A smart home is considered as a new environment that can apply the use of Internet-of-Things (IoT). For that reason, the realization of the smart home requires the seamless integration among humans, physical objects, and user interactions. However, this accomplishment is currently unrealistic and expensive, considering the need to construct different types of physical smart homes and the need to evaluate them through the various aspects of user experiences. Thus, virtual reality is widely used for the preliminary test and pre-evaluation. However, there is little work to systematically evaluate the user experiences such as usability, natural and intuitive interaction between human and physical objects, and usefulness. This paper proposes a hybrid reality-based user experience and evaluation of a context-aware smart home. The user experience is provided by the integration of egocentric virtual reality and exocentric augmented reality. Furthermore, to make a smart home environment more natural and realistic, a world-in-miniature (WIM) of the smart home has been constructed where various kinds of tangible and physical smart home activities are allowed for prototyping a number of appliances, sensors, and human-physical object interactions. To evaluate the proposed approach, both qualitative and quantitative experiments are performed and analyzed. The proposed approach aims to provide developers and end users or consumers a useful tool for understanding and experiencing the smart home environment. Prior to the development of a physical smart home environment, it is essential for developers and designers to validate smart home services regarding context and visual awareness. Furthermore, it must be used for consumers or future residents to evaluate the smart home such that developers provide more customer-oriented environment and capture related problems before constructing the home.
User experience of smart home; Augmented reality; Virtual reality; Hybrid reality