Application design for wearable computing
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Application Design for Wearable Computing. Team members: Yih-Kuang Lu Hieu Nguyen. Wearable Computers – Where’s all started!. O utlines. Multimodal interaction, software/application, electronics, design methodology in user-centered design, and rapid prototyping – Wearable computers .

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Application design for wearable computing

Application Design for Wearable Computing

Team members:

Yih-Kuang Lu

Hieu Nguyen

O utlines

  • Multimodal interaction, software/application, electronics, design methodology in user-centered design, and rapid prototyping – Wearable computers.

  • Designers should consider when designing wearable computing devices – Lesson learned & Useful guidelines.

  • Computer’s closeness to the body and its use while performing other tasks – UCAMP framework.

  • Areas of user interface, modalities of interaction, and wearable cognitive augmentation – Challenges and trends.

Wearable computers
Wearable computers

  • Seek to merge the user’s information space with his or her workspace – make information available at any place, any time.

  • Application domains range:

    • Inspection procedures

    • Maintenance and manufacturing (vehicle & aircraft)

    • Navigation to on-the-move collaboration and position sensing

    • Real-time speech recognition and language translation

    • And more …

Wearable computers cont
Wearable computers (cont.)

  • Advantages:

    • Body-worn computers that provide hands-free operation offering compelling advantages in many applications

    • Deal in information rather than programs

    • Tools in the user’s environment

    • Portable access to information

    • Eliminating cost of transferring information

    • Specialized and modular and easily be reconfigured to meet specific needs of applications

Wearable computers cont1
Wearable computers (cont.)

  • Wearable system designers’ challenges:

    • Identifying effective interaction modalities

    • Accurately modeling user tasks

    • New paradigm in computing

    • No consensus on the mechanical/software HMI

    • Remodel the current computer interface – shift user’s focus to the environments instead of the computing devices

    • Handle real-world interactions distractions like walking, driving, etc…

Wearable computers cont2
Wearable computers (cont.)

  • Every wearable computer system must be viewed from three different axes.

  • The Human – interaction between the human body and the wearable object

  • The Computer – size, power consumption, and UI software

  • The Application – design challenges and problem-solving capabilities

Wearable computers cont3
Wearable computers (cont.)

  • Key research groups:

    • Carnegie Mellon, Columbia University, Georgia Tech, MIT, Bremen University, Darmstadt University, ETH Zurich, Lancaster University, University of South Australia, and NARA in Japan

  • [email protected]

    • Large wearable computing consortium of companies and universities in Europe (36 partners), focusing on four application areas: mobile maintenance, emergency rescue, health care, and production.

  • Commercial companies/products (with limited success)

    • Xybernaut, CDI, and VIA Inc.

    • Seiko’s Rupiter wristwatch computer

    • Panasonic’s wearable brick computer coupled with handheld or arm-worn touch screen

    • Sony and OQO wearable PCs

Example vuman 3

  • Initiated by Carnegie Mellon University

  • Designed to streamlining Limited Technical Inspections (LTI) of amphibious tractors for the US Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA.

  • LTI – 600-item, 50 pages checklist, takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.

Very Rapid Prototyping of Wearable Computers: A Case Study of VuMan 3 Custom versus Off-the-Shelf Design Methodologies (1997) Journal on Design Automation for Embedded Systems.

Lessons learned from usage
Lessons Learned From Usage

  • Maximum Size, weight, energy consumption before change user behavior

  • No fixed relationship between input/output/display

  • User less patient, expect instant response

  • Intuitive to use, no user’s manual

  • Information overload, user may focus on computer rather than physical world

  • Potential to lose initiative, user does exactly what the computer tells them to do

Design guidelines for wearable computing
Design Guidelines for Wearable Computing

  • Three areas be considered:

    • Device  Keep user at the center of the design

    • Interface  Simple and clear interface for navigation

    • User environment  Readily viewable with limited shift of attention / Accommodate the cultural and esthetic standards

  • Questions designers should ask when beginning a project:

    • Does the mental model match the application physical workflow?

    • Are the user interactions with the application simple and intuitive?

    • Are the input and output devices and modalities appropriate for the set of projected applications?

