The SmartAbility Framework (developed by Dr Paul Whittington) innovatively maps Assistive Technologies to user abilities in order to provide recommendations. We define ‘user abilities’ as actions that individuals can perform independently without assistance. SmartAbility is the culmination of literature reviews, requirements elicitation, technology feasibility trials and controlled usability evaluations with the SmartATRS system.
A holistic model was developed, based on the House of Quality matrix of the Quality Function Deployment tool. The standard matrix was adapted to suit the SmartAbility Framework. The extract below shows the mappings between the Physical Conditions, Abilities, Interaction Mediums and Technologies elements.
SmartAbility evolved through a three-stage validation process involving the user community at the Mobility Roadshow 2016, local organisations and charities including Victoria Education Centre and Talbot Manor, as well as manufacturers of powered wheelchairs.
A SmartAbility Android Application is currently being developed to automatically detect the movements that users can perform through built-in sensor technologies, e.g. accelerometers and gyroscopes. Therefore, a minimal level of manual user input is required to obtain Assistive Technology recommendations. It has been identified that people with reduced physical ability are often unaware of the technologies that can provide support in their daily lives. The SmartAbility Application is anticipated to promote this awareness. The Application creates a means to disseminate the SmartAbility Framework to the user community of people with reduced physical ability, charities and manufacturers associated with Assistive Technology, as well as healthcare professionals, e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists. The Application will evolve into a product promotion tool for Assistive Technology manufacturers.
The SmartAbility Application is anticipated to be released on the Google Play Store in Autumn 2019, as a free download.
A SmartAbility Web platform has been created which contains the data within each element of the SmartAbility Framework. The platform contains the Physical Conditions, Abilities and Interaction Mediums that are used to provide Assistive Technology recommendations. Over 100 Assistive Technologies will be included in the platform, accompanied by descriptions, images, manufacturer details and external website links. The platform will provide the capability for users to export the data as a CSV or Excel spreadsheet, which is anticipated to increase the awareness of Assistive Technologies that are currently available.
PhD Thesis (2017):
Whittington, P. W., 2017. The Development of a SmartAbility Framework to Enhance Multimodal Interaction for People with Reduced Physical Ability [online]. Thesis (PhD). Bournemouth University. Available from: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29895/1/WHITTINGTON%2C%20Paul%20William_Ph.D._2017.pdf [Accessed 20 October 2017].
Television and Radio
BBC 1 South Today (2018):
Evening News, 3 minutes report about the Assistive Technology research at Bournemouth University.
BBC Radio Solent (2018):
Drivetime Programme, 5 minutes interview about the Assistive Technology research at Bournemouth University.
The Sunday Times (2018):
“A Key Driver For Change”. Article about driverless cars featuring the SmartATRS System. Available from: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/static/driverless-cars-axa-technology-advances/
Auto Express (2017):
Cox, M., 2017. Disability cars and driving aids: the new tech helping disabled people get behind the wheel [online]. London: Dennis Publishing Ltd. Available from: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/101188/disability-cars-and-driving-aids-the-new-tech-helping-disabled-people-get-behind-the
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2015d. Improving life for people with disabilities. The Ergonomist, 542, 12-13. Available from: http://www.ergonomics.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/542-August.pdf
The Bournemouth Echo (2018):
Bournemouth Echo, 2018. New technology to help people with disabilities. Bournemouth Echo. Available from: https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16196363.heres-how-bournemouth-university-is-helping-people-to-find-their-independence-through-assistive-technology/
IEEE Transactions on Human Machine Systems (2016)
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2016d. SmartPowerchair: Characterisation and Usability of a Pervasive System of Systems. IEEE Transactions on Human Machine Systems, 47 (4), 500-510. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7707466/
CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2019)
Whittington, P., Dogan, H., Jiang, N. and Phalp, K., 2019. The development and evaluation of the SmartAbility Android Application to detect users’ abilities. In: The ACM CHI 2019 Workshop on Addressing the Challenges of Situationally-Induced Impairments and Disabilities in Mobile Interaction 4-9 May 2019 Glasgow, UK.
British Human Computer Interaction Conference (2018)
Whittington, P., Dogan, H., Jiang, N. and Phalp, K. 2018. Automatic Detection of User Abilities through the SmartAbility Framework. British HCI 2018 Conference, Belfast, 2-6 July 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.14236/ewic/HCI2018.43
International Workshop on Evolving Security and Privacy Requirements Engineering (2017)
Ki-Aries, D., Dogan, H., Faily, S., Whittington, P. and Williams, C., 2017. From Requirements to Operation: Components for Risk Assessment in a Pervasive System of Systems. The 4th International Workshop on Evolving Security and Privacy Requirements Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal 4 September 2017. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8054834/
British Human Computer Interaction Conference (2016)
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2016b. Improving user interaction through a SmartDisability Framework. British HCI 2016 Conference, Bournemouth 11-15 July 2016. Available from: http://ewic.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/56884
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2016c. A SmartDisability Framework: enhancing user interaction. British HCI 2016 Conference, Bournemouth 11-15 July 2016. Available from: http://ewic.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/56902
IEEE System of Systems Engineering (2016)
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2016a. SmartDisability: A smart system of systems approach to disability. The 11th International Conference on System of System Engineering, Kongsberg 12-16 June 2016. New York, NY: IEEE Press. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7542943/
IEEE System of Systems Engineering (2015)
Whittington, P. and Dogan, H., 2015c. SmartPowerchair: A Pervasive System of Systems. The 10th International Conference on System of System Engineering, San Antonio, TX, USA, 18-20 May 2015. IEEE Press, New York, NY, USA. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7151932/
Ergonomics and Human Factors (2015)
Whittington, P., Dogan, H. and Phalp, K., 2015b. SmartPowerchair: to boldly go where a powerchair has not gone before. Ergonomics and Human Factors 2015, Daventry, UK, 13-16 April 2015. 233-240. CRC Press, London, UK. Available from: http://www.crcnetbase.com/doi/abs/10.1201/b18293-46
International Conference on Pervasive and Embedded Computing and Communication Systems (2015)
Whittington, P., Dogan, H. and Phalp, K., 2015a. Evaluating the Usability of an Automated Transport and Retrieval System. The 5th International Conference on Pervasive and Embedded Computing and Communication Systems, Angers, France, 11-13 February 2015. 59-66. Science and Technology Press, Lisbon, Portugal. Available from: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7483733/