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Using Handhelds as Controls for Everyday Appliances: A Paper Prototype Study

By Jeffrey W. Nichols


Everyday appliances, including telephones, copiers, and home stereos, increasingly contain embedded computers which enable greater functionality. If the interfaces to these appliances were easy to use, people might benefit from these new functions. Unfortunately, it is rare to find a well-designed appliance interface. This study shows that existing appliance interfaces could be improved by using a remote control interface on a handheld computer. Keywords: Handheld computers, remote control, appliance, Pebbles INTRODUCTION The problem with many appliances is that they are too complex. Some appliances need thirty or more buttons to cover all of their functions. This complexity can even make relatively simple tasks, like setting the clock on a VCR, so difficult that people avoid them. Most appliances do not provide unambiguous feedback to users. Indicators of appliance state can be confusing. For example, on a stereo that combines a CD and tape player, it may be difficult to decide wh..

Topics: Handheld computers, remote control, appliance, Pebbles
Year: 2001
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Provided by: CiteSeerX
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