as barcodes . By attaching RFID scanners to BTnodes,we can bridge the gap between active and passive tags anduse both techniques for implementing interaction patternsin smart environments. Data stored on an RFID tag (e.g. anelectronic product code) often cannot be semantically inter-preted by a small peer-to-peer network that exists betweenactive tags but requires access to a background infrastruc-ture. In our approach,Bluetooth-enabledmobile phonesareused as mobile access points for smart tags, allowing themto access backgroundinfrastructure services.
Figure 1: Some of the devices used to evaluate in-teraction patterns with smart objects: Bluetooth-enabled phones tagged with RFID labels (1), PDAs(2), BTnodes  (3), RFID antennas and read-ers (4), sensor boards (the one on the right wasdeveloped by TecO, University of Karlsruhe) (5),Bluetooth access points (developed at TIK, ETHZurich) (6) and RFID tags (7).
Theremainderofthispaperis structuredas follows: Sec-tion 2 analyzes common interaction patterns with smart ob- jects and motivates the concept of invisible preselection of interaction partners based on the user’s context. Section 3introduces three different scenarios that show how the dif-ferent forms of interaction emerge in concrete applications,how people can interact with smart devices independentfrom their current location, and how hybrid approaches forthe association of interaction partners can improve interac-tion in the envisioned environments. Section 4 describesthe technical realization of the scenarios. Section 5 gives anoverview on related work. Section 6 concludes the paper.
2. Interaction with Smart Objects
Communication in pervasive computing settings occursbetween smart objects, between smart objects and back-ground infrastructure services, and between smart objectsandtheirusers. Contextinformationderivedcollaborativelyby active tags attached to the objects can improve all thosedifferent kinds of interaction considerably [15, 16]. In thissection we analyze different forms of interaction betweenhuman users and smart objects and argue in favor of hybridapproaches for the association of interaction partners.
2.1. Classiﬁcation of Interaction Patterns
Active tags and passive RFID labels do not possessscreens or provide additional buttons, keyboards, or anyother means for users to physically interact with smart ob- jects. The tags are ideally invisible to users and unobtrusiveto such a degree that they do not disturb the way in whichpeople do normally use their items. Intelligent tags shouldmerely add additional functionality to objects without dis-turbing the way people usually interact with them. How dopeople communicate with augmented objects although theycannot see the tags and might not even know which objectsare smart?Inthefollowing,wedistinguishbetweeninteractionsini-tiated by users and interactions initiated by smart objects(cf. ﬁgure 2). In the former case, users have the intention tointeract with an object. In the latter case, the smart objects,that is, the active tags attached to them, trigger an interac-tion as a result of certain state changes in their environment.
SpontaneousinteractionInitiated by usersInitiated by smartobjectsExplicit association
- pointing devices- voice- buttons
- same symbolic location- same context- through side effectsof user'sbehaviour
- present in software/hardware
Figure 2: Association of interaction partners inpervasive computing settings
When an interaction is initiated by human users, thereare basically two alternatives to associate the user with acertain smart object: explicit and implicit association. Theﬁrst optionuses explicitactionsa personwouldnotbe usingunder normal circumstances to address an object, for exam-ple by speaking to an item or by using a laser pointer toselect an object . The main advantage of using explicitactions is that the user is in full control of the associationprocess. On the other side, he/she must be aware of whichobjects are augmented and must be familiar with the newmethod to interact with them.Alternatively, implicit association of interaction partnerscan take place as a side effect of users’ normal behaviorwhile handling an object. Here, existing interaction pat-terns in connection with the object or product in its unaug-mented form are used to establish an association, i.e. the
Proceedings of the
First IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom’03)
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