• Wed, Jan 27, 2010
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


Smart Spaces and Augmented Reality: Week 1 Homework

Link to previous theme page: Smart Spaces and Augmented Realities 2009

Presentation

Smart Spaces presentation in the Wed Jan 27, 2010 class click to open pdf


Readings

The World is Not a Desktop by Mark Weiser click to open paper
State of the art Smart Spaces: Application Models and Software Infrastructure by Ramesh Singh, Preeti Bhargava, Samta Kain (EXCLUDE section 3) click to open paper (If link does not work access through Tools->Attachments)


Theme Questions:

How smart is your environment now? 
What does it mean for something to be smart nowadays?

Assignment Description: 
Select three (3) different smart objects/interfaces/devices, one per category (i.e. #Home/Domestic, #Work/School and #Exterior Environment), that you can currently interact with and answer the five questions below for each one.

Please note that we are enforcing a NO DUPLICATE rule.  If someone else has already listed your selection, please choose another.

It is easiest to do this by copy-and-pasting the following under each section:

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:

Your Name:

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?




Home/Domestic

(in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, home-office, back-yard, garage, etc.)

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: iPod w/ docking station

Your Name: Sarah

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

I can shuffle my songs by shaking the iPod and create playlists by accessing Genius which groups songs based on my likes, and song similarities.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

It acts as an alarm clock, charges, and plays music.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

I would have to set an alarm clock every morning, create my own playlists, and shuffle songs by programming a CD player.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Battery power requires the device to be plugged into the docking station or through a computer USB connection.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

If I had the interface, it can attach to my shoes and provide music that aligns with my workout pace and routine.  (mentioned below)

 

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Coffee Maker

Your Name: Courtney Hobbs

1.     Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
This Object is smart because it is programmable to start in the morning. I can set it before bed, hit the "brew delay" button and at 5:00am my coffee is brewing. It is a great thing to wake up to and have ready for you!

2.     Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It makes life a little easier. It offers me one less thing to have to do/think about when I wake up in the morning. I get up at 5am, take my dog for a walk and then when I return there is warm coffee ready for me to drink!

3.  What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would have to make my own coffee in the morning. Before my coffee maker I had a single cup Bodum and had to make it and then clean it out to make another.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
Once I forgot to put the coffee in the night before and then it brewed in the morning as just water. Needless to say I was not impressed with myself. Thus, a problem with this device could be human error.

5.  How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
We had to make room on our counter for the coffee maker which was a job and a half. It also now uses all of our counter plugs but has a clock and relies on a timer so if you unplug it it must be reset straightaway when you plug it back in!

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Furnace - or heating gauge on furnace

Your Name: Peggy Irwin

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. Our furnace is a boiler which heats hot water and pipes it to radiators throughout the house. We have a device on it (Maybe the device is smart rather than the furnace itself?) which adjusts the temperature of the water in the boiler according to the temperature outside (i.e. makes the water hotter when it is colder).

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? There are three main benefits, First we don't have to keep adjusting the thermostat based on the outside temperature; second we use less energy which has a positive impact on the environment; third we save money.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? Have to constantly remember to adjust the thermostat and it would still cost more and use more energy.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? When the weather is warm(ish), around -3 to + 2, the water in the rads doesn't get very hot so it can be actually cooler inside than when it is -10 or so. (However, there are sweaters to put on!)

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? The heating gauge interacts with the boiler to adjust the water temperature.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Automatic Shut-Off Kettle

Your Name: Loredana

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
It detects when the water is boiling and automatically shuts off the kettle, making it safer than other kinds of kettles and also quieter

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It prevents burnt posts/kettles, potential fires and other safety risks for distracted minds like my own. It also makes me more efficient, as I can do other things while the water is boiling, without risking my life.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would use a whistle kettle, or if that wasn't available, I'd boil water in a pot, but I'd have to make sure I didn't leave the kitchen until the water boiled, as I am prone to do.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
It takes up very limited counter space.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It is plugged into (and therfore interacts with) an electrical outlet, occupies space on the counter

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: XBox

Your Name: Andrea Tavchar

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
This game system has gone beyond simple gaming and now includes features such as Internet access; Facebook, interaction among players through voice interaction

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
Sadly, this makes my son far more efficient in contacting his friends, and not having to move from the couch. Every main method of communication for a teen is included in this single interface.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
Users would play video games on one console, access a desktop or laptop for internet connectivity, and have a telephone nearby for voice communication. There would have to be more things to buy, support and store.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
As mentioned in part 2, the multifunctionality of one system allows a user to remain fixed on that one system, rather than moving to alternative devices. Although efficient, a price may be paid in the lack of physical exercise, lack of multiple skill development, and in the lack of natural interruptions in usage. (Xbox can be a time thief!)

