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Title: Evaluation of a domestic photo sharing environment
Author: Sondhi, Gaurav
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 8959
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2010
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Ubiquitous computing describes the aspirations of including information systems into the fabric of our daily lives. The emphasis of the user should be on what task needs to be achieved rather than how the system will do it. The interface of applications that are integrated into the home fabric needs to be delicate in the sense that it should give the feeling of being a part of the home rather than a piece of technology. The human computer interaction/interface needs to be cohesive with the environment people live in so as to maximise the interaction possibilities. Photographs are a very affective and efficient way of connecting people to each other. We should not forget the social role photographs have to play. The most important aspect of the picture is the story that it is trying to convey, the people in it, or the place it was taken. Emotions are a very private part of our personal life and how one displays it reflects one’s lifestyle. In recent years increasing efforts have been put into preserving emotions in photos particularly with the advent of digital cameras. Now photographs have become an important part of our lives and have significant social role as they provide an affective communication link between friends and families. This research will be looking at how people relate themselves to pictures and if we could capture their emotions and expressions to store them in a way that is representative of their feelings towards the picture. As emotions can be associated with pictures of family, friends, places, holidays, social gatherings or travel to mention some of the aspects, we will also be analysing as to how emotions change over a period of time and if it could be represented accordingly in association with digital photos. This will allow us to look into the factors, which can make digital photo sharing a more fun and enjoyable experience. This research will involve user based evaluations and a scenario based approach for modelling the photo sharing interface. The creation of photo sharing system, based on this approach, is then investigated using the method of prototyping. The research shows methods, architectures, and tools used to make the development process more efficient and help assess the viability of the system under conditions that simulate to everyday use of the photo sharing software. To generalise and communicate results, the project will seek to simulate the home environment in a laboratory setting, using prototypes based on current high-end computing devices. The .Net technologies used for rapid prototyping is introduced. The aim of this research is to provide a demonstration environment of a photo sharing software for the smart home, which will allow for Reception/Viewing/distribution of photos within the home environment. The data could incorporate Audio/Video/Text/Photos, and user input etc. The research will also help us understand various aspects of how people interact with Digital Photos, what they would like to do, how can storing photos be made simpler, annotation of pictures, how can sharing photo’s made simpler, and how we can design an application which would allow users to attach emotions to pictures. The photo sharing system will provide an effective means to receive and distribute emotional information based on personal and temporal relationships associated with photos. The research also analyses the role of human computer interaction when developing ubiquitous technologies for the smart homes where information is embedded in the environment people live in. The research will present an overview of how photo sharing systems can be developed and evaluated using prototypes and user evaluations.
Supervisor: Sloane, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ubiquitous computing ; Smart homes ; Photo sharing ; Emotions ; Domestic environment