Author(s): Remi Nguyen Van, Hideki Shimada, Kenya Sato
With so many potentially interconnected electronic devices in today’s homes, manufacturers have to think of theirs as only one of the components involved in a general user experience, and not as an isolated device. Users are likely to be using several devices at the same time, either actively through immediate interaction, or passively by expecting devices to give them notifications when necessary, for example. Thus, having cross-devices functionalities is often necessary for a product to be really adapted to its usage situation. Moreover, just as we install software on computers, smartphones and tablets for additional functionalities to use their own hardware, it would be logical to install cross-devices software to use the combined hardware of several home devices for a better user experience. However, even though a number of technologies can be used to transmit data or commands between devices, UPnP being a widespread example, it is not possible to access the behavior of remote devices and add functionalities to them this way. Thus, when manufacturers design their products, there is no way for them to make full use of the other appliances at the user’s home without developing and deploying specific software on each of them.
In order to address this issue, this paper discusses a platform for generic development and on-the-fly deployment of applications on home devices. This system aims at letting device vendors deploy innovative features across devices in a home network, without requiring prior knowledge or control over devices already present in the user’s environment. For this platform to be fit for consumer devices, it is designed to be cost-effective, use recent and widespread technologies, and be fast to implement and work with.