Research Tool: SmartFactoryKL & SmartMote

Gerrit Meixner, Marc Seissler, Kai Breiner

In: AIS SIGHCI Newsletter 9 Pages 11-11 Association for Information Systems (AIS) 7/2010.


The SmartFactoryKL is an arbitrarily modifiable and expandable (flexible) intelligent production environment, connecting components from multiple manufacturers (networked), enabling its components to perform context-related tasks autonomously (self-organizing), and emphasizing user-friendliness (user-oriented). The SmartFactoryKL is the first ambient intelligent production environment for demonstration and development purposes worldwide. Development of user interfaces is a secondary field in the production industry, but the impact of user interface quality is increasing independent of the application domain, which is a significant factor of success for the entire product. After three years of research, a first prototype has been finished that allows for controlling the production line using a single universal interaction device able to adapt to varying field devices according to the actual context of use, in a complex, model-based approach. To handle the resulting diversity of user interfaces, we developed a universal interaction device – the SmartMote – which is capable of providing control over various devices in these environments. Depending on the context of use, the visualization of the SmartMote is generated and adapted during run-time in order to provide a homogeneous intra-device user experience. For developers, the design of the user interface will be reduced to the definition of a (room-based) Use Model, comprising, beside other information, user task and context descriptions, with the exception of information concerning the presentation. Furthermore we could improve the flexibility as well as usability of the already functional SmartMote generation process in terms of the separation between the content to be displayed and the way it will be displayed (separation of concerns) by adding a presentation model consisting of a pattern matching language and the corresponding presentation templates – based on the User Interface Markup Language (UIML), which is a XML-compliant generic language for user interfaces.

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz