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Wearable Computer Architecture and Applications. Daniel P. Siewiorek Carnegie Mellon University October 30, 2001. Boeing. Five Generations of Wearable Computers. Navigator 2 used for aircraft maintenance. VuMan 1. Navigator 1. VuMan 2. Left, a look through the head mounted display.

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Wearable Computer Architecture and Applications

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Wearable computer architecture and applications

Wearable Computer Architecture and Applications

Daniel P. Siewiorek

Carnegie Mellon University

October 30, 2001


Wearable computer architecture and applications

Five Generations of Wearable Computers

Navigator 2 used for aircraft maintenance

VuMan 1

Navigator 1

VuMan 2

Left, a look through the head mounted display.

The user not only sees the aircraft maintenance interface, but also their work environment.

VuMan 3

Navigator 2

Wearable applications and architecture

Wearable Applications and Architecture

  • Procedures - upload at completion

  • Work Orders - incremental updates

  • Collaboration - real time interaction

    • Client-Server

      • Thin Client Legacy Systems

      • Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs)

Time rate of change of data taxonomy

Time Rate of Change of Data Taxonomy

  • Procedures. Maintenance and plant operation applications are characterized by a large volume of information that varies slowly over time.

  • A typical request consists of approximately ten pages of text and schematic drawings. Changes to the centralized information base can occur on a weekly basis.

Wearable computer architecture and applications

Savings Using Tactical Information Assistants in Marine Heavy Vehicle Maintenance


VuMan 3 Field Trials

Current Practice




Current Practice

VuMan 3 Field Trials

Inspection time

40% less

Wearable computer architecture and applications

Four Month Design Cycle

Story Boards

Prototype System

Mock-up System

Final System

Initial visit







Time rate of change of data taxonomy continued

Time Rate of Change of Data Taxonomy (continued)

  • Work Orders. The trend is towards more customization in systems.

  • Manufacturing or maintenance personnel receive a job list that describes the tasks and includes text and schematic documentation. This information can change on a daily or even hourly basis.

Wearable computer architecture and applications

User Interface Screen

Time rate of change of data taxonomy continued1

Time Rate of Change of Data Taxonomy (continued)

  • Collaboration. An individual often requires assistance. In a “Help Desk” an experienced person is contacted for audio and visual assistance. The Help Desk can service many people simultaneously.

  • Information can change on a minute-by-minute and sometimes even a second-by-second basis.

Integrated technical information for the air logistics centers iti alc

Integrated Technical Information for the Air Logistics Centers (ITI-ALC)

Technology Demonstration

Wearable computer architecture and applications

F-15 Depot maintenance



  • Outdated, cumbersome maintenance information capability

    • Paper-based products

    • Independent, uncoordinated computer information systems

Wearable computer architecture and applications

ITI-ALC Technology

Demonstration Architecture




Wireless LAN

WindowsNT Server







Evaluation inventory

Evaluation & Inventory



1. Login

1. Select aircraft

2. Select region

3. Pick-up 173’s

4. Check freq. defect list

5. Get tools

6. Conduct inspection

7. Check-off defect list

8. Stamp 173’s

9. Write up new defects

10. Access parts info.

11. Access TO’s

12. Access HowMal codes

13. Write new defects in U-book

14. Stamp U-book

15. Enter data into database

4. Record Defects

2. Hangar

5. Add New Defect

3. 173 List

6. Submit Defects

4. 173 Signoff

7. Defect History

5. 173 History

Engineering assistance

1. Login Screen

2. Hangar Screen

3. Form 202A

4. Confirmation Screen

Engineering Assistance



1. Mechanic finds skin defect

2. Mechanic obtains Form 202

3. Fills in fields of Form 202A

4. Views tech. data

5. Makes a rough sketch

6. Form to Scheduler

7. Form to Planner

8. Form to Engineering

9. Engineer reviews Form 202A

10. Engineer researches problem

11. Engineer goes to hangar for visual

12. Engineer fills in Form 202B

13. Reverse routing/logging above

14. Mechanic reads 202B

15. Mechanic is ready to enact repair

3a.Parts Screen

3b. Take Picture

3c. Sketch Tool

3d. Sound Tool

1. ELogin

2. 202B Selection Screen

3. Form 202B

4. Confirmation Screen

Wearable pc runs inmedius web based ietm software



Wearable PC Runs Inmedius Web-based IETM Software






database schema




Web Browser

incremental updates

Web Server

database schema

IETM Engine

incremental updates


database schema

IETM Authoring/Maint. Organizations

F/A-18 Fleet

Support Organization

Fleet Operating Sites

Ietm display by mobile computer ibm concept model is an example

IETM Display by Mobile Computer - IBM Concept Model is an Example

  • ThinkPad 560X Equivalent High Spec

    • Full Function Portable PC in IBM High Density Package

  • Ultimate Portability

    • Headphone Stereo Size System Unit, 2/3lbs (299g)

  • IBM MicroDrive

    • 1" Disk, 5mm Thickness, 20g, 340 MB Capacity

  • Transparent Head Mount Display

    • Invented by IBM T.J. Watson Research

F 18 inspection application production vest fits under float coat

F-18 Inspection Application: Production vest fits under “Float Coat”

11 mbs wireless lan connects wearable computer to server

11 Mbs wireless LAN connects Wearable Computer to server

Selection of hot links with cmu s wheel pointer

Selection of “hot links” with CMU’s Wheel/Pointer

Wireless and handheld andrew

Wireless and Handheld Andrew

Wireless campus as of june 2000

Wireless Campus as of June 2000

300+ basestations

Academic andAdministrative Buildings

Residence Halls, Parking, etc

Aura thesis

Aura Thesis

The most precious resource in computing

is human attention

  • Aura Goals

    • reduce user distraction

    • trade-off plentiful resources of Moore’s law for human attention

    • achieve thisscalably for mobile users in afailure-prone, variable-resource environment

Wearable computer architecture and applications

Context Aware Computing

  • Applications that use context to provide task-relevant information and/or services

  • Context is any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity (person, place, or physical or computational object)

  • Contextual sensing, adaptation, resource discovery, and augmentation

  • Examples of Context Aware applications

    • Matchmaking

    • Proactive assistant

Example agents

Example Agents

  • Notification Agent

    • Alert a user if they are passing within a certain distance of a task on their to do list.

  • Meeting Reminder Agent

    • Alerts a user if they are in danger of missing a meeting.

  • Activity Recommendation Agent

    • Recommends possible activities/meetings that a user might like to attend based on their interests.

Context aware computing platform the spot architecture

Context Aware Computing Platform: The Spot Architecture

Spot wearable computer

Spot Wearable Computer

Belt worn spot and head mounted display

Belt Worn Spot and Head Mounted Display

Wearable computer architecture and applications

Research Challenges

  • User interface models—new application metaphors require experimentation

  • Input/output modalities—accuracy and ease of use

  • Quick Interface Evaluation Methodology—to use during design

  • Match capability with application—resist “highest performance” temptation

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