Smart-ring control for Smart-home ambience

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Titre du projet Smart-ring control for Smart-home ambience
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Encadrants Céline Coutrix

Students

Context

Introduction

In the growth of the Internet of Things, everything is connected. Because of that, the smart home has been a very popular application. However, controlling the smart home is a complex task hidden behind the smart hub application on a smart home or tablet screen fixed on the wall. Because of the inconvenient controlling, we want to create a device to control the ambience of the room, such as lighting, heating, window folds, and music. To ease the control of these repetitive tasks, we propose Smart-ring control to control these properties.

Objective

The objective is to study whether a smart-ring control can have an impact on controlling ambience properties of a smart home compared to some state-of-the-art smart hub application currently used to control those properties. In this experiment, we will test the tasks based on lighting, heating, window fold, and music (with changing volume, play/pause, and skip song).


Prototyping

Smart-ring

For the Smart-ring control, we designed and 3D printed a prototype where we have 2 rings fit in together, an Inner Ring and an Outer Ring. As shown in the picture below, the outer ring is a cylinder with a window gap in the middle, the inner ring is another cylinder and will be marked with different colors that indicate the active chosen property.

Ring Prototype left end
Ring Prototype right end

We design the smart-ring so that it will function as follows:

  1. Lighting: Rotation will change the value
  2. Heating: Rotation will change the value
  3. Window fold: Rotation will open/close the window fold
  4. Music: Rotation will change the volume, while one-tap indicate play/pause, and two-taps indicates skip a song.

Smart-hub application

We designed the smart-hub application will functions as follows: Fichier:Prototype-demo.mp4


Experiment

Planning

We conducted this experiment in a Wizard-of-Oz type by faking the interaction.

In this experiment, we will conduct the test with 2 prototypes consecutively. One test will be with the smart-ring, followed by a test with the smart-hub application. To balance the test, we will make half of the participants doing the test in that order, and another half doing the test in reverse order (smart-hub first then smart-ring)

For each test, we will create an exact list of tasks to do. One list for smart-ring, one list for smart-hub application.

Task-list.png

There are some surveys that we used in this test. After each test with one prototype, we asked the participants to fill in a survey based on the System Usability Scale (SUS). At the end of the test, we also have another survey to cover written feedback.

Setup

We conduct the experiment in a room where we have

  1. Lighting: will be controlled by a switch on a wall
  2. Heating: will be a monitor screen display fake temperature number
  3. Window fold: will be electronically controlled by a switch located on a wall
  4. Music: will be played on a laptop

Along with the experiment, we recorded the scene with users and their interactions so we can have good analyze afterward.

Setup scene that we conducted the experiments
The view of the camera we recorded video for analysis

Results

Time-to-complete-each-task-hub.png
Time-to-complete-each-task-ring.png
Time-Difference-between-ring-and-hub.png

User Feedback

We gathered the written feedback survey w.r.t to the ring experience with participants at the end of the experiment and it can be summarized as follows:

  • Pros
    • The ring is light, simple and easy to control
    • Unified Control
    • Small enough to bring and always be with the user
  • Cons
    • Users have to remember which one is which to control the property
    • There are 2 feedbacks mentioned that ring is not a favorable format and it's not easy to take on and off on demand

Conclusion & Discussion

Based on the results, we can conclude that the smart ring that we proposed does not perform better than the smart-hub application. There are several points that we

  1. All the participants are tested with the ring on their first look, training with the ring could make this interaction more familiar and users can get used to controlling it.
  2. The prototype does not have strong tactile feedback on changing the track, which leads people to have mistakes.
  3. The ring could be implemented with the haptic feedback so the interaction can be more fluid and also could reduce the size of the actual ring.

References

Je, S., Rooney, B., Chan, L., & Bianchi, A. (2017, May). tactoRing: A Skin-Drag Discrete Display. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3106-3114). ACM. Han, T., Han, Q., Annett, M., Anderson, F., Huang, D. Y., & Yang, X. D. (2017, October). Frictio: Passive Kinesthetic Force Feedback for Smart Ring Output. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (pp. 131-142). ACM.