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
Xbox interacts with the television...

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Microwave oven

Your Name: Nisha Naug

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It has various smart features like the reheat sensor (casserole, pizza, dinner plate etc.), cooking sensors (potato, pasta, rice etc.), Beverage sensor, popcorn sensor, baking, defrost etc.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

All the features either have a sensor or is timed, so there is no risk of leaving food unattended and in the process having to eat burnt or overcooked food. Recipes that normally require a lot of oil/ fat can be cooked with very little/ no oil. Cooking/ reheating time is faster. No heat is spread and the kitchen is no more a hot and greasy room.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

I would have to use the stove or the cooking range to cook. Cooking time will be longer. Reheating will be a task as it will require transfer of food to suitable container. Of course, there will always be the risk of burning and overcooking food by using the regular method.

 4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Metal objects can cause sparking. Closed containers or eggs can explode when heated in microwave.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

It is plugged in as it uses Electric power. The timer of the microwave is a device it uses to interact with us. The beeper is another device used by it to interact.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:Outdooor light sensor

Anne

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. When there is movement outside, the light automatically comes on.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? This makes me more comfortable at night when I come home in the dark and it comes on as I put my key in the door.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? I might avoid that door after dark.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? Somtimes the battery wears out and it takes a while to get a new one. Perhaps if it could be solar energized then this would never be a problem.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? It warns potential robbers that the light is going to be on and the neighbours will be able to see their nefarious business. 

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Nike + iPod Sport Kit

Your Name: Bodong Chen

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
This kit is a device which measures and records the distance and pace of a walk or run. Just by placing a sensor (an accelerometer as a matter of fact) in your Nike shoes, it can automatically record the time of running, measure the miles unfold, provide real-time voice feedback, and adjust tempo of the music.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
_This device can help you monitor the process of your exercise and provide feedback. It tunes your speed, distance, pace, statistics and playlist. It has the potential to make your running more enjoyable and fruitful. But the premise is that you want to listen to music in running._
Check this funny video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEiRtNLqKQY

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
For a person who want to monitor his running closely, he need to carry many stuff with him. Things in the previous video might happen.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
I need to put a sensor to my shoes, and the shoes should be Nike+. This restriction just makes me uncomfortable.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
When it's working, this device just interacts with the person who is using it. You can connect it to your Mac or PC, and your workout data automatically syncs to nikeplus.com. This personal statistics is stored as XML, and therefore can be easily retrieved and used for other applications in need. Nike+ website even built an online community to get users together, to meet and challenge each other, ask questions, and give feedback.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Digital TV Receiver Box

Your Name: Murat

1. Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
It is smart because it is programable. Also, it is smart because it only shows me the channels that I purchased.
2. Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It provides me flexibility. I can set it to record a show or game while I am busy at the time of broadcast and I can watch it anytime I am available.
What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would try to find the content on the internet. I would probably watch it with low quality of video and audio.
What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

5. How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It is meant to be used with television. It doesn't interact with other devices.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Satellite Radio Receiver

Eva

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.The satellite receiver provides the name of the artist and piece of music playing. I can scan channels for my favourites. I can control the volume and stations with a remote control.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?I can access music that I enjoy without having to create my own playlists. I can easily find out who the artist is if I am interested in hearing more. I can listen to music that is not available on terrestrial radio stations and access public radio. There are few commercial interruptions.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?I would only listen to radio occasionally (in the car perhaps). 

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? Sometimes reception is a problem.  The business model itself may not survive. The device is not attractive (an oversized black boom box) and the receiver design is not easy to understand. For example a round knob is a station scanner and two black buttons that are hard to see and hard to press are the volume control. The remote control works best.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?It interacts with a satellite network and broadcasters.  The staff in the call centre deal with various technical and billing issues.  The company makes some broadcasters available via a web interface.  The receiver also works in my vehicle. Most importantly it works at campsites.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:  Stress moderation/feedback system

Your Name: Jim S.

1. Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

My home is my orientation to life - health, nutrition, family, hobbies, travel, work, etc. Building on the idea of "emotional interfaces" that give you feedback about your usage patterns of water, driving cars, etc - I am thinking about one that will give me feedback about my stressed-out behaviours. This would be an "integrating" feature that tries to synthesize my life activities, as they are reified in my interactions with objects and spaces within the home - and give me feedback about it which in turn could lead to an overall reduction in stress.

2. Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you. For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

Suppose the following: If, by receiving feedback about stress reduction, my overall life becomes less stressed over a period of several months, then several years, I would find myself with more time to work in the garden, more time to fix up the house, more time to cook, more time to play with the kid. If my house has helped me wrangle my time and emotional energy to that point - then this is a good house. And its a house where I am happy about being at home, etc.

3. What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

More like what I am doing now. Frantically trying to do too many jobs for work, juggle jobs around the house, eat take-out food, get mad at the dog for being - a dog. etc.

4. What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Just being "told" that I am doing something in a stress-prone fashion is not enough to get me to stop doing it that way. In fact, history has told me that I am typically more likely to do those things when I know that they are somehow bad for me... So I need some kind of feedback that allows me to take new relationships with home-bound activities

5. How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

It would have to read my calendar, keep summative stats on my laptop and cell phone and television use, somehow monitor my physical activities, TV watching, etc.

Its the stuff of the future - but I like it because it seems to offer a sortof overarching design perspective for smart homes.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:  Programmable Rice Cooker

Your Name:  Cresencia Fong

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It can delay the start of the rice cooking process according to the amount of delay time I program into it.  It can also adjust cooking temperature and duration for the following end result properties:  porridge, slow cook, steam cook (i.e. steaming cooking foods other than rice), quick (i.e. if you need the rice to be cooked extra fast), regular (e.g. ~45 minutes to cook rice normally)

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

I can put water and raw rice into the cooker in the morning before I leave the house, and program the time I'd like to be able to eat cooked rice.  So when I get home, the rice is ready to eat, and it's one less thing to prepare for dinner - a huge time and hassle saver for us!

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

Since rice takes 45 minutes to cook,  we'd be eating dinner 45 minutes from the time dinner preparations begins.  Now that the rice can cook on its own, and we can get the rest of dinner ready in about 20-30 minutes, we're eating a bit earlier and there's less to prepare and wash during the after work scramble to get food on the table.  Ultimately, it means less stress for us.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

When it finishes cooking the rice, it beeps, and it automatically goes into "Warm" mode - which means it works to keep the rice warm.  Left over a long period of time, the rice gets too dry to eat.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

It has a plastic steamer basket that fits within the rim of the inner rice container.  So you can place your raw rice in the bowl-shaped container, then place raw vegetables or meat in this steamer basket.  Both the rice and the vegetables/meat would automatically cook at the same time.




Work/School

(in the cafeteria, lobby, elevator, office, lecture-room, meeting room, hallway, parking lot, courtyard, etc.)

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Elevator

Your Name: Courtney

1.     Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
This object is smart because it collects people by the push of a button and then takes them to the floor they select, again by simply pushing a button.

2.     Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
An elevator makes life easier. To get where I need to go, the fourth floor, I just need to press a fe buttons.

3.  What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would take the stairs.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
One of the two elevators at my office was not working on Friday and there was a crowd waiting most of the day because it was taking so long with just one elevator. There was the obvious option to take the stairs but people get into habits.

5.  How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It helps keep the workday running smooth and efficiently.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Palm Pilot

Your Name: Sarah

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

Able to send email, text messages, pictures through wi-fi or close contact.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

More efficient and convenient. No requirement to get on to a wireless network; just need to be in close proximity to your receiver

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

Log into a computer station, log into the internet, look up email address, send message.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Close proximity to receiver to forward messages. 

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

Not sure of the how but I imagine something similar with blue tooth interface.

