HOBS: Head Orientation-Based Selection in Physical Spaces

Björn Hartmann and Ben Zhang

Increasingly, swarm devices in our built environment are networked and can be controlled remotely. Their proliferation has raised the question of how to best interact with them, especially how to select an intended target. Existing list-browsing solutions have problems in scaling, and there is no consensus naming for physical appliances (use "Light 4 in area E"?). We take the perspective of interacting with the swarm throught visual attention -- "what you see is what you can control". We introduce a novel method for selecting and controlling smart appliances in physical spaces through a head-worn computing device with near-eye display and wireless communication. We augment a commercial wearable computing device, Google Glass, with a narrow-beam IR emitter for this purpose. This configuration yields a usable beam width of 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120cm) for targeting at room scale. We introduce a new disambiguation technique if infrared targeting hits multiple targets simultaneously. A target acquisition study with 14 participants shows that selection using head orientation with our device outperforms list selection on a wearable device. We also report qualitative data from using our device to control multiple appliances in a smart home scenario. For more information, visit: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~benzh/glass/

More information: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~benzh/glass/