Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Enabling by voice: An exploratory study on how Interactive Smart Agents (ISA) can change the design of Environmental Control (EC) equipment and service
Authors: Shamim, Umber
Advisors: Spinelli, G
Manivannan, N
Keywords: Assistive Technology;Smart Speakers;Technology Adoption
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The use of well-designed assistive devices may improve the quality of life of individuals living with severe and permanent impairments and reduce the burden on their caregivers. Interactive Smart Agents (ISA)s use the latest smart home technology to control devices around the house through voice interfaces. This study aims to investigate whether ISAs may be effective to support individuals who are affected by multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI) or other neurological ailments. This study’s approach is user-centred to ensure inclusion. This study includes two main parts: 1. the initial development of a technology adoption model informed by secondary research and exploratory primary data, 2. a second in-depth investigation of the initially identified constructs and relationships through a multipoints qualitative study. After data analysis the initial model was altered to reflect the insights generated by the primary research. By using this modified technology adoption model, designers and manufacturers can make changes in their future ISA devices so that they can be better suited to the needs of users with severe mobility impairments. This research is in collaboration with the North Thames Regional Environmental Control Services (NTRECES), an NHS organisation that provides Environmental Control (EC) devices to manage the patients’ electrical and computing appliances. Clinical staff have indicated an increasing patients’ demand of ISAs instead of traditional EC devices and have suggested that their clients are keen to experiment with more intuitive interfaces. The originality of this work consists of bringing together two established schools of thoughts, the Technology Adoption Model (TAM) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to arrive at a model that specifically considers adoption and usability factors relevant to a niche service user group (people with severe mobility impairments) and a specific technology, ISAs. This research has uncovered that, novelty, and ease of voice interaction as well as its entertainment value played a key role in the decision to adopt an ISA device. Users are willing to overlook the reliability, privacy and security issues if a back-up device is present and as most of the functions the users require are not security and privacy critical.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Design
Brunel Design School Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
FulltextThesis.pdf3.35 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in BURA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.