|Sruthi Viswanathan, Christophe Legras|
|ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), virtual event, 8 - 13 May, 2021|
All the activities that we do online, by either preference or obligation, deprive us of social interactions especially the impromptu ones. We present UnlockMe, a concept that aims at preserving the social link, the disposition to come across other people serendipitously when engaged in online activities such as purchasing goods, working from home or when viewing media and entertainment. Our concept relies on virtual co-location detection (both synchronous and asynchronous), to allow users to engage with other people with whom they would have been likely to interact when doing the same activities offline in the physical world. We developed and illustrated UnlockMe with six scenarios and low-fidelity prototyping to test it with 10 participants who were isolated due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Our findings reveal multimedia recommendations from close social connections to be the best scenario for UnlockMe followed by online shopping and connecting with the local community.
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