MobiSys 2017
Conference paper

Card-stunt as a service: Empowering a massively packed crowd for instant collective expressiveness

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Imagine a densely packed crowd that gathers to convey a common message, such as people in a candlelight vigil or a protest. We envision an innovation through mobile computing technologies to empower such a crowd by enabling them simply to hold their phones up and create a massive collective visualization on top of them. We propose Card-stunt as a Service (CaaS). CaaS is a service enabling a densely packed crowd to instantly visualize symbols using their mobile devices and a server-side service. The key challenge toward realizing an instant collective visualization is how to achieve instant, infrastructure-free, decimeter-level localization of individuals in a massively packed crowd, while maintaining low latency. CaaS addresses the challenges by mobile visible-light angleofarrival (AoA) sensing and scalable constrained optimization. It reconstructs relative locations of all individuals and dispatches individualized timed pixels to each one so that they can do their part in the overall visualization. We evaluate CaaS with extensive experiments under diverse reality settings as well as under synthetic workloads scaling up to tens of thousands of people. We deploy CaaS to 49 participants so that they successfully perform a collective visualization cheering up MobiSys.