Embedded versus portable interfaces for personalizing shared ubiquitous devices

Abstract

Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by shared devices: TVs, stereos, and appliances in the home; copiers, fax machines, and projectors in the office; phones and vending machines in public. Because these devices don’t know who we are, they provide the same user interface and functionality to everyone. This paper describes a system for personalizing workplace document devices- projectors, public displays, and multi-function copiers-that has been in use for over two years in our organization. We compare user interfaces that are embedded (i.e., integrated or co-located with the shared device) versus portable (i.e., accessible via portable devices such as mobile phones or PDAs). We summarize lessons learned for others designing interfaces for shared ubiquitous devices.