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Stanford interactive workspaces: a framework for physical and graphical user interface prototyping

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4 Author(s)
Borchers, J. ; Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Ringel, M. ; Tyler, J. ; Fox, A.

Most smart homes are created evolutionarily by adding more and more technologies to an existing home, rather than being developed on a single occasion by building a new home from scratch. This incremental addition of technology requires a highly flexible infrastructure to accommodate both future extensions and legacy systems without requiring extensive rewiring of hardware or extensive reconfiguration on the software level. Stanford's iStuff (Interactive Stuff) provides an example of a hardware interface abstraction technique that enables quick customization and reconfiguration of Smart Home solutions. iStuff gains its power from its combination with the Stanford Interactive Room Operating System (iROS), which creates a flexible and robust software framework that allows custom and legacy applications to communicate with each other and with user interface devices in a dynamically configurable way. The Stanford Interactive Room (iRoom), while not a residential environment, has many characteristics of a smart home: a wide array of advanced user interface technologies, abundant computation power, and infrastructure with which to coordinate the use of these resources (for more information on the iRoom or the Interactive Workspaces project, please visit As a result, many aspects of the iRoom environment have strong implications for, and can be intuitively translated to, smart homes. In particular, the rapid and fluid development of physical user interfaces using iStuff and the iROS, which has been demonstrated in the iRoom, is an equally powerful concept for designing and living in smart homes. Before focusing on the details of iStuff, we describe the software infrastructure on which it is based and the considerations that went into designing this infrastructure.

Published in:

Wireless Communications, IEEE  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 6 )