The research division of my architecture firm is exploring new methods of observation and understanding how users interact with the built environment. I know interaction design is generally virtually/digitally based rather than physically, but I thought I'd start a thread anyways. We're looking for digital tools for behavioral mapping that allow us to visually report on how visitors use the space we have designed. We're initially thinking along the lines of time lapse photography or GPS/GIS technology (although for observation within a building).
I've been watching the growth of contextual awareness in mobile apps
recently.... There are several GPS, positionally aware apps... but I
wonder where else this contextual awareness can go? What else do
people want to know about their social networks beyond location
awareness? Events and shared interests are well traveled... In
general, the more (reliably) connected mobile devices become the more
opportunity for contextual awareness of the world around me...