Application Design for Wearable Computing

Application Design for Wearable Computing

Dan Siewiorek, Asim Smailagic, Thad Starner,
ISBN: 9781598291209 | PDF ISBN: 9781598291216
Copyright © 2008 | 66 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2008

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The confluence of decades of computer science and computer engineering research in multimodal interaction (e.g., speech and gesture recognition), machine learning (e.g., classification and feature extraction), software (e.g., web browsers, distributed agents), electronics (e.g., energy-efficient microprocessors, head-mounted displays), design methodology in user-centered design, and rapid prototyping have enabled a new class of computers - wearable computers. The lecture takes the viewpoint of a potential designer or researcher in wearable computing. Designing wearable computers requires attention to many different factors because of the computer's closeness to the body and its use while performing other tasks. For the purposes of discussion, we have created the UCAMP framework, which consists of the following factors: user, corporal, attention, manipulation, and perception. Each of these factors and their importance is described. A number of example prototypes developed by the authors, as well as by other researchers, are used to illustrate these concepts. Wearable computers have established their first foothold in several application domains, such as vehicle and aircraft maintenance and manufacturing, inspection, language translation, and other areas.

The lecture continues by describing the next step in the evolution of wearable computers, namely, context awareness. Context-aware computing takes into account a user's state and surroundings, and the mobile computer modifies its behavior based on this information. A user's context can be quite rich, consisting of attributes such as physical location, physiological state, personal history, daily behavioral patterns, and so forth. If a human assistant were given such context, he or she would make decisions in a proactive fashion, anticipating user needs, and acting as a proactive assistant. The goal is to enable mobile computers to play an analogous role, exploiting context information to significantly reduce demands on human attention. Context-aware intelligent agents can deliver relevant information when a user needs that information. These data make possible many exciting new applications, such as augmented reality, context-aware collaboration, and augmented manufacturing.

The combined studies and research reported in this lecture suggest a number of useful guidelines for designing wearable computing devices. Also included with the guidelines is a list of questions that designers should consider when beginning to design a wearable computer. The research directions section emphasizes remaining challenges and trends in the areas of user interface, modalities of interaction, and wearable cognitive augmentation. Finally, we summarize the most important challenges and conclude with a projection of future directions in wearable computing.

Table of Contents

The Wearable Computing UCAMP
Design Guidelines for Wearable Computing
Research Directions
Conclusions and Future Challenges

About the Author(s)

Dan Siewiorek, Carnegie Mellon University
Daniel P. Siewiorek received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1968 and his master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in electrical engineering, with a minor in computer science, from Stanford University in 1969 and 1972, respectively. Dr. Siewiorek is the Buhl University professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has designed and been involved with the design of nine multiprocessor systems and has been a key contributor to the dependability design of more than two dozen commercial computing systems. Dr. Siewiorek leads an interdisciplinary team that has designed and constructed more than 20 generations of mobile computing systems. He has written eight textbooks in the areas of parallel processing, computer architecture, reliable computing, and design automation in addition to more than 475 papers. Currently director of the Human Computer Interaction Institute, he was previously director of the Engineering Design Research Center and cofounder of its successor organization, the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, where he served as associate director. He has been the recipient of the American Association of Engineering Education Frederick Emmons Terman Award, the IEEE/ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, and the ACM SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contributions Award. He is a fellow of IEEE, ACM, and AAAS and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Asim Smailagic, Carnegie Mellon University
Asim Smailagic is a research professor in the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, College of Engineering, and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He is also the director of the Laboratory for Interactive and Wearable Computer Systems at CMU,
which has designed and built more than two dozen generations of novel wearable computers during the last 15 years and several prototypes of context-aware computer systems. Dr. Smailagic received the Fulbright Postdoctoral Award in Computer Science at CMU in 1988. He has been a program chairman or cochairman of IEEE conferences more than 10 times. He is chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Wearable Information Systems. He codeveloped an interdisciplinary concurrent design methodology with Dr. Dan Siewiorek and is widely recognized for his work in the design and rapid prototyping of wearable computers. Dr. Smailagic received the 2000 Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence from CMU School of Computer Science, the 2003 Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence in Information Technology, the 2003 Steve Fenves Systems Research Award from the CMU College of Engineering, and other awards. Dr. Smailagic has written or edited books in the areas of mobile computing, digital system design, field programmable gate arrays, and VLSI systems. He gave keynote lectures at many representative international conferences and at institutions such as the Royal Academy of Engineering, London, UK. Prof. Smailagic participated in several major research projects that represent milestones in the evolution of computer system architectures: from CMU's Cm* Multiprocessor System and Edinburgh Multi-Microprocessor Assembly (EMMA) to CMU's parallel and distributed computer systems, to the current projects on Wearable Computer Systems, Smart Modules computers, Aura Pervasive Computing, Context Aware Computing, Cognitive Computing, Virtual Coaches, and Quality of Life Technologies.

Thad Starner, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thad Starner is the founder and director of the Contextual Computing Group at Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Computing. Before joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1999, Starner gained international recognition at the MIT Media Laboratory as one of the world’s leading experts on wearable computers during his doctoral work "Wearable Computing and Contextual Awareness." An advocate of continuous-access, everyday-use systems, Starner has worn his custom wearable computer in such a manner since 1993, arguably the longest such experience. Starner is a cofounder of the IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) and cofounder and first member of the MIT Wearable Computing Project. In 1999, Starner was named one of Technology Review’s TR100 individuals under 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation. Starner has been a keynote speaker and/or distinguished lecturer at a wide range of scientific, industrial, and academic events, including ACM's Conference for Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE), Princeton's Distinguished Lecture in Pervasive Computing, the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Fashion Institute of Technology's Faculty Convocation, Interaction, Nicograph, Second Congreso Internacional de Ingenieria Electronica, and Interaction homme-Machine (IhM). His work has been discussed in national and international public forums, including CBS's 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, The New York Times, New Scientist, Nikkei Science, ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, The London Independent, The Bangkok Post, PBS's Scientific American Frontiers, CNN, BBC, and The Wall Street Journal. Starner has authored well over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and is always looking for a good game of table tennis.


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