Making ubicomp acceptable in the home

Martinez Reyes, Fernando (2009) Making ubicomp acceptable in the home. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is concerned with the uses of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) technologies in everyday domestic settings. In contrast to goal-oriented technology adoption (e.g. in the workplace), the integration of pervasive technology in the home faces not only social but also physical and technical constraints. We propose a design framework for the introduction of ubicomp technology into today’s homes that, firstly, considers a holistic approach to integrating pervasive technology; secondly, takes into account social factors and domestic activity when defining the nature of the system’s interaction; and thirdly, allows the user to adapt the system’s interaction and collaboration.

Most of the work to date on domestic ubicomp takes the customization of domestic spaces for granted, presuming that the integration of sensing technologies can be accomplished to any required degree and usually assuming that context-aware systems have to be proactive, limiting users to the role of consumers of the system’s actions rather than allowing them a more participative or cooperative role.

We have applied our framework to design a domestic ubicomp system to support parents with childcare in the home. The “Context-Aware Room” and the “The Parent-Child Companion Tool” prototypes are built to take account of the interaction between the social and physical and the social and digital contexts in order to address issues of integration of sensing technology, socially respectful collaboration and system adaptation.

Two studies explore the potential social acceptance of the PChCT. The panel study considers parents’ overall perceptions of whether these kinds of ubicomp tools might help with parental tasks. The usability study considers the usefulness and usability of the PChCT. The results of the study reflect a positive attitude to the PChCT. Parents liked the collaborative resources and facilities to tailor collaboration. Further work might be done to assess how the system’s adaptation might fit within a wider context of user needs. Nevertheless, we argue that the use of our framework can lead to more socially acceptable ubicomp experiences in the home.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Greenhalgh, Chris
Rodden, Tom
Keywords: Smart home, domestic support, location-based services, user study, pervasive computing
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 10742
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2009 09:23
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 13:28

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