Sitting next to the automatic door between train coaches in Switzerland provides a fantastic opportunity to observe the range of behaviors when people interact with a very basic instance of ubiquitous computing. Interestingly, most Swiss trains have sensors located in the upper part of the doorway. Experienced travelers know they have to wait for their presence to be detected, while nervous commuters wave their hand at the sensor to open the door. However, a longer period of observation reveals plenty of less-than-fluid usage: Elderly travelers try to find an (absent) handle; some people in a rush bang their head…
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