Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group Teleconference

19 Jul 2017

See also: IRC log


jasonjgw, Judy, scott_h
shadi, judy, janina


<shadi> scribe: shadi

Accessibility of the Web of Things - discussion of the literature

JW: glad W3C is having effort in this area
... need to determine the direction
... want to develop use cases to help the development of specs
... literature survey by Scott will be very helpful

SH: have a university-internal project grant
... looking at IoT, especially for in-class learning
... first step is literature review of related resources
... second part is interview of 10 students
... we completed the first part and are just starting with the second
... literature review - started with overall definition then went into accessibility specific issues
... many papers make the point that IoT is not really all that new
... notion of connected computers is actually quite old
... for this project took definition by @@@
... interesting definition because it comes from the idea that humans forget things
... the thought of pulling in all this data, such as cloud-storage
... and taking that angle into the rise of the consumer space
... first public big brand commercial product is considered to be the LG fridge
... had a web browser and email client
... could detect products in the fridge and theortically also shop for you
... but it was quite a flop because way too early
... back then dialup connection was comment, there were hardly services, and it was expensive
... many of these aspects have changed since
... seem to be a big buzz around 2015
... more devices online, small sensors, lots of data, affordability, but also products such as Echo/Alexa
... this is sometimes referred to as the point of commercial entry of IoT
... realtime marketing, changes according to environment, adaptation to situations
... often privacy and security issues being raised
... especially hacking
... also security of data - such as tempering with data
... products fall largely into two categories: more industrial, and the more consumer-oriented
... different types of data and many kinds of sensors
... also different distribution channels, such as bluetooth, RFID, etc
... interfaces also vary, including use over mobile phones or some gadget
... regarding accessibility, lots of papers but most only on ehealth
... like monitoring outpatients
... for example to assist someone in emergency
... but in tracking people's lives for this purposes, also learned more about the medical conditions of the patients
... interesting cycle here between monitoring and creating new information
... on the consumer side, assistive technology is built into many mobile devices
... like iOS, Android, etc.
... provides choices and reduces costs in many cases
... ways of interacting also include built-in screens, like on a fridge
... these are usually not accessible but GPII may be a possible solution
... but the winner by far is interacting through the smartphone
... device that users are already acustomed to
... but also voice commands using natural language
... not an alternative but an additional option
... another interesting discussion is on internationalization of IoT products
... for example Echo is currently US-oriented
... IoT lightbulb requires specific IoT device to operate

<scribe> ...closed systems

SH: last bit is education, to improve student engagement
... interesting paper on using IoT in a university library
... reduced effort on staff but also side product on getting students to be more exact on what they are looking for
... another paper was to monitor student response and interest relating to presenter tone
... possible projects could be (1) improving "accessible workspace" common in many university libraries
... for example to connect devices to larger screens using chromecast or such
... (2) combination of ehealth and research as mentioned earlier
... monitoring day in the life of people with disabilities in a non-invasive ways
... could help improve specific issues
... have not yet heard from the students
... expect final report in about two months

<Judy> scribe: judy

<janina> scribe: janina

<Judy> shadi: thanks for that great presentation Scott, very helpful overview.

sa: Interesting report on what monitoring offers
... Tieing gps into data collection helped identify things like broken infrastructure in the environment
... Notes it's not always straight forward to control devices from a smart device

sh: Notes Shadi's paper turned up in the research

<shadi> scribe: shadi

sh: options not mutually exclusive but alternative options
... for example, only interface to a toaster should not be an app
... but true that many current built-in interface do not tend to be accessible

<Zakim> janina, you wanted to ask about individual vs community context issues

js: not sure i expect much from certain vendors
... some operating systems still have little accessibility support
... voice interfaces are ok when you're the only one in the room
... otherwise can get quite difficult

sh: Google Home can identify different voices
... but the problem of noise and interference still persists
... valid concern, also about distraction
... could have noise outweighing the problem
... funny interaction between Google Home and Alexa

js: notion of people being more polite through IoT is interesting
... would mean impact on communication
... has accessibility implications

sh: didn't think about the accessibility implication
... but the issue of rudeness is quite interesting

jb: had heard the opposite effect on politeness
... kids getting used to demanding and commanding

jw: seems overly optimistic to expect every UI developer will meet the needs of all users equally well
... users need to select the products that best match their needs
... but the central issue of interoperability is important

<janina> The device supporting both Amazon and Google interfacing is:

<janina> http://linuxgizmos.com/android-smart-speaker-supports-alexa-and-google-assistant/

jw: another point that came up is natural language interface
... not really specific to IoT but new trend to consider
... also security and privacy issues, especially around health monitoring
... finally, support in the education space
... for example to get live transcripts through an online service

<Zakim> shadi, you wanted to talk about consistent accessible user interfaces

<janina> scribe: janina

sa: Noting no matter how accessible UI, some users will have problems.
... Just like we demand buildings be consistently accessible planet wide, we should demand from UI

<shadi> scribe: shadi

jw: may be physical and environmental limitation to the degree of accessibility of the built-in UIs

sh: Google Home or Alexa can play different formats, not only text
... for example, they can play a podcast instead of reading the news headlines
... or play a sound to explain the sound of a train, when asked
... so an additional dimension

jw: do we need to separate things out?
... for example voice-operated systems are separable from IoT

<janina> scribe: janina

sa: Recalling earlier desire to evolve use cases. Wondering what the next steps are
... Not heard new use case categories so far in this discussion

<shadi> scribe: shadi

sh: think everything so far can fit into the existing categories

<scribe> ...new things might turn out in the next phase of the interviews

jw: suggest follow-up call after digesting this input

jb: think there may be a few points to capture and not lose the momentum

sh: can send my notes to the list, and can continue by email

jw: interplay between voice computing and IoT
... case for interoperability
... privacy and security issues

sh: will share the report as soon as it is available

Miscellaneous updates and discussion

jw: js and i are working on input to the web authentication group
... some progress there

Summary of Action Items

Summary of Resolutions

[End of minutes]

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Found Date: 19 Jul 2017
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