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Design Implementation

Prototyping Process


Chronoscope enables users to interact with their photo archive through three rotational controls on viewing directions,  timeframe modes and viewing granularity. When peering into Chronoscope, a single photo tied to the specific time that it was taken (based on its timestamp metadata) will be visible. A rotating wheel, as the scope's main feature,  controls two directions: navigating forward and backward in time within the selected timeframe mode. Navigating in a timeframe mode occurs through a  rotational movement (clockwise to move forward in time and counterclockwise to move backward). We selected physical rotation for this input as a subtle analogy to the circular shape of clocks and the temporal flow evoked by their movement. By rotating either direction,  the user sees each photo in relation to a wide spectrum of other photos in the archive. When the user stops the rotation, Chronoscope settles on the specific photo associated with where  ‘in time’  the position is in relation to the selected timeframe mode. When switching the bigger knob on the side of the scope, users can seamlessly toggle between different temporal organizations of their archive through three timeframe modes (linear,  date,  time). When a new mode is selected, the center photo in view does not change, while the surrounding photos are replaced with ones from the new timeframe.

Field Deplyment


Chen, Amy Yo Sue, William Odom, Ce Zhong, Henry Lin, and Tal Amram. "Chronoscope: designing temporally diverse interactions with personal digital photo collections." In Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference, pp. 799-812. 2019.

Chen, Amy Yo Sue, William Odom, Ce Zhong, Henry Lin, and Tal Amram. "Chronoscope: A Near-eye Tangible Device for Interacting with Photos In and Across Time." In Companion Publication of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion, pp. 1-4. 2019.

Chen, A Y. S., Odom, W., Neustaedter, C., Zhong, C., & Lin, H. Exploring Memory-Oriented Interactions with Digital Photos In and Across Time: A Field Study of Chronoscope. In Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 

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