Technological advances have permitted computers to incur into barely every
aspect of our daily lives. Every day there are more services available to us
through a varied array of devices. Mobile phones, portable video games, digital
agendas provide means to make our every day life easier. As technology improves
these devices will become smaller and more powerful, eventually ubiquitous
computing will cause the merge of computers with our surroundings: office
furniture, windows and doors.
The current work presents the development of the client side of a framework for
the study of the human interaction with such environment-embedded devices. The
environment for such an interaction is the Chair of Artificila Intelligence in
Saarland University, and the devices are Pocket Digital Assistants embedded
next to each office's door and they function as embedded displays. The displays
provide information about the office occupants, their schedules and allow
visitors to leave voice and written messages or request appointments.
These diplays also take part into a pedestrian navigation system effort that
forms part of Project REAL [BKW02]. The displays provide users with a variety
of information, for instance, way directions to aid in the indoor navigation
Our intention is that over a longer period of time new applications and
services are provided through these embedded displays and enable further
research on human machine interaction.