 

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Fax/printer

Your Name: Peggy

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. It's smart because it can receive commands from me via my computer and execute them.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? It helps me be more efficient by being able to quickly print what I need the way I need it without my having to physically take something to the printer and then adjust the way the paper sits in the printer. I can make multiple copies without going to a photocopier. It also can switch from printing to fax mode.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? It has become so ubiquitous that I had to go pretty far back in my thinking to identify what would be missing. It allows for the possibility of printing directly from the computer which makes the whole concept of word processing possible. If the computer (which is its own smart thing) couldn't talk to printer I'd be using a typewriter.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? By printing so easy too often people (me included) print too many things too many times which uses a lot more paper than necessary which is not good for the physical environment in which we live.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? I'm sure exactly what is meant by "How" in this question.(Don't know if the following is the kind of answer you are looking for.)...It interacts with my computer by accepting commands via a wire; it interacts with people outside by accepting commands through the telephone (turn into a fax and receive); and it interacts with me by telling me when it needs things (new drum, etc.)

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Memory Stick

Your Name: Loredana

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
It is so small and compact, and has mass storage capacity; it easily connects to other computers, allows data to be transferred between different devices, and is rewritable

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
I can transport files (of all sizes) to and from different computers with ease, making me more mobile and flexible with my work; saves me having to email files back and forth to myself and others, or burn materials to CDs, etc.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I'd probably do more work from home (my main work computer); would use email if I needed to move files from one place to another

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
It is so small, which is great on the one hand, but also means it can be easily lost or misplaced, an important consideration when carrying confidential materials; also, takes some planning to ensure you've copied everything you might potentially need.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It connects to different USB ports of different computers, and draws power from this connection eliminating need for a battery

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Sensor Lighting

Your Name: Andrea Tavchar

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
In various spaces at the College, sensor lighting has been implemented, where rooms are lit only when a sensor detects a human presence. This is a 'smart' device that fulfills a need with no required action on the part of the person.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
The benefit here is that a person does not need to look for a light switch, or think about turning the light off when they leave the room. There are also energy savings to be considered.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

The responsibility for lighting the room would be left to human control, which can lead to energy wastage.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

If a human remains in a space, but restricts their movement (sitting quietly at their computer), the lights turn off, and the person is required to flail about to trigger the lights.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

The sensor interacts with the power source, limiting power usage to times when lights are necessary. The sensor also interacts with humans, triggering the lights through the detection of human presence. The sensor is a liaison between the energy source and the energy user.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Automated Phone System

Your Name: Nisha Naug

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It answers the phone on behalf of you. It records voice messages and phone numbers. It conveys an automated message from you to the caller when you are unable to pick up the phone or not in office.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

The system will pick up the call and give the caller some options, such as what department or extension they would like to be directed to. This can be helpful in shortening the call time and the need for individuals to be paid to answer phones with the company.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

Have to make sure that I am there or hire a person to attend phone calls. Phone numbers will have to be written down manually. There is every possibility of missing important calls and of course no possibility of knowing who called.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

It might annoy the person calling to speak to a person for solving problems to receive an automated message. Messages cannot be recorded once the mailbox is full.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

A blinking light of the device lets us know of the messages that are waiting for us. A image in the screen indicates the number of messages awaiting.

Smart Device/Object/Interface: Interac machine at cafeteria 

Name: Anne

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. It recognizes my bank card code and takes money from my account to pay for my food.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? It saves me time because every time that I'm short of cash and hungry, I don't have to go outside to the bank. It makes me more efficient, keeps me warm and gets me food more quickly.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? I would have to check my purse every morning to make sure that I had enough cash for lunch and if I didn't I would have to go to the bank on the way to OISE.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? Sometimes I wonder how many other fingers have touched the key pad and think that viruses could be spread by using it.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? It interfaces with the friendly women who work at the cafeteria. Sometimes we have a moment to chat as I wait for the machine to process. One time she gave me some balm for my cold that made me feel slightly better.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Intelligent Chat bot

Your Name: Bodong

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
I worked with a professor in Peking University, who developed an online chatting bot named CSIEC for English learners in China. Now his system can communicate with users in several different ways, e.g. his website, instant messengers, cellphone, and Secondlife. There are many chatting bot out there, no matter in virtual space or embedded in a physical robot. Basically they can talk to users in natural languages. A bot who can talk with you is smart.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It can provide people with opportunities to talk in English.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
_English learners in China are regarded to be shy and do not talk a lot with each other in English. So with such a robot, people can talk without feeling embarrassed in making mistakes. Without it, it's just a lose of chance to talk. _

