Resource-based direct manipulation: a user-centric visual interface for operational customization of future smart appliances


In the current era of IoT, home appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and coffee makers, etc. are being equipped with internet access and sensing resources to provide autonomous or semi-autonomous functionality to its users. It is foreseeable that these appliances will soon be capable to collaborate by sharing their capabilities enabling dynamic operations as per the context and user preferences. This scenario, however, will also add to the complexity of programming/customizing the operational behavior of the appliances. Hence, traditional control interfaces will not suffice. This paper presents a generic architecture through which such collaborative operations of home appliances can be achieved. To minimize complexity for end-users, a centralized drag-n-drop visual interface for operational customization of the home appliances has been presented. In this proof-of-concept implementation, Intel Edison Platforms with associated sensing and actuating components have been utilized to mimic the sensing, actuation and computational resources of future home appliances by utilizing local WIFI network for communication purposes. Simple collaboration scenarios have been executed to find the execution delay of the customized collaborative operations. Based on the same scenarios, a preliminary usability study, based on system usability scale (SUS), has been conducted for the centralized visual interface via two different groups of end-users (programming skills-based). The average SUS score of 79.2 by both groups backs the claim of reduced complexity and ease of use for the end-users.

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This work was partly supported by Institute for Information and communications Technology Promotion (IITP) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 10043907, Development of high-performance IoT device and Open Platform with Intelligent Software) under the ITRC (Information Technology Research Center) support program (IITP-2015-H8501-15-1017) supervised by the IITP (Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion).

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Correspondence to Iftikhar Ahmed Khan or Junaid Shuja.

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Khan, M.S., Abrar, M.F., Kim, D. et al. Resource-based direct manipulation: a user-centric visual interface for operational customization of future smart appliances. Telecommun Syst (2020).

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  • Operational customization
  • Smart appliances
  • Resources
  • Virtual objects
  • Direct manipulation
  • User interface, system usability