The elderly population in the world is increasing rapidly and consequently so is demand for new technologies that allow them to live independently. Facilitating the control of household appliances and the home environment through various devices that encompass multimodal and ambient interfaces seems a way to achieve this. In this paper, we lay out the theoretical principles relating to the accommodation of technology for use in the home among older people, followed by a report supporting these principles based on experiments we have carried out. Three modalities of output – audio, visual and multimodal – were tested using two different devices – palmtop and laptop – as realistic prototypes of household appliance controllers. Through experimental design, the applicability of using icons and musical earcons as a medium to transmit information to the user and its suitability to the home was investigated. The use of musical earcons allowed the potential for an ambient interface to be compared with a traditional visual interface for older people. Results showed participants performed markedly better using the multimodal and visual interfaces than with the audio interface. In addition, both groups performed better using the palmtop as compared to the laptop.
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- Ambient Interfaces for Elderly People at Home
Fausto J. Sainz Salces
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg