Project funded in 2007 and 2008 by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce.
Development of systems aimed at improving the usability of domotic gateways for general population and, particularly, for limited mobility people (disabled or elderly people).
Current building automation systems provide different user interfaces, most of them oriented to advanced or technology-proactive users. Even the traditional text-based menus (used, for instance, to find a device or to launch a command) present significant limitations to average users. Besides, the user usually receives limited feedback about the devices status (e.g. lights, shutters, air conditioning systems) or the acknowledgment of commands sent to the control devices.
This project emerged as an answer to the need to improve the user interaction design for domotic applications. In particular, the main aim was to provide highly usable and intuitive interfaces to facilitate user interaction with building control solutions. Through this project, the conceptual structure of the DVD was successfully designed and implemented into a fully functional real system, showing the technical feasibility of the idea.
Figure 1. Example of selection and activation of devices. Top row, from left to right: Selection of illumination systems (highlighted in red); closing shutters using the corresponding command from a menu. Bottom row, from left to right: Action in the real environment are reflected in the digital world too: closing shutters and activating heating
The DVD resulted in an easy-to-use application whose main goal was the communication and synchronization between a residential gateway and its 3D Virtual Reality twin. It supports multi-user features, in such a way that every registered user can use these gateways to control the real environment. One of the main results concerns its extremely intuitive user interface. This way, the DVD application allows the potential users to extend to non-technical people that will find an appropriate manner to control the energy consumption in buildings. Also disabled people or those with limited mobility can take advantage of the DVD interface to carry out vigilance tasks on the status of electronic devices at their homes.
Figure 2. Demonstration of DVD at CeDInt facilities (CAVETM)
Video showcasing the main results achieved by the DVD project