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Conference Paper

Exploring notifications in smart home environments


Machulla,  T
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Voit, A., Machulla, T., Weber, D., Schwind, V., Schneegans, S., & Henze, N. (2016). Exploring notifications in smart home environments. In V. Paternò, & K. Väänänen (Eds.), 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct (MobileHCI '16) (pp. 942-947). New York, NY, USA: ACM Press.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-7A74-5
Notifications are a core mechanism of current smart devices. They inform about a variety of events including messages, social network comments, and application updates. While users appreciate the awareness that notifications provide, notifications cause distraction, higher cognitive load, and task interruptions. With the increasing importance of smart environments, the number of sensors that could trigger notifications will increase dramatically. A flower with a moisture sensor, for example, could create a notification whenever the flower needs water. We assume that current notification mechanisms will not scale with the increasing number of notifications. We therefore explore notification mechanisms for smart homes. Notifications are shown on smartphones, on displays in the environment, next to the sending objects, or on the user's body. In an online survey, we compare the four locations in four scenarios. While different aspects influence the perceived suitability of each notification location, the smartphone generally is rated the best.