Controlling Home and Office Appliances with Smartphones
Today most of the home and office appliances that we interact with contain microprocessors. All of these appliances have some user interface, but many users become frustrated with the difficulty of using the complex functions of their appliances. We are developing a framework that allows users to interact with appliances through a separate user interface device that they are already carrying. Smart phones are good candidates for providing interfaces because they are common, have communication capabilities to allow connection to appliances, and are already being used for a wide range of different applications. Our framework includes an abstract specification language for describing appliances, a two-way communication protocol, and automatic interface generation software that allows user interfaces to be customized to users and the devices they are using. This article overviews our personal universal controller system and describes in detail our design and implementation of automatic interface generation for Microsoft’s Smartphone platform.