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Assessment of a Network Technology that connects Smart Objects through Surfaces to which they are pin-attached

Objective

This assessment project will investigate feasibility, scalability, and application potential of Pin&Play, a novel concept for network provision to smart objects through conductive surfaces. Pin&Play is based on the idea of ad hoc networking for objects that people attach to vertical surfaces such as walls and boards in everyday environments. The concept entails augmentation of such surfaces with low-cost conductive material to create smart surfaces as network medium. It further proposes attachment of objects to smart surfaces by means of pushpin connectors, to provide users with a familiar and highly flexible mechanism for connecting objects to the network medium. This assessment project will investigate feasibility, scalability, and application potential of Pin&Play, a novel concept for network provision to smart objects through conductive surfaces. Pin&Play is based on the idea of ad hoc networking for objects that people attach to vertical surfaces such as walls and boards in everyday environments. The concept entails augmentation of such surfaces with low-cost conductive material to create smart surfaces as network medium. It further proposes attachment of objects to smart surfaces by means of pushpin connectors, to provide users with a familiar and highly flexible mechanism for connecting objects to the network medium.

OBJECTIVES
The specific objectives are:
I. To assess technical feasibility of Pin&Play by means of prototype construction;
II. To assess scalability of Pin&Play through investigation of a prototype with 20 nodes on 1sqm;
III. To assess application potential with envisioning design techniques;
IV. To assess user values through engagement of users with designed scenarios.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The general approach the project will adopt is to build prototypes to explore the full design potential of the technology and to uncover both technical and use-related issues that may not be obvious. In addition to investigation of working prototypes we will use envisioning design techniques such as video scenarios to develop application and use cases to develop an understanding of potential application domains and to engage users with the technology concept.

The actual work breaks down into four distinct packages:
1. Initial prototype development to demonstrate data transmission between two objects through a Pin&Play surface;
2. Investigation of scalability of Pin&Play involving research into appropriate protocols and development of a prototype that connects 20 nodes on a Pin&Play surface are of 1sqm;
3. Envisioning design of applications and use cases for Pin&Play technology, involving development of video scenarios and other design methods;
4. Investigation of user values, involving discussion groups, user engagement with developed scenarios, and collection of qualitative data.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER
Address
Bailrigg
LA1 4YW Lancaster
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

IT-FORSKNINGSINSTITUTET VIKTORIA AB
Sweden
Address
Viktoriagatan 13
405 30 Goeteborg