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
Most chatting robots cannot answer questions well. Sometimes I cannot understand its meaning and sometimes it cannot understand mine.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
_It's good to deploy such robots in instant messengers, mobile phones and virtual spaces. _
_Check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwsK3ckMdFs _

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: T card

Your Name: Murat

  1. Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
    It stores my information. Also, I can load money to the card.
  2. Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
    I can easily access university's sources, such as library books or recreation areas. With the money, I can photocopy articles.
  3. What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
    I would be doing somethings; however, it would be time consuming.
  4. What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
    If I lose it, somebody might easily use it. There is no personal password to prevent unintended usage.
  5. How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
    Works with T-card reader, installed next to the printers or photocopy machines. There are also some T card reader kiosks at Robarts Librart, I can self check out the books.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Parking Meter

Your Name: Eva

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.The parking meter accepts my credit card and provides proof of payment for parking my car on campus.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?It allows me to leave my vehicle in a parking spot while I attend class. I am healthier, more efficient and comfortable because I can use my vehicle to get to and from campus.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?On one hand if it didn't exist I might save money - however if it wasn't part of the campus infrastructure I would not be able to access the educational opportunity because commuting by public transit would take more time and contribute to more stress and expense (time, reliability, childcare etc). If the device didn't accept credit card payment I would need to ensure I had enough cash to cover the cost of parking each time I come to campus.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?The machine provides to some extent the convenience of parking on campus and leads to incurring significant expense. It also contributes to an increased carbon footprint, road congestion and other negative environmental impacts.  It has been known to fail - leading to the possibility of getting a parking ticket, or having to find another working machine.  It has also been known to double bill.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It interacts with a network, with banking institutions, people who park cars, the university campus police, the technicians who maintain it, with the parking facility where it is placed.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:  Smart Board (Interactive Whiteboard)

Your Name:  Cresencia Fong

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It's a big white board on which your computer/laptop screen is projected.  Your finger becomes the mouse and you touch the board itself to manipulate your computer desktop.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

When a group of people need to see your computer screen it's much easier to see it projected on a big space.  Also, the interactivity of the board allows for the use of interactive learning objects which seem to engage students with their game-like qualities.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

I wouldn't be able to use interactive learning objects. This would mean a decreased level of engagement with the students.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

  • Shadow effect:  user's shadow when standing between the projector and the board, will black-out what is being projected
  • fluctuations in heat and humidity:  cause calibration of the board to become imprecise and therefore need to stop a lesson for a minute to recalibrate the board
  • single point of contact:  can only have on point/finger/object touch the board at a time, so can't have more than one student working at the board
  • needs to be connected via bluetooth (extra $$) or USB cable (comes with board) to a computer/laptop:  if using USB cable, students/teachers may trip on the wire and break the connection between the computer and the Smart Board.  Teacher will then have to stop the lesson, reconnect the wire, and recalibrate the board before continuing with the lesson.  This can result in loss of lesson momentum and introduction of chaos on the classroom (classroom management issues)

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

  • needs to be connected via bluetooth or USB cable to a computer/laptop
  • computer/laptop needs to be connected to a data projector
  • image of computer/laptop screen projected onto Smart Board via data projector 
  • if the Smart Board is on wheels, it can be shared among different teachers and classrooms (fair access within a school); but this often leads to less/little/no teacher/student usage
  • if the Smart Board is fastened to a classroom wall, it stays with that classroom and its teacher (unfair access within a school); but this almost certainly leads to constant teacher/student usage




Exterior Environment

(on the sidewalk, public transit, automobile, park, town square, beach, museum, grocery store, boutique, shopping mall, etc.)

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Walmart Price Checker

Your Name: Sarah

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It reads the barcode on the product and tells you the price.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

More efficient with shopping and very convenient without having to track down sales people for a price check.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

Have to track down an employee to answer my question or wait until I go through the checkout.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Incorrect information on the barcode; missing barcodes; sale price not being updated.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

Would be great if it could interface with a Walmart credit card that allowed you to pay for the object without having to wait in line.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:Gym card

Your Name:Courtney

1.     Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
My gym card is scanned when I enter the gym. By scanning they are able collect ample information about me, how often I come and other useful statistics.

