Categorised Ambient Displays published between 1996 and 2016 and identified in a systematic review.

Published: 16 April 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/m8zwv4jdwr.1
, Keith Nesbitt


This data is the result of a systematic review designed to identify published work related to the development, design and evaluation of Ambient Displays. Ambient Displays are also commonly referred to as Ambient Information Systems or Peripheral Displays and form a subset of work in the area of Ubiquitous computing These displays are designed as environmental information sources that visualize relevant data in a way that can be attended to when possible. The systematic review queried four specific academic databases, the ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, Scopus and Web of Science. The resulting data is stored in a structured spreadsheet that includes key reference information of 410 studies that cover the technology’s development from 1996 through to 2016. The focus of each of these studies has also been classified as either; developing a specific implementation; considering the generic definition of such displays; or describing general theoretical issues related to the evaluation of Ambient Displays. The data also identifies over 450 previously reported implementations of these displays. To differentiate these implementations the data also provides a classification for each display across the three key attributes of modality, physical form, and degree of interaction. This data provides a valuable resource for researchers interested in the historical context and future study of Ambient Displays.


Steps to reproduce

A systematic review process was followed to identify journal articles and conference papers written in English and published between 1996-2016. The search strategy was deliberately broad, using the general search terms of "Ambient Display", "Ambient Information System" and "Peripheral Display". Four databases were used, the ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, Scopus and Web of Science. The initial search identified 1500 papers and the next step in the process was to manually assess the relevance of these. This activity took the form of a structured data processing procedure to select papers that were found to document a specific Ambient Display design, implementation, evaluation or discussed the theoretical concepts relating to such systems. Duplicates were removed as part of the analysis, papers were also screened manually to check if the work described fit within typical definitions of Ambient Display and Calm Computing. Only studies that dealt with peripheral displays and were not intended for advertising or digital signage were included. Systems designed for high-levels of interaction were also removed to create a final set of 410 publications describing 450 implementations. The 410 studies themselves and the 450 displays described within them were analyzed in depth to create the dataset. In the data studies are ordered by time between 1996 and 2016 and full reference information is provided for each. Each of the 410 studies is classified across three dimensions and identifies that study as describing a specific display development, or not, covering the evaluation of a display, or not, and whether the study focused on general theory of these displays, or not. The 450 implemented displays were also classified in more detail across three dimensions. The data records the display’s modalities (light, sound, movement, airflow, vibration, smell, temperature), the display’s physical form (screen-based or object-based) and the degree of interaction provided by the display (Semi-ambient or fully-ambient).


The University of Newcastle


Computer Science, Applied Computing, Human-Machine Interface, Ubiquitous Computing, Information Visualization, Informatics, Design Evaluation, Usability