Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good. Third International Conference, GOODTECHS 2017, Pisa, Italy, November 29-30, 2017, Proceedings

Research Article

How Blind People Can Manage a Remote Control System: A Case Study

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-319-76111-4_8,
        author={Marina Buzzi and Francesco Gennai and Barbara Leporini},
        title={How Blind People Can Manage a Remote Control System: A Case Study},
        proceedings={Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good. Third International Conference, GOODTECHS 2017, Pisa, Italy, November 29-30, 2017, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={GOODTECHS},
        year={2018},
        month={3},
        keywords={Home Automation Accessibility Blind users},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-319-76111-4_8}
    }
    
  • Marina Buzzi
    Francesco Gennai
    Barbara Leporini
    Year: 2018
    How Blind People Can Manage a Remote Control System: A Case Study
    GOODTECHS
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-76111-4_8
Marina Buzzi1,*, Francesco Gennai2,*, Barbara Leporini2,*
  • 1: IIT-CNR
  • 2: ISTI-CNR
*Contact email: marina.buzzi@iit.cnr.it, francesco.gennai@isti.cnr.it, barbara.leporini@isti.cnr.it

Abstract

Remote Control Systems (RCSs) are increasingly being installed in homes and offices. Technology evolves very rapidly and sensors and devices are becoming smaller, smarter and more powerful. Mobile and Web apps are commonly used to remotely configure and control devices. Home control is especially valuable for blind people, since they can benefit from technology to control and turn on/off devices autonomously. Remote control can offer meaningful support, especially when devices are not directly accessible (e.g., thermostat to manage heating temperature). Therefore, if RCS interfaces are not accessible via screen reader, blind users may miss a great opportunity to achieve greater autonomy at home. This paper investigates the accessibility of the web user interfaces offered by RCSs for blind people. To do this, the Fibaro, a popular Remote Control System, was tested as a case study by analyzing the interaction via screen reader. Results indicate that accessibility and especially usability need to be improved to make interaction easier and more satisfying for blind people. To this aim, some suggestions are offered to aid developers in designing more accessible RCS user interfaces.