2.     Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It makes it easy for me to enter the club. As an instructor it ensures that I am able to use the benefits of my Associate Membership (ie. Towel service, free tanning, etc.)

3.  What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would have to spend more time entering the club and therefore set aside more time for my workout.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
Sometimes no one is there to scan my card and the scanner is not left out for people to use on their own and then I am stuck and not able to get in the club.

5.  How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
By scanning our cards much information is collected for the clubs and the company to formulate statistics.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Debit card

Your Name: Peggy

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. It has the ability to interact with machines at a store and with a bank machine and make connections between those machines and my bank account.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? It makes things easier by not having to always remember to have enough cash on hand. It also means I don't have to go into the bank itself to take out money.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? I would be going to the bank more often. I wouldn't be able to access cash in "off hours". I would need to carry sufficient cash with me which would mean I would have to plan better.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? If someone steals it (either physically or by hacking) rather than just getting your cash they have access to all your money. Also, it requires remembering another PIN number. Also, by not using cash it is easier to spend more money than you perhaps should.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? it affects other entities by taking money out of my account and transferring it either to someone else's account or giving it to me in the form of cash. I don't really know how it does this.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: TTC GPS tracking system

Your Name: Loredana

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
Informs customers of the time they need to wait for the next train, streetcar, etc.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
Takes the frustration and anxiety out of not knowing how you long you might be waiting, and if you might be late, which allows you to contact someone to inform them if you are going to be late, or to make the decision to take another form of transportation, such as a cab, etc.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
Not much, other than be frustrated, or spend more money on cabs, or be more tempted to buy a car

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
would be better if you had the information before paying and going downstairs to the subway tracks; not always reliable and seems to break down easily; still needs a ways to go before it can be implemented on a wider scale

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
uses satellite to track location of transit vehicles; communicates this information on TTC news board in subway stations or online at a TTC website

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Programmable Settings in a Car

Your Name: Andrea Tavchar

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

In some vehicles (though not mine), it is possible for various drivers to program their preferred settings for seat/steering wheel/rear view mirror positioning, so that each time they are in the driver's seat, the settings adjust to these preferences. The degree to which this could be considered 'smart' would depend on the human interface required for this application. If the car can detect diverse individuals through unique keys, then this is 'smarter' than the user having to indicate their preferred settings through a button on the dashboard.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

Not only does this device make life easier/more efficient for the driver, it could be argued that preferred settings lead to greater safety. When the driving experience meets the needs of each driver, (ie. rear view mirror is adjusted to height, seats are upright for back support and leg room), the driver is better equipped to operate the vehicle safely.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

In vehicles without this feature (which are most vehicles), the driver that share vehicles with other members of the family, etc. must take the extra few minutes to adjust their settings before driving. A potential danger exists when time-crunched people don't adjust settings, and compromise safe vehicle operation.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
This technology presupposes a finite number of drivers per vehicle. It may prove challenging to override the settings and adjust for a new driver.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
This interacts with the drivers of the car, stores relevant information about driver's preferences, interacts with other technology within the vehicle (seats, steering wheel, etc.).

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Automated Teller Machine

Your Name: Nisha Naug

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

It is a machine that provides clients of a bank or financial institute with access of financial transaction without the need of a cashier. It can help you withdraw cash, make cash deposits, print out receipts, check balances

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

It is located in all convenient locations. It has no timings and is open 24 hours of a day. Although placed publicly, information regarding money matters remain private and no cashier is privy to this info at that point.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

Have to wait for a suitable time, that suits both me and the bank, to do my financial transaction. Mostly got to wait in a line for your turn, meaning loss of time.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Transactions are limited and large transctions cannot be dealt through this device. Possibility of running out of cash by the device. POssibility of running out of paper for printing receipts.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

It has a screen which interacts with you for making the right choice of account type and amount of money. There is also cash vending in the device. It guides and directs the way the card has to inserted.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Traffic light

Your Name: Anne

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart. It knows how to control traffic at an intersection and let pedestrians know when it is safe to cross the street.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.? It makes me healthier avoiding collisions with other cars, cyclists or pedestrians.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? I would have to corss streets extremely carefully and increase the time that it takes me to walk to work.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface? Sometimes with power outages, they are not illuminated and the police have to come to direct traffic.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)? It interacts with a sound device that makes a coded noise to tell people with visual disabilities that is safe to cross the street.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Supermarket Tracking System

Your Name: Bodong

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
This is a prototype an entrepreneur team from the U of Tokyo developed. By tracking consumers' path by a tag placed on the shopping cart or blanket, the system can provide suggestion to consumers and put advertisement at appropriate time and place.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
As a customer, a good suggestion in shopping might help me to save money, and relevant advertisement could remind me of something I need.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
Buy things in supermarket as usual.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
Ethical issues - people might not want to be tracked. Potentials on helping customers are still open to develop.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It is expected to communicate with a central advertisement server, to get commercial ads from ads consumers.

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Smart Phone

Your Name: Murat

1. Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.
I can use it as a personal assistant, camera, video recorder, web browser, game console, and ,of course, as a communication device.
2. Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?
It is like a personal computer I carry in my pocket. I gives me the data I need at the moment.
3. What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?
I would probably wait for the moment that I have access to internet.
4. What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?
The phone is as powerful as the installed programs are, and some free programs are not that good.
5. How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?
It is perfectly compatible with Apple computers, though it is limited to iTunes on Windows based systems

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name: Road Speed Signage

Your Name: Eva

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.The device can read the speed of my vehicle as it approaches and flashes my rate of speed in comparison to the posted limit.

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?The device makes visible my actions as I drive - perhaps reminding me to stay within the posted limit.  It may reinforce good driving practice.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities? I might forget to observe the speed limit.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?Once drivers pass the sign they speed up.  Drivers who aren't already aware the sign is there tend to brake hard when they notice it.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?Perhaps it collects data that the police are able to use to determine when the sign is turned on or off. It interacts with vehicles, drivers, law enforcement and the environment where it is posted. 

Smart Device/Object/Interface Name:  Sidewalk patterns for the blind (Asia)

Your Name:  Cresencia Fong

I wrote the material below earlier.  I'm now sitting in class, listening to the Smart Spaces group, and now I don't think this particular example of mine is a Smart Device/Object/Interface as it's not interactive with people.  

1.   Please explain what makes this device/object/interface smart.

I have recently returned from a trip to Mainland China (Shanghai, Yangzhou, Suzhou, Wuzhen, Guangzhou), Hong Kong, and Macau.  With the exception of Macau (a former Portuguese colony), I noticed that all the sidewalks and indoor public transit walkways and stations have the exact same pattern of slightly raised rectangular ridges in the pavement which run the length of all walkways.  At the end of walkways (e.g. street corners), these rectangular ridges turn into raised circular dots!

2.   Please explain what kind of benefits this device/object/interface provides you.  For example, how does it make you healthier, more efficient, comfortable, aware, etc.?

In the 3 weeks I was there, I only saw 2 blind people.  1 person was using this system of raised pavement along with his white cane.  The other person was walking with a companion who held their arm.  I didn't see any seeing-eye dogs.  These specially ridged walkways help the blind to walk in a purposeful direction, and warn them when approaching the end of a walkway or an intersection in the walkway.

3.   What would you do differently if the device/object/interface did not exist or have its smart capabilities?

The blind would need a white cane and/or a seeing eye dog.  It is not common for people in mainland China and Hong Kong to own large dogs due to cramped living spaces.

4.   What are some disadvantages or problems you have (or might foresee) with this device/object/interface?

Might be expensive for the Chinese government to implement this EVERYWHERE (it already is in all public walkways), but I think this is the right thing to do.

5.   How does this device/object/interface affect and interact with other entities (e.g., other devices/objects/interfaces, people, organizations, etc.)?

  • Allows blind people to be more independent
  • contributes to society's tolerance/acceptance of people with special needs, and acts as an enculturation device
  • hopefully encourages people to build such flooring into semi-public spaces (e.g. condo building, hotels, shopping malls, etc.)
  • hopefully inspires people to create new types of accommodations/devices for blindness and other special needs


  • No labels