Automatically Generating Interfaces for
Systems of Multiple Connected Appliances
The computerized appliances in our homes and offices are increasingly coming with built-in support for connecting to other appliances. Systems of connected appliances can be built that work together to accomplish tasks that might otherwise have been impossible. Such systems are already commonplace for home theaters, presentation rooms, and video-conferencing systems. Unfortunately, even those these sytems offer many exciting features, they are often very difficult to use. Not only must the user understand how to use each individual component of the system, which are usually complex in their own right, but they must also understand how the appliances work together to accomplish a desired task.
The Huddle system improves on the usability for these systems of appliances by providing a set of easy-to-use interfaces to the system as a whole.
Huddle is built on the Personal Universal Controller (PUC) system. The PUC automatically generates remote control user interfaces for single appliances, which are displayed on a handheld device that the user is already carrying with them, such as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or mobile phone. Each PUC interface is generated from a functional specification stored in the appliance the user wishes to control.
In Huddle, the handheld devices communicates with each appliance in the system independently. A content flow model for the entire system is built from the pieces in each appliance's specification and a wiring description given by the user.
The system-wide content flow model is then used to build the Flow-Based Interface and four kinds of Aggregate User Interfaces.
Huddle also makes use of the knowledge base from our previous Uniform project, which gives us some semantic information about how functions should be grouped across appliances.
Here are the documents and presentations that we have created that describe Huddle.
Introduction - Examples - Architecture - Documents
Last Modified: April 15, 2006
Jeffrey Nichols - firstname.lastname@example.org