HoloFlows: modelling of processes for the Internet of Things in mixed reality
Software and Systems Modeling
Our everyday lives are increasingly pervaded by digital assistants and smart devices forming the Internet of Things (IoT). While user interfaces to directly monitor and control individual IoT devices are becoming more sophisticated and end-user friendly, applications to connect standalone IoT devices and create more complex IoT processes for automating and assisting users with repetitive tasks still require a high level of technical expertise and programming knowledge. Related approaches for process modelling in IoT mostly suggest extensions to complex modelling languages, require high levels of abstraction and technical knowledge, and rely on unintuitive tools. We present a novel approach for end-user oriented--no-code--IoT process modelling using Mixed Reality (MR) technology: HoloFlows. Users are able to explore the IoT environment and model processes among sensors and actuators as first class citizens by simply "drawing" virtual wires among physical IoT devices. MR technology hereby facilitates the understanding of the physical contexts and relations among the IoT devices and provides a new and more intuitive way of modelling IoT processes. The results of a user study comparing HoloFlows with classical modelling approaches show an increased user experience and decrease of required modelling knowledge and technical expertise to create IoT processes.
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