Smart environments worthy of the name need to capture, interpret, and support human activities that take place within their realms. Most existing efforts tend to focus on either real world activities or activities taking place in the virtual world accessed through digital devices. However, as digital computation continues to permeate our everyday real world environments, and as the border between physical and digital continues to blur for the human agents acting in these environments, we need system design approaches that can cope with human activities that span the physical-virtual gap. In this paper, we present such an approach and use it for designing a smart home intended to support Activities of Daily Living (ADL). The easy ADL home is designed based on a wearable personal server that runs a personal ADL support middleware and a set of computationally augmented everyday objects within the easy ADL home. An initial qualitative study of the system involving 20 subjects revealed a highly positive attitude (score 4.37 out of 5) towards the system's capability of co-locating and synchronizing physical and virtual events throughout the everyday activity scenarios, while classical usability aspects in particular related to the gesture-based input (score 2.89 out of 5) leaves room for improvement.
Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments, 2010, Vol 2, Issue 3, p. 287-310