Multi-Modal and Ubiquitous Computing
By user742203 on Jul 08, 2008
How multi-modal capabilities empower ubiquitous computing.
Centered around the user, multi-modal computing is as much a hybrid approach to user input as multiple drive trains are to a Prius. we will attempt to answer the following questions:
- What is multi-modal and how is this different
- What are it's uses?
- And most importantly how does this benefit companies adopting it?
Fig 1a: Tethered Modern Worker
We are all used to carrying multiple devices with us and the modern forklift warrior is also encumbered by having to use a number of devices and input devices to update a system with what he/she has done. Depending on the work situation, this would include any number of inputs and communications types.
For example if the user is working in a distribution center handling returns or maintenance/repair, a typical workflow would look like the following:
- Scan received carton/case.
- Inspect the item received for damages, special instructions etc.
- Confirm the quantity into mobile unit after inspection
- If this is a custom high value line e.g. custom trucks like Peterbilt, there may be a need to possibly call the customer/returnee to get more details
- If the DC has implemented task interleaving and it is high volume season, then tasks alerting and dispatching is done using a mechanism that can page
- If there is speech available as a capability, then a worker could use this input variation along with scanning
- If there are sensor capabilities like RFID, which is one of the top uses of RFID returns for high value goods, and a hazmat or hands free operation is required then scanning, RFID and speech may all be used in conjunction.
As you can surmise, the above operations in combination or singly can involve one or many modes of inputs in the form of scanner, sensor, speech, manual mobile input and some form of automation.
Multi-modal or Aria as branded by some industry exponents, is as much a device solution capability as well as software that enables the orchestration of these machine events and inputs into a synchronized business flow.
Keep a lookout for key capabilities, TCO impact and ROI measures.....