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Intelligent Bathroom Tatiana Lashina Philips Research Prof. Holstlaan 4 (WY21) 5656 AA Eindhoven, The Netherlands +31 40 27 43464 Tatiana.Lashina@philips.com 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 Keywords support people’s needs and enable people with new Interaction concepts, requirements studies, intelligent possibilities in the daily use of the bathroom space. environments USER REQUIREMENTS STUDIES INTRODUCTION 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 control; • 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, namely: 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 INTELLIGENT BATHROOM DEMONSTRATOR 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 ,  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 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 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, EVALUATION RESULTS 982-1003.
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