With the development of emerging technologies for domestic environments, smart homes have received considerable research and commercial attention among ubiquitous computing communities. New types of smart home products such as do-it-yourself smart home allow users to create and modify their smart homes through do-it-yourself projects. We call these types of product do-it-yourself (DIY)-style smart home products. Users can create smart home features through DIY smart home products by connecting various sensors (e.g., a door-contact-sensor and a temperature and humidity sensor), actuators (e.g., light bulbs, sockets), social network services, SMS, and email. Because DIY smart home products are programmed and installed by the user, they provide a different experience than previous home automation products. People have to decide what smart home features they need, where to use them and how to install and program them. However, most of all, little is known about how DIY smart home products are used in daily life. Understanding the user experience of DIY smart home products could be investigated to provide a better user experience in the early stages of DIY smart home product design.
Do-it-yourself (DIY)-style smart home products enable users to create their own smart homes by installing sensors and actuators. DIY smart home products are a potential solution to current problems related to home automation products, such as inflexible user controls and high costs of installation. Although the expected user experience of DIY smart home products is different from that of previous home automation products, research on DIY smart home products is still in its early stages. In this paper, we report a 3-week in situ observational study involving eight households. The results suggest six stages of the DIY smart home usage cycle and design implications for improving the user experience of DIY smart home products.
To solve the problem of the current pairing method of wireless devices with button interface, this paper suggests a new way of pairing wireless devices in short distance with which it requires physically contacting them together, which we call Contact-and-Connect Interface. Through prototyping, we examined the usability of this new interface, and as a result, we realized that all of the participants recognized the pairing easily due to the following three factors: contact action, LED visualization of connection, and instant feedback of what is happening. We also figured out which external forms have better affordance for the contact action, and the ones having no sharp edges with a perfect fit worked best.
Unlike lab environments, the existing environment is not built for smart applications, but rather should be "upgraded" to support new technologies. The result of this process is called the "accidentally smart home". We developed Clipoid, an augmentable wireless technology toolkit for supporting the development of an "accidentally smart home" environment. We observed the real user context (static, moving) with Clipoid. We present a guideline for developing an augmentation toolkit, and identify human needs of close proximity physical interaction and multiple users-public platforms.
In this paper, we compare two different gestures for short distance wireless connection interfaces: Touch and Remote. These two types are compared for usability, emotional quality, and overall preference. We conducted an experiment with 30 participants and the results showed a significant difference in usability and emotional quality between these two types. However, there was no significant difference in preference. With the results, we analyzed the characteristics of each gesture type and present important issues in short distance wireless connection interface design.