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Infomate (2016)

The Infomate devices are successor products of the TabletCompanions and the predecessor of Infomate Version 2. The overarching goal of Infomate as well as TabletCompanion is to create an Internet computer for senior users that is as accessible as possible. To this end, I have been experimenting with Android-based computers in a variety of different form factors. The newest generation, Infomate, is based on the Odroid-XU4 processor and a 9" multitouch display. In addtion, the following features were carefully incorportated into the design to support the needs of senior users:

  • 1) quick access hardware buttons for the most important functions such as 'home', 'back', 'weather' or 'Internet search'
  • 2) an accessible hardware keyboard as we found in earlier usability studies that senior users had difficuties in using software keyboards
  • 3) photos, text based messages and recommend URLs can be pushed onto the devices by friends/family
  • 4) remote support features for friends/familiy, e.g., remotely sharing the current desktop screen view

This is ongoing design research. That is, user studies are yet to be completed, and it is likely that further iterations of Informtate devices will be prototyped in order to increase usability. The philosophy of this project is to reach an appropriate compromise between relatively quickly-built systems and sufficient fidelity to provide the senior users wiht authentic UX. This approach should allow studying working systems, while at the same time being able to implement multiple iterations. Furthermore, it is part of Infomate's concept to include features (see above item 3 and 4) that support the senior users' friends and family in (remotely) assisting them using the Infomate.


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