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Administering Connected Co-Operative Residential Domains

Resultado final

The objectives of the ACCORD project can be described as through an understanding of the domestic environment create a toolbox that allows future inhabitants of these environments to administer and reconfigure services embedded into future homes. The consortium behind the project has been made up of one university and two independent industrial research institutes. University of Nottingham have provided the project with expertise in studies of domestic settings as well as technological expertise in distributed systems. SICS � Swedish Institute of Computer Science AB has worked closely together with University of Nottingham regarding the core infrastructure of the resulting Tangible Toolbox. Furthermore SICS has been the leading partner in developing the different exemplar embedded services. Acreo AB has brought their unique knowledge of paper technology to the project to drive and develop the project vision of enable future home inhabitants to be able to print their own tangible interface and through these configure their interactive environment. During the first year much effort was put behind analysing and understanding the domestic environment, both existing and what future ones might look like. Through ethnographic studies of existing homes we established a good knowledge of current activities within existing homes. Through studies of technology we achieved a glimpse on future domestic services. Based on this knowledge we created a conceptual model of how services can be created through a combination of components. Each component is called a transformer since it takes some input and generates an output based on that input. Also during the first year several possible use of paper technology were investigated and a working prototype using a paper user interface were developed. With this knowledge the project carried on into the second year of the project during which the Tangible Toolbox was implemented. This included a large number of different example components that combined in different manners make up services. To achieve these combinations four different editors where implemented addressing different kind of use and user groups. The project also created a paper-based version of one of the configuration tools in the Tangible Toolbox based one paper embedded identification technology. At the end of the second year the project was granted an extension period of six months. During the extension of the project the main effort was to study the Tangible Toolbox in use in a domestic setting. This included evaluating the conceptual model of the Toolbox as well as the configuration tools. Furthermore, an important goal has been to prepare the developed software and its documentation for public release to enable extended use of the Tangible Toolbox. The results from the project have been disseminated to external sources at a number of occasions. The project has participated at academic conferences and journals. Papers have been presented at conferences such as CHI, CSCW, DIS, UbiComp and UIST. A journal paper has been published in the International Journal on Universal Access in the Information Society. Further more the project have organized and participated in a number of workshops both within the Disappearing Computer (DC) community as well as externally. The specifically built apartment at SICS where the Tangible Toolbox has been installed has been demonstrated during the two last years of the project. The project has had close collaboration with a number of other DC projects, such as InterLiving, SoundingObject (SoB), Shape, Mime, Smart-Its, Paper++ and SuperInks. The project also took the role to organize the second DC jamboree in conjunction with the UbiComp 2002 conference, a much-appreciated event.
Result Description: The Tangible Toolbox enables future inhabitants to adapt and reconfigure the computational part of their domestic environment. The toolbox is made up of communication and configuration infrastructures as well as a set of editorial tools. Together with a set of exemplar components a variety of services can be created. Also template components are available to aid developers to create new components that can easily be integrated into the toolbox. Dissemination: A number of scientific papers have been published and presented about the Tangible Toolbox at international conferences. The partners has also made the toolbox available at the project website, free to download and use. Already research labs such as Intel Research and Georgia Tech have expressed interest in the toolbox. Their intentions are to use it in their own research. The toolbox is freely available at the project site and there are three levels of documentation available, users of the toolbox, those who want to develop new components and for those who want to further extend the actual toolbox. Use potential: One of our goals with the different levels of documentation is to support several different possible user groups. Of course on such are the above mentioned research labs. Though the available component templates could easily be adopted by a Do-It-Yourself user community, which can develop and share new components among each other. Further we are actively looking for SME companies that are interested in the application domain to carry out a shared project to see how the Tangible Toolbox can influence their products. Key innovation: The key innovation of the Tangible Toolbox is the simple composition model and the idea to empower inhabitants of future households to adapt their own computational domestic environment to their own needs. Current status: The Toolbox is not yet ready for commercialisation, neither on a business nor on a technical level. Business wise there has been no business model developed and thus there is no ground to establish a company. Technically the toolbox is stable enough to be released outside the consortium. Use of result: The partners of the project intend to continue the use and development of the toolbox within future projects. Also our hopes are that the toolbox will be used elsewhere in different R&D labs around the world. We have already seen indications of this.