The Makeability Lab and the UbiComp Lab hosted students from Northwest High School. The high school students were all taking an Internet of Things (IoT course), which focuses not just on building IoT technology but the societal implications. For example, students are asked to consider: How can this technology help us achieve a more just and equitable world? How will we be able to ensure that these devices improve our quality of life without imprisoning us? What ethics or code of conduct should guide the IoT?
Venkatesh spoke about his research supporting blind programmers, Manaswi spoke about Project Sidewalk and urban accessibility visualizations, and Dhruv spoke about his work on sound awareness tools for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Smarthome sound awareness prototype
One of the three smarthome sound awareness prototypes we explored via a wizard-of-oz study
The home is filled with a rich diversity of sounds from mundane beeps and whirs to dog barks and children’s shouts. In this project, we examine how deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) people think about and relate to sounds in the home, solicit feedback and reactions to initial domestic sound awareness systems, and explore potential concerns. We present findings from two qualitative studies: in Study 1, 12 DHH participants discussed their perceptions of and experiences with sound in the home and provided feedback on initial sound awareness mockups. Informed by Study 1, we designed three tablet-based sound awareness prototypes, which we evaluated with 10 DHH participants using a Wizard-of-Oz approach. Together, our findings suggest a general interest in smarthome-based sound awareness systems particularly for displaying contextually aware, personalized and glanceable visualizations but key concerns arose related to privacy, activity tracking, cognitive overload, and trust.
Exploring Sound Awareness in the Home for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing