices in the Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

The theme issue is linked to the CHI 2016 workshop “Cross-Surface 2016” and the  ITS 2015 workshop “Cross-Surface” (Workshop on Interacting with Multi-Device Ecologies in the Wild). Whereas extended versions of presented papers are welcome, the call is also open to high-quality, original articles.

Users are increasingly interacting with their personal information through different types of devices, ranging from large interactive surfaces, tablets, smartphones to wearable technologies such as smartwatches and head-mounted displays. This device multiplicity has led to situations in which users are employing multiple devices at the same time. The choice of which set of devices to use is governed by the affordances, capabilities, and properties of these devices and the context of use. To support such device multiplicity, prior work has introduced a wide range of techniques and infrastructures to facilitate cross-surface interaction.

Despite the success of these approaches, many cross-surface interaction techniques and systems require advanced sensing and infrastructure, which are impractical in real-world scenarios outside of the lab. There are still fundamental challenges that prevent the full potential of cross-surface interactions in the wild. A few field studies highlight these issues, revealing how users struggle with how devices can communicate, what content can be exchanged, how to opt-out from connecting devices together, and how to configure devices to cooperate in one seamless workspace. We need a better understanding of how to move cross-surface and spatial interaction techniques and systems into the wild, in terms of technologies, real-world use cases, and making sense of the available interactions and their impact on human activities.

The goal of this theme issue is to summarize on the current state of research on interacting across surfaces and devices. This includes multi-surface techniques and applications, spatially distributed interfaces and displays, multi-screen workspaces and wearable displays and interfaces. With this special issue we intend to provide an overview of the field beyond the typical boundaries of disciplines.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Cross-device interaction
  • Interaction challenges
  • Discoverability
  • Multi-device ubicomp ecologies
  • Multi-surface interactions
  • Mobile, wearables & smartwatches.
  • Multi-device interactions
  • Spatial reconfigurations of displays
  • Spatially distributed interfaces
  • Multi-screen workplaces
  • Distributed user interfaces

Important dates:

Full manuscript due: 24 February, 2017

Acceptance notification: 24 May, 7 June 2017

Final manuscript due: June, 2017

Publication date: Summer 2017 (tentative)

Submission guidelines:

Submissions should be prepared according to the author instructions available at the journal homepage. Manuscripts must be submitted via the easychair system.

Information about the manuscript (title, full list of authors, corresponding author’s contact, abstract, and keywords) must be included in the submission email. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least two international reviewers. Submissions should be no more than 8000 words in length.

Information about Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing:

– Editor-in-Chief: Peter Thomas

– Journal web site:

– Facebook web site: