Simplifying Smart Home Setup

Faculty: 
Brian Jones
Students: 
Sharon Ang

The smart home consists of primary sensors (detectors) and controls (actuators) connected by a set of user-defined rules that determine when to trigger the controls based on sensor events. Often, life is more complex than a simple if (sensor event like motion), then (e.g. turn on control, like a light) type rule and requires more complex logic. Even with the simplest rules, the interfaces used to set up that logic can be tedious. Many users of smart homes have trouble configuring the "smarts" of the home. The proposed approach to this problem would require multiple steps from first understanding more about the problem space, defining user needs that would translate to design criteria within the problem space, then designing and developing solutions that would meet user needs, and finally, iteratively be testing and improving on the solutions. This research project seeks to simplify the user experience/interaction required in defining that smart home logic.

This project will understand the challenges and needs of older adults when setting up smart homes, then design new interactive systems based on prototype interactions that would simplify/improve the setup experience for these users.

Lab: 
Director: 
Brian D. Jones
Students: 
Graduate: Sharon Ang, Kristin Hare, Jayanth Mohana Krishna, Akhil Oswal, Jessica Tsui; Undergraduate: William Gao, Fengrui (ChenChen) Zuo

Generally, people spend a good amount of time in their home performing everyday activities like: sleeping, eating, cooking, relaxing, entertaining, and so on; thus, it comes as no surprise that the home plays a key role in our health, lifestyle, and well-being. The Aware Home Research Initiative (AHRI) at Georgia Institute of Technology is an interdisciplinary research endeavor aimed at addressing the fundamental technical, design, and social challenges for people in a home setting. Central to this research is the Aware Home, a 3-story, 5040 square foot facility designed to facilitate research, while providing an authentic home environment. Research domains include: 1. Health and Well-being, 2. Sustainability, 3. Entertainment, 4. Connected Living / Home Management.