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Designing a Smartphone Application for Identification of Network Devices

Busch, Ebba LU and Magnusson, Richard LU (2019) MAMM01 20191
Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology
Abstract
Today, an increasing amount of physical devices are obtaining Internet connectivity for more efficient management and device communication. In home environments, users may manage devices by providing them descriptive names such as "living room speaker". For a limited set of devices such a solution is often sufficient. However, in a case where one wants to individually manage a very high number of devices one must keep track of individual device identification numbers. Obtaining this information may be challenging and time consuming if the devices are installed in inaccessible places. This is a present issue for Axis Communications which offers network audio systems for enterprise customers where devices are often mounted in ceilings before... (More)
Today, an increasing amount of physical devices are obtaining Internet connectivity for more efficient management and device communication. In home environments, users may manage devices by providing them descriptive names such as "living room speaker". For a limited set of devices such a solution is often sufficient. However, in a case where one wants to individually manage a very high number of devices one must keep track of individual device identification numbers. Obtaining this information may be challenging and time consuming if the devices are installed in inaccessible places. This is a present issue for Axis Communications which offers network audio systems for enterprise customers where devices are often mounted in ceilings before they’re identified and configured. In this thesis, the authors have investigated novel solutions for network device identification in regards to both different user prerequisites as well as to limitations in different technologies.

Two smartphone application concepts with the purpose to perform identification have been proposed by the authors, of which one has been implemented. The implemented solution consists of an iPhone application prototype communicating with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, which would have to be incorporated in the physical speakers. One of the main advantages of the BLE beacon solution is that speakers do not require power in order to be identified.

Usability tests were held with the implemented prototype, in which the application was considered intuitive and easy to use. However issues with technical accuracy remain to be solved before the solution could be launched on the market. Furthermore, due to insufficient access to the actual target group and to real case environments, the usability of the application has to be further investigated. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Idag kopplas allt fler enheter upp på Internet, vilket effektiviserar såväl enhetshantering som kommunikation mellan enheter. I hemmiljöer kan användare styra enheter genom att förse dem med beskrivande namn, som till exempel "högtalare vardagsrum". Så länge antalet enheter är begränsat är en sådan lösning ofta tillräcklig. I ett fall med ett stort antal enheter måste användaren dock hålla reda på enskilda identifikationsnummer för varje enhet. Att få tag på den informationen kan vara både utmanade och tidskrävande om enheter installerats på otillgängliga platser. Det här är ett problem för Axis Communications, som erbjuder nätverksstyrda ljudsystem till företagskunder. Deras ljudsystem monteras ofta i taket för att senare identifieras och... (More)
Idag kopplas allt fler enheter upp på Internet, vilket effektiviserar såväl enhetshantering som kommunikation mellan enheter. I hemmiljöer kan användare styra enheter genom att förse dem med beskrivande namn, som till exempel "högtalare vardagsrum". Så länge antalet enheter är begränsat är en sådan lösning ofta tillräcklig. I ett fall med ett stort antal enheter måste användaren dock hålla reda på enskilda identifikationsnummer för varje enhet. Att få tag på den informationen kan vara både utmanade och tidskrävande om enheter installerats på otillgängliga platser. Det här är ett problem för Axis Communications, som erbjuder nätverksstyrda ljudsystem till företagskunder. Deras ljudsystem monteras ofta i taket för att senare identifieras och konfigureras. I den här studien har författarna undersökt nya lösningar för identifikation av nätverksenheter med avseende på olika användares förutsättningar såväl som på tekniska begränsningar.

Två applikationskoncept för smartphones med syfte att utföra identifikationen har presenterats, varav en har implementerats. Den implementerade lösningen består av en iPhone-applikation i prototypstadie och Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, som skulle behöva monteras i de fysiska högtalarna. En av de huvudsakliga fördelarna med en BLE beacon-baserad lösning är att högtalarna inte behöver förses med ström för att kunna identifieras.

Användartester hölls för den implementerade prototypen, i vilka applikationen uppfattades som intuitiv och lättanvänd. Tekniska problem med noggrannhet skulle dock behöva lösas innan produkten kan lanseras på marknaden. På grund av otillräcklig tillgång till den faktiska målgruppen och miljöer i vilka lösningen skulle kunna användas i praktiken, behöver användbarheten hos applikationen undersökas vidare. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Busch, Ebba LU and Magnusson, Richard LU
supervisor
organization
course
MAMM01 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
network device identification, network device installation, IoT, iOS, iPhone application, interaction design, user experience, usability testing, Bluetooth Low Energy, iBeacon
language
English
id
8979827
date added to LUP
2019-06-11 10:46:53
date last changed
2019-06-11 10:46:53
@misc{8979827,
  abstract     = {Today, an increasing amount of physical devices are obtaining Internet connectivity for more efficient management and device communication. In home environments, users may manage devices by providing them descriptive names such as "living room speaker". For a limited set of devices such a solution is often sufficient. However, in a case where one wants to individually manage a very high number of devices one must keep track of individual device identification numbers. Obtaining this information may be challenging and time consuming if the devices are installed in inaccessible places. This is a present issue for Axis Communications which offers network audio systems for enterprise customers where devices are often mounted in ceilings before they’re identified and configured. In this thesis, the authors have investigated novel solutions for network device identification in regards to both different user prerequisites as well as to limitations in different technologies.

Two smartphone application concepts with the purpose to perform identification have been proposed by the authors, of which one has been implemented. The implemented solution consists of an iPhone application prototype communicating with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, which would have to be incorporated in the physical speakers. One of the main advantages of the BLE beacon solution is that speakers do not require power in order to be identified. 

Usability tests were held with the implemented prototype, in which the application was considered intuitive and easy to use. However issues with technical accuracy remain to be solved before the solution could be launched on the market. Furthermore, due to insufficient access to the actual target group and to real case environments, the usability of the application has to be further investigated.},
  author       = {Busch, Ebba and Magnusson, Richard},
  keyword      = {network device identification,network device installation,IoT,iOS,iPhone application,interaction design,user experience,usability testing,Bluetooth Low Energy,iBeacon},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Designing a Smartphone Application for Identification of Network Devices},
  year         = {2019},
}