Augmenting objects at home through programmable sensor tokens: A design journey

Andrea Bellucci, Andrea Vianello, Yves Florack, Luana Micallef, Giulio Jacucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


End-user development for the home has been gaining momentum in research. Previous works demonstrate feasibility and potential but there is a lack of analysis of the extent of technology needed and its impact on the diversity of activities that can be supported. We present a design exploration with a tangible end-user toolkit for programming smart tokens embedding different sensing technologies. Our system allows to augment physical objects with smart tags and use trigger-action programming with multiple triggers to define smart behaviors. We contribute through a field-oriented study that provided insights on (i) household's activities as emerging from people's lived experience in terms of high-level goals, their ephemerality or recurrence, and the types of triggers, actions and interactions with augmented objects, and (ii) the programmability needed for supporting desired behaviors. We conclude that, while trigger–action covers most scenarios, more advanced programming and direct interaction with physical objects spur novel uses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-231
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • End-user programming
  • Smart home
  • Do-it-yourself toolkits
  • Trigger-action programming
  • Physical interaction


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