Breaking myths: Inferring interaction from infrared signals

Thomas Mirlacher, Regina Bernhaupt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The home is a hub of information and entertainment activities. It typically contains a variety of media devices ranging from TV screens to mobile devices, work-oriented devices like PCs or laptops that can be also used as entertainment devices and devices that might have exclusively an entertainment purpose. Understanding the context of use in the home plays a central role for the design and development of new interactive services and devices. A comprehensive understanding of how people interact in their living room using remote controls will help to identify which functions to support in future interaction concepts and how to support the most frequent usage scenarios. This paper describes an approach to understand interaction in the living room, by exploiting the fact that today most of the devices are controlled by infrared remote controls. Each of these remote controls is sending a distinct pattern for each button pressed, which we are recording. We show that interaction in the living room can be inferred from recorded infrared signals. Furthermore, temporal graphs of remote control usage, grouped by functional related buttons can be produced, allowing a description of the users behavior. We also provide hints for simplifying the physical user interface, by eliminating rarely or even unused buttons.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuroITV'11 - Proceedings of the 9th European Interactive TV Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450306027
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event9th European Interactive TV Conference, EuroITV'11 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 29 Jun 20111 Jul 2011


Conference9th European Interactive TV Conference, EuroITV'11


  • interaction
  • itv
  • living room
  • measuring
  • remote control


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