    • Does the system have enough resources (processor, memory, network) to be responsive to the user’s interactions without excess?

    • Will the form and shape of the wearable computer be comfortable with the movement of the human body?

    • Where will the computer be placed on the body? What are the size, weight, and power consumption?

    • Is the device's thermal management and heat dissipation appropriate for the intended physical environment?

Ucamp framework
UCAMP framework

  • User: The user is at the center of the wearable-computer design process.

  • Corporal: Wearables should be designed to interface physically with the user without discomfort or distraction.

  • Attention: Interfaces should be designed for the user’s divided attention between the physical and virtual worlds.

  • Manipulation: When mobile, users lose some of the dexterity assumed by desktop interfaces. Thus, controls should be quick to find and simple to manipulate.

  • Perception: A user’s ability to perceive displays, both visual and audio, is also reduced when using a mobile device. Displays should be simple, distinct, and quick to navigate.


  • User needs and interactions – mobile users are more impatient…Speed is the key!

  • Applied user-centered design via User-Centered Interdisciplinary Concurrent System Design Methodology (UICSM)


  • Use of the human body as a support environment

  • User’s physical context may be constantly changing and not fixed between user and device

  • Symbol Technologies – barcode technology.

    • Design for wearability considers the physical shape of objects and their active relationship with the human forms

    • Testing help resolved other needs and minimized health risk concern.

  • Wearability Design Criteria


  • The challenge for human–computer interaction design is to use advances in technology to preserve human attention and to avoid information saturation

    • Humans have a finite capacity that limits the number of concurrent activities they can perform

    • Human effectiveness is reduced as a person tries to multiplex more activities

    • After each refocus of attention, a period of time is required to reestablish the context before the interruption

    • Human short-term memory can hold seven plus or minus two chunks of information

Attention cont
Attention (cont.)

  • Mobile context – user’s attention is divided between computing task and activities in the physical environments.

  • Resource Competition Framework, based on the multiple resource theory of attention to relate mobile task demands to the user’s cognitive resources

  • “Task Guidance and Procedure Context: Aiding Workers in Appropriate Procedure Following” warns that mobile interfaces may hinder the user’s primary task if they are not properly designed

  • The Attention Matrix

    • Categorizes activities (information, communication, and creation) by the amount of attention they require


  • Wearable-computer design offers simple manipulation within a complex set of information

  • A number of other manipulation devices have been developed and tested for wearable computing

    • Wheel-pointer

    • Small keypad or keyboard

    • Speech Interfaces

    • Speech Translation

    • Dual-Purpose Speech


  • When a user is on the go, the user’s ability to perceive a wearable computer’s interface is lessened

    • The vibration and visual interference from a moving background interferes with visual tasks

    • Background noise and the noise from the body itself affect hearing

  • How to design interfaces to least interfere with the user’s primary tasks while providing the most value in terms of augmentation

    • A Proactive Assistant (context-aware computing)

Research directions
Research Directions

  • Three basic functions related to ease of use: Input, Output, and Information representation.

    Figure: User interface performance thresholds

Research directions cont
Research Directions (cont.)

Figure: Kiviat graphs for wearable computer use modalities

Research directions cont1
Research Directions (cont.)

  • Wearable Cognitive Augmentation

    • Knowing the user’s cognitive state would enable development of proactive cognitive assistants that anticipate user needs much like a human assistant does.

    • What makes this attempt possible is an unprecedented advance in measuring and understanding brain activity during complex tasks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

      Figure: fMRI experiment configuration

Research directions cont2
Research Directions (cont.)


Figure: Activation volume in dual task compared to single task


Conclusions and future challenges
Conclusions and Future Challenges

  • User interface models: What is the appropriate set of metaphors for providing mobile access to information

  • Input/output modalities

  • Quick interface evaluation methodology: These evaluation techniques should especially focus on decreasing human errors and frustration

  • Matched capability with applications: the most effective means for information access and resist the temptation to provide extra capabilities

  • Context-aware applications

  • Proactive assistant


  • Application Design for Wearable Computing

    • Dan Siewiorek, AsimSmailagic, and Thad Starner2008