a range of connected furniture for awareness of daily
routines and rhythms between distant family members
Dipak Patel, Aoife Ní Mhóráin, Stefan Agamanolis
In family relationships, awareness of daily cycles and routines (or
more importantly, deviation from these patterns) is particularly
important. This awareness helps to convey reassurance and a sense of
context for communication, and it provides a means for background
synchronization of rhythms between those in the bond. Habitat
explores the potential of using household furniture as a network of
distributed ambient display appliances for conveying this kind of
awareness between family members separated by a distance.
The current Habitat system comprises two geographically separate,
networked café or kitchen tables. Each table integrates a computer, an
ISO-standard RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag reader, and a
Unique RFID tags are embedded in objects typically placed on kitchen
tables at each site, such as cups, plates, books, and so on. Placing
these items on the table causes messages to be sent to the remote
table, which displays a graphical representation of the objects. The
system operates in both directions, conveying impressions of presence
and activity around the tables at each site.
When items are removed, their representations at the far end fade away
slowly, enabling in a single glance an impression of the recent
history of events and overall daily rhythms around the far table. The
system is designed to operate reliably 24 hours a day and can handle
multiple tagged objects simultaneously at each site.
Publications and Links
Habitat was exhibited at e-culture fair 2,
Amsterdam, 23 - 24 October 2003.
Dipak Patel, Fostering Human Connectedness: Awareness Over a
Distance Using Networked Furniture, MPhil Thesis, Department of
Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University College London, July
Dipak Patel and Stefan Agamanolis, Habitat: awareness of life
rhythms over a distance using networked furniture, Adjunct
Proceedings, UbiComp 2003 Fifth International Conference on
Ubiquitous Computing, Seattle, 12 - 15 October 2003. (PDF)
Dipak Patel, Habitat: awareness of daily routines and rhythms
over a distance using networked furniture, Proceedings of LCS
2003 London Communications Symposium, London, 8 - 9 September
Dipak received the top prize for his poster about Habitat at the
Research Postgraduate Poster Presentation in the Department of
Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London.