Name: Paul Soulos
Location/Time zone: Baltimore, MD (GMT -4:00)
Education: 3rd year student at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Applied Mathematics
NUI Group Activity: Recent member
HCI Background: I took a class at my university about user interfaces and mobile applications. I am now the Head Teaching Assistant for this class. In the Summer of 2011 I attended Nielsen Norman Group’s Usability Week in NYC. I am currently working on an independent study project involving user experience and web applications.
Industry Background/Development Methodology: I worked at Persistent Systems for the past two summer and winter breaks developing an Android application. As part of a team, I learned about source control and how to develop modular pieces of software to interface with code other people were writing without actually seeing the code.
Open source experience: I have a github account but I have not submitted as much code as I would like to. Github Account
Blog Url: http://www.psoulos.com (the site is still under development, but I have posted a couple articles recently)
Project Proposal: An open source personalization manager via NFC.
A bit about NFC
NFC is beginning to receive mainstream recognition as a new form of interaction. Just as people share physical objects by passing them from one to another, NFC enables a digital “passing” of information between devices. The learning curve associated with devices can be drastically reduced when technology is used in a way that emulates the natural world. The act of touching two objects together is used by almost everyone in the world on a daily basis, and even new-born babies are quick to learn the interactions that occur when two items are touched together.
The project would enable users to log into applications by simply touching their NFC identification (could be a cell phone, or a NFC card) to the host PC. The software could be configured to also load user settings, open certain applications, etc.
Potential applications of the keyring include
1. Autofill forms similar to modern browsers. The advantage to the NFC design is that the autofill capabilities are portable (you can carry it around with you).
2. Populate a desktop scenario with applications that are commonly used by the user.
Slightly more difficult applications
3. Login to an operating system via physical contact.
4. Joining a wifi-connection by making physical contact with the router or some configured external device. The wireless connection could theoretically then be passed between users by touching two devices, allowing the connection to hop from user to user.
NFC technology has been around for a while, but the number of applications we see using the technology pales in comparison with the potential capabilities of the system. I believe NFC technology will soon become mainstream as more device manufactures include it in products.
Please let me know what you think of this idea. I want to get some feedback from the community before starting the official proposal for GSoC.