Paul Rajlich
Research Programmer
Visualization and Virtual Environments
National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Paul Rajlich

SC 02 Intellibadge 2D Display Prototype

The purpose of the 2D display is to display as much information as possible.
Since new data arrives approximately once per minute, the current idea is to
continuously playback recent activity (last x hours) and hold on the current
state for a few seconds.

The components of the 2D display are:

Timetable (at bottom)

The timetable at the bottom shows the following information:

  - current time (represented by red bar)
  - today's events and their type and location
  - number of people (badges) at each event over time (grey chart)

Notes: the timetable itself may scroll, showing only a subset of the day's
  schedule at a time.

Interest Profile Bars (top)

The bars above the timetable show the relative number of people from each
interest category at each current activity.

Information Display (middle right)

This area will be used to display information about the conference. In the
prototype, it is showing the upcoming program and a map with the locations
of those events.

Message Bar (top)

Above the information display is a message bar. This will be used for
important messages.

State Table (left middle)

The last item is what I call the state table. I saved this item for last 
because it needs the most explanation and justification. 

The state table brings in the "geek element". The table shows the current
state of all the badges. The idea is that if you can visually and mentally
process this table (i.e. you are a machine :-) ), then you know exactly what
is going on. The effect I am going for is somewhat like that seen in the
movie "The Matrix".

I believe that the table will peak attendees' interest, especially if it is,
at least initially, displayed with absolutely no explanation. :-) After a day
or two, an explanation should be provided.

Here's how it works. When you approach the display, your box in the table will
highlight. This will give you a clue that your badge is part of the table. The
next step is discovering how badges are arranged in the table. 

You take a badge id and convert it to binary. Since badge id's are consecutive,
you examine the 9 least significant digits and that will tell you how to index
into the table.  For instance, the id 732:

id 732 = 1011011100 in binary

The 9 least significant digits are:   011011100
The first 3 of these (011) tell you which major row (3)
The next 2 digits     (01) tell you which major col (1)
The next 2 digits     (11) tell you which minor row (3)
The last 2 digits     (00) tell you which minor col (0)

Now you know where badge id 732 is in the table.

Aside from the geek factor and the puzzle of how the table is arranged, the
table will be very useful. For instance, if you want to know the location of
your friends, you can either ask them for their badge ids. Or, you take them
with you to the display and see which table squares highlight. Then, once
you know which box they are in the table, you can always know where they are
just by glancing at the display.

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