The following are the “slides” from my presentation at CSUN2011, http://www.csunconference.org in the spring of 2011. The presentation was titled “Repurposed Home Automation Technology Provides Environmental Controls and Monitoring” and was part of the Emerging Assistive Technology sessions. I didn’t like using the Environmental Controls terminology but unfortunately it is still the most used “term of art” in the US. See my previous postings ECU Demonstration and Beyond Electronic Aids for an explanation.
I say “slides” because it was not a PowerPoint presentation but instead a sequence of Mind Maps, JPEG images and video. The mind maps, especially the more complex maps provide far more structure and information than traditional PowerPoint slides filled with words, words and more static words that just sit there. Using the iMindMap presentation software, www.thinkbuzan.com the maps can be expanded branch by branch. With mind maps the audience can see the structure of your thinking. I used PowerPoint for the ECU Demonstration presentation because it was intended to be stand alone documentation as well as a presentation.
The first image was projected while the audience was filling the room. The message was simple, “use technology to transform your living space into an Independent Living…Space.”
The next message renforce the first image,
Digital Home Technology + Consumer Centric Design => more choices, more control => more Independent Living
Next a discussion on what exactly is Independent Living and how does this technology and design methodology apply.
The next mind map is obviously the most complex and the bulk of the presentation and discussion. Of primary importance in this approach is the concept of design. We, the evaluation team, are “designing an environment” based on the consumer’s needs, attitudes, expectations of technology and most importantly the consumers “daily routines.” To that end, I have developed an Assessment Tool called “the Bridge” specifically to address this need to understand and document the consumer’s daily routines. It will be presented in a subsequent post.
Of significance, as a “process-oriented assessment tool,” the Bridge is also appropriate for workplace task analysis. This means that the same methodology can be used to seamlessly assess an individual’s entire day i.e. morning preparation for the day, transportation to work, the work day itself and finally evening and nighttime routines.
The last mind map illustrates the complexity and hence the options available to the “design team” when Digital Home or Smart Home technology is applied. I understand that for some this “complexity” can be an issue. Implementing a fixed ECU solution is pretty straight forward…the technology “is what it is.” The consumer will be forced to adapt to the technology. Sadly this is the norm!
Finally a video illustrates a unique solution available with Smart Home or Digital Home Technology. Specifically how does a consumer with limited hand/arm functionality access their collection of 200+ music CDs? How about a computer based voice recognition “juke box?” Such a product is available from www.homeautomatedliving.com and is called the Digital Music Center. Once the CDs have been ripped to the computer’s hard disk, every song is accessible via voice command. Additionally they are organized into by Song, Album, Artist, Year and Genre. For example “Play Beatles 1980” would be a valid command.
The following is a screen shot of the software which can be controlled via “point and click” or voice commands.
The following is a video demonstrating voice command of the software. Previous to this video being recorded, the CD RIP to hard disk operation was demonstrated. While necessary it is not particularly interesting or informative and hence is not shown.
HAL2000 Digital Music center -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTt3ZmDJ-M8
NOTE:This technology, the Digital Music center, was developed without any consideration for the disability community. It was developed as an “add-on” to an existing Smart Home software product.
This is the tip of the Iceberg…
Embrace Technology -> Expand your Independence !
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