Designing robust multimodal systems for universal access

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Multimodal interfaces are being developed that permit our highly skilled and coordinated communicative behavior to control system interactions in a more transparent and flexible interface experience than ever before. As applications become more complex, a single modality alone does not permit varied users to interact effectively across different tasks and usage environments [11]. However, a flexible multimodal interface offers people the choice to use a combination of modalities, or to switch to a better-suited modality, depending on the specifics of their abilities, the task, and the usage conditions. This paper will begin by summarizing some of the primary advantages of multimodal interfaces. In particular, it will discuss the inherent flexibility of multimodal interfaces, which is a key feature that makes them suitable for universal access and mobile computing. It also will discuss the role of multimodal architectures in improving the robustness and performance stability of recognition-based systems. Data will be reviewed from two recent studies in which a multimodal architecture suppressed errors and stabilized system performance for accented nonnative speakers and during mobile use. The paper will conclude by discussing the implications of this research for designing multimodal interfaces for the elderly, as well as the need for future work in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2001 EC/NSF Workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing
Subtitle of host publicationProviding for the Elderly, WUAUC 2001
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)158113424X, 9781581134247
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event2001 EC/NSF Workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing, WUAUC 2001 - Alcacer do Sal, Portugal
Duration: 22 May 200125 May 2001


Conference2001 EC/NSF Workshop on Universal Accessibility of Ubiquitous Computing, WUAUC 2001
CityAlcacer do Sal

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