Intelligent Bathroom

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					                                           Intelligent Bathroom
                                                  Tatiana Lashina
                                                  Philips Research
                                              Prof. Holstlaan 4 (WY21)
                                         5656 AA Eindhoven, The Netherlands
                                                  +31 40 27 43464

ABSTRACT                                                          user studies and experiments. In the process adopted to
The project Intelligent Bathroom conceptualizes and               develop Intelligent Bathroom demonstrator the bathroom of
demonstrates a bathroom as we might experience it 5 to 10         HomeLab was used to analyze user requirements, create
years from now. It is based on the visionary scenarios that       concepts, prototype and evaluate them.
were created based on the context of use analysis, socio-         Despite differences in the ways people arrange their spaces,
cultural and technology trends and user requirements study        consistent usage patterns can be identified. Especially in
results.                                                          the bathroom, activities are well defined. Lately a
The Intelligent Bathroom is prototyped and demonstrated           noticeable change in the use of the private bathroom space
in the HomeLab of Philips Research. It shows a multi-             has been observed. It is no longer a solely functional space
sensory space with interconnected devices, where                  destined for personal hygiene. It gradually becomes a
interactive content and services accessible on the                center of care and comfort. One sign of this tendency is the
Interactive Mirror support users in their daily activities.       increased number of private jacuzzis and multispray
The experience is enhanced by functional and ambient              showers with waterfalls. The amount of space allocated to
lighting adapted to these activities.                             the bathroom has increased as well. The bathroom has
Initial user studies indicated a high appeal of the Intelligent   gained sophisticated interior reflecting significant spending
Bathroom concept. Two interaction concepts, the                   on the decorative materials and sanitary equipment. There
Functional Lighting Atmospheres and the Style Coach,              is also an observable trend in the use of electronics in the
were highly rated with regard to their ease of use and            bathroom, including radiant-heat floors, showers with
perceived usefulness. We are now in the process of                embedded solarium, sensing electronic faucets, TV and
conducting the experiment in which we evaluate different          radio sets designed specifically for the bathroom, and not
interaction styles for the Interactive Mirror. The first pilot    to forget multiple personal care devices.
studies delivered promising results.                              These trends motivated a group of colleagues and myself to
                                                                  create a concept of the Intelligent Bathroom that would
                                                                  support people’s needs and enable people with new
Interaction concepts, requirements studies, intelligent
                                                                  possibilities in the daily use of the bathroom space.
                                                                  USER REQUIREMENTS STUDIES
It was Winston Churchill who said that ‘we shape our              To explore the context of use we conducted requirements
buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us’. In the         analysis via literature research, interviews with potential
same way Ambient Intelligence vision projects future              users, interviews with experts, cultural probe studies, focus
scenarios of how we might live and use intelligent spaces,        groups and user studies in HomeLab.
thus triggering our imagination and shaping our future.           As part of this context of use analysis we made an
In our HomeLab facility at Philips Research we conduct            overview of the activities that take place in the bathroom
usability and feasibility studies of systems demonstrating        and identified the associated needs. This enabled us to
Ambient Intelligent concepts. HomeLab is an observational         identify three main application areas for the bathroom:
research facility that has an interior of a modern house and      infotainment, health care and beauty care. Applications in
at the same time provides powerful tools for conducting           the infotainment domain are meant to support people in the
                                                                  situations where efficiency is key, so that parallel to usual
                                                                  routines they can get relevant information. When studying
                                                                  the context it became evident that many activities in the
                                                                  bathroom take place around the mirror. Considering the
                                                                  fact that people spend substantial amount of time in front of
                                                                  the mirror, it has been considered an ideal place to display
                                                                  visual output in our Intelligent Bathroom concept.
The next step was to derive interaction requirements that
are specific for the bathroom context and for the
applications we were considering. This set of requirements
included the following aspects:

    •    Users can often have their hands wet or dirty, even
         touching the mirror surface with dry hands would
         lead to ugly fingerprints on the mirror;

    •    Noise sources like running water and acoustic
         reverberation in the bathroom would create too
         extreme acoustic conditions for using speech

    •    Using a separate input device like a remote control
         would not be desirable since it can easily be lost in
         the space already populated with various objects
         ranging from personal care electronic devices to
         tubes with cosmetic products; consequently an
         ideal interaction solution should be integrated into
         the mirror itself;

At the same time we have identified requirements that are
in principle relevant for the majority of interactive systems,
                                                                         Fig.1: The Interactive Mirror demonstrator
    •    Intuitiveness: interaction with the system has to
         be easy to learn and easy to recall during              calculates and visualizes the Body Mass Index on a colored
         subsequent use;                                         scale where different colors indicate how our weight relate
    •    Convenience: the interaction style should provide       to the empirically defined optimum (Figure 1).
         easy and efficient performance and should suit the      The interactive toothbrush demonstrates a concept
         context of use.                                         specifically designed for children. When switched on it
The knowledge generated in the analyses phase has been           activates an interactive animation. Since dentists
applied for generating ideas and selecting best interaction      recommend brushing teeth for at least two minutes, the
solutions in the design phase.                                   animation lasts exactly the prescribed time. If the
                                                                 toothbrush has been switched off before two minutes have
                                                                 elapsed the child is told he/she needs to brush longer.
The design phase of the project resulted in the Intelligent
Bathroom concept that supports daily activities in the           For beauty care and grooming activities there is a lighting
bathroom and augments the experience of being there.             preset specifically designed to provide best visibility and to
                                                                 avoid shadows on the user’s face. To further support these
In the morning the system reacts to our presence and             activities the Interactive Mirror can automatically turn into
triggers a gradual transition between the ‘night’ mode of        a magnifying mirror. It can also display the backview of a
lighting in the bathroom and the ‘wake up’ mode. The             person standing in front of the mirror by making use of the
‘wake up’ mode raises our alertness level by activating          camera connected to the Interactive Mirror system.
high intensity bright lighting and simulating a ‘sunrise’
effect. At the same time a personalized ‘Welcome!’               System overview
message is displayed on the Interactive Mirror.                  The Interactive Mirror system comprises two display
During the daily morning activities, like shaving or             mirrors connected to the PC having Internet access, a TV
brushing teeth, we can in parallel check weather forecast or     tuner, a wirelessly connected electric toothbrush, a weight
traffic information.                                             and height sensors and two video cameras.

