Date: February 16, 1999
Jon Meads, President — Usability Architects, Inc.

First, PC Theatre, next the wired refrigerator? Sounds great —easy to use and at your beck and call. Or will it be the house of horrors—impossible to get past ill-set, unwanted defaults?

As the millenium closes, we are beginning to see PC Theatre systems that link TV to the Internet and provide computing power to home entertainment s ystems. In the next few years, these systems will interconnect with home appliances, security networks, and overall home control systems. Usability will be critical to the success of ubiquitous home computing. However, current techniques and practices for assessing usability of desktop products are not sufficient for this next-generation environment.

Through their work in defining and designing future home computing technology, Usability Architects, Inc. has gained insight into the usability issues that will arise as this technology develops. Their work indicates that current appro aches to usability may be insufficient. Jon Meads will discuss projected interaction support capabilities for the wired home and possible system architectures. He will also present some scenarios for interaction with the wired home and talk about usability issues and potential pitfalls.

Jon Meads, President
Usability Architects, Inc.
210 9th St, Ste E204
Kirkland, WA 98033