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Barreiros Carla, Veas Eduardo Enrique, Pammer-Schindler Viktoria

Can a green thumb make the difference? Using a Nature Metaphor to Communicate Sensor Information of a Coffee Machine

IEEE Consumers Electronics Magazine, 2018

This paper describes a novel visual metaphor to communicate sensor information of a connected device. The Internet of Things aims to extend every device with sensing and computing capabilities. A byproduct is that even domestic machines become increasingly complex, tedious to understand and maintain. This paper presents a prototype instrumenting a coffee machine with sensors. The machine streams the sensor data, which is picked up by an augmented reality application serving a nature metaphor. The nature metaphor, BioAR, represents the status derived from the coffee machine sensors in the features of a 3D virtual tree. The tree is meant to pass for a living proxy of the machine it represents. The metaphor, shown either with AR or a simple holographic display, reacts to the user manipulation of the machine and its workings. A first user study validates that the representation is correctly understood, and that it inspires affect for the machine. A second user study validates that the metaphor scales to a large number of machines.
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