University of Twente Student Theses


Supporting multi-modal and multi-medial user interfaces from an embedded environment

Braam, G.J.M. (2006) Supporting multi-modal and multi-medial user interfaces from an embedded environment.

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Abstract:This report describes my research, design and partial realization of a technical framework to support multi-modal and multi-medial user interface clients from an embedded environment. This framework supports multiple in- and output modalities, multiple types of connection media, synchronization between different instances on different types of media and bi-directional communication with these user interfaceclients. I show how these user interfaces will be operated by end users and by configuration users, the latter being more technical than the first. Each has a somewhat different set of demands from the user interface that they use, although in the end the services supporting both will be based on the same basic low-level primitives. The base framework that I have designed to support these user interfaces provides low-level functionality like message routing, event notification and connection tracking. As a part of this base I also specify a message protocol that can handle the communication requirements internally within such a framework as well as externally, with the user interface clients. By means of the message protocol and the driver model I have incorporated an abstraction level over the connected devices that enables them to be addressed and controlled in a uniform way, resulting in a high level of modularity. At the time of writing I have completed the framework to a point where it delivers a reliable base for message delivery and driver stability. Other driver and user interface developers, who are also seen as users of the framework, can now do their work without needing to know all the low-level information about the other parts of the framework. I have developed prototype drivers and user interface clients for different platforms and hardware standards that connect with the framework, of which the client PocketPC Flash Application is the most feature rich. The framework is tested on a resource-limited, embedded hardware component called the Home Control Box (HCB). It plays a central role in the integration all of the home automation devices in an environment, groups of devices that are often based on multiple incompatible technologies. Adding software support for new standards and technologies to the framework is therefore made to be as fast and simple as possible. Future expansion plans for the HCB include solutions in the field of ambient intelligence and automated remote care.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Home Automation Europe
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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