In order to stimulate people towards a healthier lifestyle the   The display mirrors are composed of the reflective
mirror offers a Weight Coach application. The application        polarizers and two LCD displays attached behind each
has access to the latest measurements of our weight and          mirror. Such combination allows achieving the display
height received via sensors embedded in the floor and the        light transmission close to 100%.
ceiling of the bathroom. The Weight Coach application
Weather and traffic information is periodically updated         So far we have conducted two evaluation studies of the two
from the Internet content source.                               interaction concepts that are part of the Intelligent
                                                                Bathroom, the Functional Lighting Atmospheres and the
The bathroom lighting comprises 50 light sources of             Style Coach. Study participants evaluated both concepts as
different kind. These are fluorescent, halogen, incandescent    highly attractive. They recognized the practical benefits of
and LED lamps with adjustable intensity. These lamps are        the applications and expressed their wish to create the
capable of generating light of different colors and of          demonstrated bathroom environment at home. The two
variable color temperature.                                     evaluated interaction concepts were highly rated on the
Interactive Mirror concept                                      perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness. The scales
                                                                used in the evaluation studies originate from the
Based on the user requirements the project has identified       Technology Acceptance Model [1], [2] and the items of
two interaction solutions for the Interactive Mirror, namely    every dimension were adapted to the domains of each
interaction in the mirror proximity, which is interaction       application.
close to the mirror surface without actually touching it, and
interaction with the mirror frame. These interaction            We are now in the process of conducting the experiment in
concepts are implemented as part of the Intelligent             which we evaluate different interaction styles for the
Bathroom demonstrator.                                          display mirror. The first pilot studies delivered promising
                                                                results. They demonstrated that our participants recognize
The graphical user interface of the Interactive Mirror has a    the importance of avoiding fingerprints on the Interactive
generic structure. All display mirror applications can be       Mirror and thus recognize the benefits of the suggested
selected and activated via a scrollable Main Menu that is       solutions. Secondly participants indicated that suggested
easily extendable with new application options (Figure 1).      interaction styles are easy to learn and to use.
Every application on the display mirror can be controlled
via a dedicated menu offering simple interactivity suitable     CONCLUSIONS
for the bathroom environment.                                   In the Intelligent Bathroom project by following the user
Interaction in the mirror proximity                             centered design approach we have demonstrated how daily
                                                                activities can be supported with new applications of
To avoid fingerprints on the mirror surface we adapted the      lighting, display and connectivity technologies. User
idea of touchless interaction where the user’s hand is          studies of the applications in the Intelligent Bathroom have
detected in the mirror proximity. Two possibilities have        indicated high appeal of the demonstrated concepts as well
been implemented: detection in the two-dimensional plane        as high perceived usefulness and ease of use.
above the mirror with an infrared touch screen, and the
three-dimensional detection using cross-capacitive sensing.     In our Interactive Mirror demonstrator we show two
These methods allow for direct gestures of pointing,            methods of interacting with a mirror display without
selection, scrolling and dragging. Visual feedback informs      physically touching the mirror. Initial user feedback has
the user when the finger has been detected thus facilitating    shown that users find suggested interaction styles easy to
interaction using touchless deictic gestures.                   learn and they appreciate the fact that the mirror does not
                                                                get contaminated with fingerprints.
Interaction with the mirror frame
While fingerprints on the mirror are not desirable, touching
                                                                I thank Joost Horsten, Astrid van Spronsen, Giovanna
the mirror frame is not problematic. In this interaction
                                                                Wagenaar, Dolf van Casteren, Andres Lucero Vera, Elmo
concept the mirror frame is made touch sensitive to detect
                                                                Diederiks, Jettie Hoonhout, Talitha Boom for their valuable
user input and the visual feedback is provided on the mirror
                                                                contribution in the conceptualization and realization of the
display close to the mirror edges. Using this interaction
                                                                Intelligent Bathroom demonstrator.
style users can perform selection, activation and dragging
tasks. With a small modification of the graphical user          REFERENCES
interface representation and the buttons behavior we have       1. Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived
succeeded to preserve the same interaction structure as in         ease of use, and user acceptance of information
the touchless interaction.                                         technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319-340.
                                                                2. Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., & Warshaw, P. R. (1989).
                                                                   User acceptance of computer technology: A comparison
                                                                   of two theoretical models. Management Science, 35,

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