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Other User Experience Research Projects

Other User Experience Research Projects

Smart Home in a Box Manual for Installation

This project finished in just two very quick and short weeks. We somehow managed to write a manual, run twenty participants through the manual in a test facility, and make running edits the whole way through. I ended up taking the lead, against my better judgement as I was leaving for Atlanta two weeks after we started and I had a lot to get done before then, but the end product surely justified the hard work put into it. It was fast paced and exciting the whole way through. We learned important things, such as, if a manual is too long no one will read it all the way through, pictures are worth paragraphs of text, and labeling hardware is the best thing you can do if at all possible. Myself and one computer science post doc ran the whole study from start to finish with a challenging pace and several problems along the way. Thinking outside of the box to get things finished became a way of life on this project as for an entire two days we lacked adhesive strips in order for the participants to properly install and had to find new and interesting ways to continue forward.

More on the Manual Study.

Use of the Emotiv Headset to Control Lighting Systems in Assistive Environment

In this project, I worked with teammate Ehsan Nazerfard on the Emotiv EEG system and attempting to find how well the system could sense when people were thinking that they wanted to turn on and off lights. I’ve attached the paper we have submitted to the HFES 2012 conference in October below.

Emotiv EEG Smart Home Test.

Annotation User Interface Testing

In order to train the smart home artificial intelligence algorithms, human annotated data is required. The CASAS lab is attempting to crowd source this job, but need an interface in order to do so. I have been consulting on this project, and now we are working on testing the usability of the UI before releasing it for general use.

Update 7/5: This project has started on Mechanical Turk to gather crowd-sourced data annotation. Congrats to Sal Bagaveyev, as this one is his hard work and dedication.

Making Assistive Smart Technology “Cool” or Reducing Stigma of Smart Technology

I am working on this project with several computer science students who I’m brainstorming with and a sociology student who is looking to study the stigma of the assistive technology. The problem we’ve seen is that older individuals do not want to use the smart technology even though the caregivers think it’s a great idea. And the research to date suggests that older individuals actually don’t fear technology, it just takes them a little longer to learn and training on tech is generally too fast paced for them. Graham Pullin in his book “Design Meets Disability” suggests that assistive devices are often stigmatizing, often making a disability obvious, with little design. We’re working to try and make our design more “cool,” or at least more fun.

E-textiles in the smart home

In this project, I’m using arduinos, accelerometers, LEDs, a small noise making device, and XBee (A zigbee protocol) sewn into a fleece jacket to get more information from the smart home resident. If the concept can work, this would be great to put into sweaters to gather more information about a residents activities.


Leah Zulas, PhD