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Internet of Things research at Curtin University

From: Scott Hollier <scott@hollier.info>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 01:23:14 +0000
To: "public-rqtf@w3.org" <public-rqtf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MWHPR01MB2766EE4AEF92007A18FA490FDC710@MWHPR01MB2766.prod.exchangelabs.com>
To the RQTF list

Firstly, apologies that my phone link dropped out midway through my bit on the phone - the phone connection from Thailand held up better than expected the previous week and for most of the meeting but didn't quite make it to the end.

As such, Jason's asked if I could provide a summary of the IoT project I'll be working on for the list.

The project I'm running is the result of some grant funding commencing in March.

The title of the project is 'Internet of Things (IoT) Education: Implications for Students with Disabilities' and the purpose of the project is to provide  guidance on how the Internet of Things (IoT) benefits the educational outcomes of students with disabilities.  While there are benefits for access, competing hardware and ecosystems require research to understand the implications. The scoping study will evaluate current IoT solutions, their educational benefits and provides support to future Curtin disability and inclusion policy.

As Shadi mentioned yesterday, there's been a number of different approaches to IoT and interoperability is a big issue along with interface customisation.  One of the debates that led to this grant revolves around the question 'is it better to make a built-in interface accessible (i.e. put a screen reader in the refrigerator or TV) ores it better to have a third-party device with an app or digital assistant that drives the device?'.  For example it could be argued that having everything being driven off the smartphone that users already have set up with the AT they need is the ideal situation, and also overcomes some of the privacy and security issues faced by a GPII solution, but the downside is that there's real problems if you can't use a toaster because your smartphone has a flat battery.

So from there, the question then becomes 'once the most accessible IoT interface method is established, are there specific implcations in using IoT in the classroom to support students with disabilities.'  Before the call cut out you may have heard me mentiont that one of the benfits is being able to interact in a classroom setting remotely as an example.  Froma vision impaired perspective being able to just give commands via a digital assistant to interact with a science experiment, or a person in a wheelchair able to interact with devices that usually have buttons out of reach via a smartphone are some immediate benefits, but there's a greater need for research in this space.

So over the next six months, we're going to be looking at both these questions and the potential setup of a trial classrroom  for a future project.

I'm more than happy to report the findings back to RQTF which will hopefully feed into our Web of Things processes.   Reallye excited by Shadi's work and its fantastic that W3C is already working on getting companies out of their development silos to provide more interoperability.


Dr Scott Hollier
Digital Access Specialist
E-mail: scott@hollier.info<mailto:scott@hollier.info> Mobile: +61 (0)430 351 909

Learn more about Scott through his recently published memoir:
Outrunning the Night: a life journey of disability, determination and joy.
Visit outrunningthenight.com<http://www.outrunningthenight.com/> for more information and sample chapter.
Received on Friday, 20 January 2017 01:23:49 UTC

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