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Identifier 000339007
Title Tool support for designing and generating accessible user interfaces in ambient intelligence environments
Alternative Title Εργαλεία για Σχεδιασμό και Παραγωγή Προσβάσιμων Διεπαφών σε Περιβάλλοντα Διάχυτης Νοημοσύνης
Author Καρτάκης, Σωκράτης Χρήστου
Thesis advisor Στεφανίδης, Κωνσταντίνος
Abstract In the next few years, it will be feasible to control a large number of standard electrical and electronic devices residing in the home environment through computing technologies. The vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) promises to deliver more natural ways for controlling these devices (e.g., by using hand gestures and speech) or even offer proactive, non user-initiated, controls (e.g., a “smart” room knows when and how to change the state of each device in it). However, the need will continue to be felt for highly usable graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that will allow direct and universally accessible user control, as well as quick and intuitive overviews of the current state of the computer-controllable environment. Additionally, the provision of appropriate development tools to facilitate the easy and quick deployment of smart home technologies will be of paramount importance. This thesis proposes two tools, the AmI Designer and the AmI Player, that have been specifically created to address this need through automatic generation of accessible GUIs in AmI environments without the need of programming.
The AmI Designer is a graphical editor which creates descriptions of a designed application in XML. The Designer includes different widgets available to design a user interface. These widgets are detected dynamically from the editor, and developers can program their own widgets. The AmI Designer communicates with the Middleware of an AmI environment, is continuously informed about the available services of a room and can find the Middleware signals. Therefore, it supports defining how the application manipulates the devices in the room and how the external environment interacts with the GUI.
The AmI Player uses the export XML description of the AmI Designer to generate GUIs ready for run-time. It sends and receives messages and signals from the middleware, calls services and uses devices. The produced GUIs can be manipulated through several input devices.
These tools can be extended with additional interaction styles and services, as well as interaction platforms. The generated user interfaces integrate by design non-visual feedback and a scanning mechanism. Therefore, they are accessible and usable for all end users, including hand-motor and visual impaired users, children, elders, and inexperienced users. A case study is also presented in this thesis where the AmI Designer and the AmI Player have been used in the design of a light control application in a smart environment. The results of the conducted evaluation confirm the usefulness and usability of the tools themselves, as well as the accessibility and usability of the produced user interfaces.
Language English
Issue date 2008-12-04
Collection   School/Department--School of Sciences and Engineering--Department of Computer Science--Post-graduate theses
  Type of Work--Post-graduate theses
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