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Designing and Evaluating Supportive Technology for Homes
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by Stephen S. Intille, Kent Larson 14 the future of Architecture

At MIT, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers is studying how to create pervasive computing environments for the home. We are developing technologies and design strategies that use context-aware sensing to empower people with information by presenting it at precisely the right time and place. Contrary to many visions of future home environments in the literature, we advocate an approach that uses technology to teach as opposed to using technology primarily for automated control. We are constructing a "living laboratory" that will provide a unique, flexible infrastructure for scientifically studying the power of pervasive computing for motivating learning and behavior change in the home. This facility, called the MIT-TIAX PlaceLab, will be used to study technology for creating homes that are supportive.



We are interested in creating design strategies for environments that use pervasive displays and context-aware sensing to empower people with information presented at precisely the right time and place. Unlike many other visions for future home environments, we advocate an approach that uses technology primarily to teach as opposed to only for automated control. Therefore, we are developing new technologies but also new tools that permit us to evaluate our technology interventions in natural settings.

We have designed and are currently constructing the Place-Lab, a flexible, sensor-rich residential research facility that will enable researchers to study how people respond to new technologies and design strategies. We will begin running studies in the facility by October, 2003. We invite researchers who may be interested in using this shared scientific tool in their own work to contact us.

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