University of Maryland


Presentations and Demos at CES

January 5th, 2007

Trace Center Director Gregg Vanderheiden was part of a panel on new interface and interoperability guidelines (link is external) on Jan. 8 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (link is external). Gottfried Zimmermann demonstrated the user interface socket developed by Trace as part of its support of the URC Consortium (link is external) and related standards efforts.

The proposed user interface socket (based on ISO/IEC DIS 24752) is the connection point between a controller and an electronic device in the home network. It opens up a broad range of intuitive, Web-based user interfaces to make digital home products easier to use for all customers, including those with disabilities.

Demonstrations at CES will show how easily a UPnP Media Server and Media Renderer could be controlled with a myriad of user input devices, including large displays, cell phones, PDAs, tablet PCs, and (in the future) natural language speech recognition. The UI socket concept can so simplify the process of using electronics that it becomes task-oriented and not overly technical or confusing for the consumer.

Three demonstrations will be shown at CES. “PickIt” is a task-oriented user interface on a Motorola Q smartphone. With the Moto Q the user can upload photos to the Media Server, browse through its content and show pictures, and listen to music or watch movies from the Media Server through the Media Renderer. The upcoming CEA-2018 standard on task model representations will facilitate similar user interfaces as shown in this demo.

“DragIt” controls digital media via drag ‘n drop from a tablet PC. A new breed of user interface, based on CEA-2014 and Web 2.0 concepts, lets the user intuitively control their media. For example, to upload photos to the Media Server, simply drag the camera icon onto the Media Server icon. Or, the user can listen to music by dropping the album from the Media Server onto the Media Renderer icon.

“PlayIt” is a Flash-based user interface for a PDA. This Flash application connects the PDA to the Media Server and Media Renderer devices. Thus, the user can command slide shows, movies, and music performances at home with the convenience of a wirelessly connected PDA.

For more information about these demonstrations and Trace’s work on interface sockets, contact us a