Configuring Attention in the Multiscreen Living Room

  • John RooksbyEmail author
  • Timothy E. Smith
  • Alistair Morrison
  • Mattias Rost
  • Matthew Chalmers
Conference paper


We have conducted a video study of households in Scotland with cohabiting students and young professionals. In this paper we unpack five examples of how mobile devices are used by people watching television. In the examples we explore how screens are used together (a) in a physical ecology, (b) in an embodied way, (c) in an orderly way, and (d) with respect to others. We point out that mobile devices are routinely used to access media that is unconnected and unrelated to media on television, for example for sending and receiving messages, browsing social media, and browsing websites. We suggest that mobile devices are not used to directly enhance television programmes, but to enhance leisure time. We suggest that it is important, when considering mobile devices as second screens, not just to treat these as a design topic, but to pay attention to how they are interactionally integrated into the living room.


Mobile Phone Mobile Device Remote Control Social Medium Leisure Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by EPSRC award EP/J007617/1 A Population Approach to Ubicomp System Design. We thank the anonymous reviews, Eric Laurier at the University of Edinburgh, and our colleagues in the ‘Populations’ research programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Rooksby
    • 1
    Email author
  • Timothy E. Smith
    • 2
  • Alistair Morrison
    • 1
  • Mattias Rost
    • 1
  • Matthew Chalmers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.University of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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