Smart Homes - Interactive Computing Lab

At Home with Ubiquitous
Computing: Seven Challenges
W. Keith Edwards and Rebecca Grinter
UbiComp 2001
• “Smart homes” better people’s lives with increased
communication, awareness, and functionality
• However, there exist technical, social, and pragmatic
• Raise awareness of existing domestic technology
• Increase the use of situated studies
The smart home is coming
• Technology is getting there:
– Moore’s Law
– Everything networked and wireless
– Increased vendor focus on techs for the home
– Proof-of-concepts exist: Aware Home @ Ga Tech
• But there still exist some challenges!
Seven challenges
The “accidentally” smart home
Impromptu interoperability
No systems administrator
Designing for domestic use
Social implications of aware home
• Reliability
• Inference in the presence of ambiguity
1: The “accidentally” smart home
• Current smart home environments are
intentional (purpose-built)
• More realistic view: technology will be
brought piecemeal into the home (upgrade)
– The “accidentally” smart home
1: The “accidentally” smart home
• Even mundane examples, demonstrate big
• How do users debug their home?
• Is this simply a “design” problem?
1: The “accidentally” smart home
• Solution is to help users to understand the tech
– What devices can do, what they have done, and how we control?
• When designing, think of these questions:
– What kinds of affordances (action possibilities, e.g., recording,
displaying) do we need to make the system intelligible?
– How can I tell my device is interacting?
– What are the boundaries of my smart home?
– What are the potential configurations of my devices?
– How can users be made aware of the entire houses’ affordances?
– Where will the locus of interaction be in a system that isn’t in one
place (but sum of many parts)?
– How do I control these devices and the whole system?
2: Impromptu interoperability
• Ability to interconnect with little advance
• A priori agreement on syntax and semantics is
• However, creating standards for all types of
devices/services (a priori) is not feasible
• New models of interconnectivity are required
3: No systems administrator
• Can’t plausibly expect that homeowners will
need to be system administrators
• How about “appliance-centric” computing
(single function oriented)? Still having
interoperability problems?
• Utility model: “thin-client” solution??
– Open services gateway initiative
– Cloud computing
• Why doesn’t plumber/electrician model work?
4: Designing for domestic use
• Learning from the telephone/autos/cell-phones
– Hard to foresee how people use a tech (intention vs. actual
• Learning from domestic technology studies
– Domestic technology use governed by rules of the house
– Television use indicated who “controlled” an area of the
– Teenagers used individually owned technology to
coordinate using a shared technology (e.g., “quiet”
technologies to avoid disrupting other’s routines)
• Designers need to pay attention to the subtle house
routines + how occupants adapt new techs?
5: Social implications of aware home
• Social implications of domestic technologies
• Are domestic technologies labor saving?
– Introduction of technology into the home changes
societal expectations
– Has the introduction of technology increased or
shifted the amount of work you do?
• TV has changed “good parenting” to controlling
what not if your child watches
– In Europe, mobile phones teaches children about
managing money and safely gives them increased
6: Reliability
• Current domestic appliances are pretty reliable
• Differences: domestic vs. desktop (& ubicomp?)
– Development culture
• Embedded vs. general-purpose?
– Technological approaches
• Phone (thin) vs. web surfing (thick)
– Expectations of the market
• Crashing washing machine vs. desktop?
– Regulations
• Highly regulated appliances (due to safety concerns)
7: Inference in the presence of
• Current machine inference is kind of bad (e.g.
Microsoft Clippit)
• How smart does a smart home have to be?
• Is it better not to act, or to act and be wrong?
• Modes of intelligence:
– Infer state of world through interpretation of sensor data
– Infer existence of states by aggregating other factors
(e.g., people gathering at a meeting room --> meeting?)
– Infer my intent from its view of the state of the world
(e.g., meeting  sharing notes with others)
– Preemptively act on the assumptions of intent
7: Inference in the presence of
• Predictability is important (e.g., dropping
temperature  thermostat turns on the heating)
• For a given condition, predictability depends on:
– System’s expected behavior under the condition
– System’s facilities for detecting/inferring the condition
– Provision for user to override the system’s behavior
• How can we redesign the Bluetooth speakers to
be more predictable?

similar documents