In this paper, we propose ICrafter, a framework for services and their user interfaces in a class of ubiquitous computing environments. The chief objective of ICrafter is to let users flexibly interact with the services in their environment using a variety of modalities and input devices. We extend existing service frameworks in three ways. First, to offload services and user input devices, ICrafter provides infrastructure support for UI selection, generation, and adaptation. Second, ICrafter allows UIs to be associated with service patterns for on-the-fly aggregation of services. Finally, ICrafter facilitates the design of service UIs that are portable but still reflect the context of the local environment. In addition, we also focus on the system properties such as incremental deployability and robustness that are critical for ubiquitous computing environments. We describe the goals and architecture of ICrafter, a prototype implementation that validates its design, and the key lessons learnt from our experiences.
This paper is copyright 2001 by Springer-Verlag and will appear in the Notes in Computer Science Series along with other papers from Ubicomp 2001.
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