|Internet of Things is a term that is slowly working its way into people s vocabulary. The steadily decline in hardware prices is making sensors and actuators more accessible, and embedded hardware devices can be acquired for almost nothing. The TILES toolkit is a hardware and software platform that enables IoT application prototyping, using the custom TILES Squares as hardware devices for interaction with the real world. The TILES toolkit provides several layers of abstractions by hiding the communication and hardware complexities from the application developers. The TILES toolkit has successfully established a fundamental infrastructure with which non-experts and experts alike can prototype their IoT applications. In addition, the TILES Card ideation process has been developed to enable non-experts to express their creativity by iteratively expand their own application ideas. The TILES toolkit, however, has failed to provide tools enabling non-experts to transition from ideation to prototyping without help and guidance from toolkit experts. At the same time, the toolkit provides no means for the expert users to extend and customize the toolkit for their special application scenarios.
The research questions defined for this project are twofold. First, they put focus on the transition from the TILES Card ideation phase to application prototyping by nonexperts, and their ability to rapidly prototype their application ideas. Secondly, they address the needs of expert users in customizing and extending the system with additional interfaces and hardware capabilities for creating a tailored toolkit for special usage areas. These questions are answered in this report through requirement analysis, design and creation to extend the TILES toolkit and evaluation of the extended system together with reviewing literature to assert the innovativeness of the work performed.
During this project, two new processes have been defined for supporting both nonexperts and expert users in their TILES project. The requirement specification for the extended TILES toolkit resulted in an extensive modification of the implementation of the TILES Cloud and a new and improved web portal for the toolkit. As evaluation, two workshops with non-experts and a focus group with expert users were conducted. These evaluations have provided important insights into the needs and usage patterns of both types of users, and served as an evaluation and verification of the requirements and design developed during this research project. The new tools have been added to the TILES toolkit and will enable users to use the TILES toolkit for prototyping IoT applications and extend the toolkit for a variety of application domains