MIKI: A case study of an intelligent kiosk and its usability


MIKI is a three-dimensional directory assistance-type digital persona displayed on a prominently-positioned 50 inch plasma unit housed at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. MIKI, which stands for Memphis Intelligent Kiosk Initiative, guides students, faculty and visitors through the Institute's maze of classrooms, labs, lecture halls and offices through graphically-rich, multidimensional, interactive, touch and voice sensitive digital content. MIKI differs from other intelligent kiosk systems by its advanced natural language understanding capabilities that provide it with the ability to answer informal verbal queries without the need for rigorous phraseology. This chapter first describes, in general, the design and implementation of the Intelligent Kiosk. We then describe a usability study conducted to evaluate the functionality of the system. While the usability testing exemplified good interface design in a number of areas, the complexity of multiple modalities - including animated graphics, speech technology and an avatar greeter - complicated usability testing, leaving developers seeking improved instruments. In particular, factors such as gender and technical background of the user seemed to change the way that various kiosk tasks were perceived, deficiencies were observed in speech interaction as well as the location information in a 3D animated map. © 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Publication Title

Studies in Computational Intelligence