Studying the Use and Utility of an Indoor Location Tracking System for Non-experts

Shwetak Patel, Julie A. Kientz, Sidhant Gupta


Indoor location tracking systems have been a major focus of ubiquitous computing research, and they have much promise to help in collecting objective, real time data for applications and supporting studies. However, due to their typically difficult and time consuming installation process, few have explored the extent to which they can be used by non-experts. In this research, we studied how one location tracking system, PowerLine Positioning, could be used by non-technology expert rehabilitation researchers to study the mobility patterns of wheelchair users in their homes. We determined that indoor location tracking systems are not only usable by non-experts, but they can also be useful in allowing them to achieve their own research goals of obtaining objective mobility data. Based on the results, we provide areas for future exploration and implications for designers of location-based and other types of sensing systems which aim to be end-user deployable.