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An initial technology roadmap for home automation : home and personal life management

By Mary Tom

Abstract

Home Automation (HA) has emerged as a prominent ¯eld for researchers and in- vestors confronting the challenge of penetrating the average home user market with products and services emerging from technology based vision. In spite of many technology contri- butions, there is a latent demand for a®ordable and pragmatic assistive technologies for pro-active handling of complex lifestyle related problems faced by home users. This study has pioneered to develop an Initial Technology Roadmap for HA (ITRHA) that formulates a need based vision of 10-15 years, identifying market, product and technology investment opportunities, focusing on those aspects of HA contributing to e±cient management of home and personal life. The concept of Family Life Cycle is developed to understand the temporal needs of family. In order to formally describe a coherent set of family processes, their relationships, and interaction with external elements, a reference model named Fam- ily System is established that identi¯es External Entities, 7 major Family Processes, and 7 subsystems-Finance, Meals, Health, Education, Career, Housing, and Socialisation. Anal- ysis of these subsystems reveals Soft, Hard and Hybrid processes. Rectifying the lack of formal methods for eliciting future user requirements and reassessing evolving market needs, this study has developed a novel method called Requirement Elicitation of Future Users by Systems Scenario (REFUSS), integrating process modelling, and scenario technique within the framework of roadmapping. The REFUSS is used to systematically derive process au- tomation needs relating the process knowledge to future user characteristics identi¯ed from scenarios created to visualise di®erent futures with richly detailed information on lifestyle trends thus enabling learning about the future requirements. Revealing an addressable market size estimate of billions of dollars per annum this research has developed innovative ideas on software based products including Document Management Systems facilitating automated collection, easy retrieval of all documents, In- formation Management System automating information services and Ubiquitous Intelligent System empowering the highly mobile home users with ambient intelligence. Other product ideas include robotic devices of versatile Kitchen Hand and Cleaner Arm that can be time saving. Materialisation of these products require technology investment initiating further research in areas of data extraction, and information integration as well as manipulation and perception, sensor actuator system, tactile sensing, odour detection, and robotic controller. This study recommends new policies on electronic data delivery from service providers as well as new standards on XML based document structure and format

Topics: home automation, technology roadmap, family system, scenario technique, home information management, home information service, ehome, ubihope, ubiquitous intelligence, strategic planning, family process, family life cycle
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:35719

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