Spatial User Interfaces: Augmenting Human Sensibilities in a Domestic Kitchen

Lee, J. "Spatial User Interfaces: Augmenting Human Sensibilities in a Domestic Kitchen"


The real world is not a computer screen. When can augmented reality and ambient interfaces improve the usability of a physical environment? This thesis presents data from design studies and experiments that demonstrate the value for ambient information and augmented reality design. The domestic kitchen is used as a domain to place smart technologies and to study visual attention,multi-tasking, food-preparation and disruptiveness.

Human perception in visually complex environments can be significantly enhanced by overlaying intuitive, immersive and attentive displays. Placing Graphical User Interface designs in a physical environment made only 20% of the subjects understand what to do in the Soft-Boiled Egg experiment. In the stovetop study, 94% of the subjects understood that the augmented stovetop was still hot and dangerous through the abstract and immersive display, while only 19% of the subjects were able to determine that the normal stovetop was still hot from a distance. In the Sink study, 94% of the subject immediately understood that the water was hot by its red color.

Useful knowledge about cooking, safety, and using home appliances can be embedded with sensors into the physical environment. Causal-related cooking events (i.e. when a subject opened the freezer and then stood in front of the microwave, a "Defrost' appeared on the microwave.) were added in KitchenSense in order to maintain an easily understood physical environment.

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