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ECCE Toolkit: Prototyping Sensor-Based Interaction

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Building and exploring physical user interfaces requires high technical skills and hours of specialized work. The behavior of multiple devices with heterogeneous input/output channels and connectivity has to be programmed in a context where not only the software interface matters, but also the hardware components are critical (e.g., sensors and actuators). Prototyping physical interaction is hindered by the challenges of: (1) programming interactions among physical sensors/actuators and digital interfaces; (2) implementing functionality for different platforms in different programming languages; and (3) building custom electronic-incorporated objects. We present ECCE (Entities, Components, Couplings and Ecosystems), a toolkit for non-programmers that copes with these issues by abstracting from low-level implementations, thus lowering the complexity of prototyping small-scale, sensor-based physical interfaces to support the design process. A user evaluation provides insights and use cases of the kind of applications that can be developed with the toolkit.

No MeSH data available.


The implementation of a design idea with ECCE during the second workshop: (left) a participant connecting the sensors and, (right) the final implementation.
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sensors-17-00438-f013: The implementation of a design idea with ECCE during the second workshop: (left) a participant connecting the sensors and, (right) the final implementation.

Mentions: All groups provided an implementation of at least one design idea at the end of the workshop. The final solutions implemented simple interactions and were quite similar. This is ascribable to several factors: the limitations of the laboratory setup (time constraints), the fact that participants used the toolkit for the very first time and also the set of sensors and actuators that are supported by the current implementation. Most of the implemented prototypes made use of proximity sensors to show or hide some digital content depending on the distance of a visitor from an exhibition piece. The augmented information, textual or pictorial, was in generally displayed directly over the piece by means of pico-projectors. Three groups exploited the tablets. One of them placed a tablet near an exhibition piece and used it to present interactive digital information (see Figure 13). The tablet offers the advantage, if compared to projected content, to allow visitors to interact with digital content via multi-touch input. For instance, the group used a distance sensor to perceive the presence of a visitor and show a graphical interface on the tablet. The graphical interface provided touch areas that displayed multimedia content related to the piece. Two other groups used the tablets as personal mobile devices to display and interact with digital information.


ECCE Toolkit: Prototyping Sensor-Based Interaction
The implementation of a design idea with ECCE during the second workshop: (left) a participant connecting the sensors and, (right) the final implementation.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5375724&req=5

sensors-17-00438-f013: The implementation of a design idea with ECCE during the second workshop: (left) a participant connecting the sensors and, (right) the final implementation.
Mentions: All groups provided an implementation of at least one design idea at the end of the workshop. The final solutions implemented simple interactions and were quite similar. This is ascribable to several factors: the limitations of the laboratory setup (time constraints), the fact that participants used the toolkit for the very first time and also the set of sensors and actuators that are supported by the current implementation. Most of the implemented prototypes made use of proximity sensors to show or hide some digital content depending on the distance of a visitor from an exhibition piece. The augmented information, textual or pictorial, was in generally displayed directly over the piece by means of pico-projectors. Three groups exploited the tablets. One of them placed a tablet near an exhibition piece and used it to present interactive digital information (see Figure 13). The tablet offers the advantage, if compared to projected content, to allow visitors to interact with digital content via multi-touch input. For instance, the group used a distance sensor to perceive the presence of a visitor and show a graphical interface on the tablet. The graphical interface provided touch areas that displayed multimedia content related to the piece. Two other groups used the tablets as personal mobile devices to display and interact with digital information.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Building and exploring physical user interfaces requires high technical skills and hours of specialized work. The behavior of multiple devices with heterogeneous input/output channels and connectivity has to be programmed in a context where not only the software interface matters, but also the hardware components are critical (e.g., sensors and actuators). Prototyping physical interaction is hindered by the challenges of: (1) programming interactions among physical sensors/actuators and digital interfaces; (2) implementing functionality for different platforms in different programming languages; and (3) building custom electronic-incorporated objects. We present ECCE (Entities, Components, Couplings and Ecosystems), a toolkit for non-programmers that copes with these issues by abstracting from low-level implementations, thus lowering the complexity of prototyping small-scale, sensor-based physical interfaces to support the design process. A user evaluation provides insights and use cases of the kind of applications that can be developed with the toolkit.

No MeSH data available.