Relationship between subjective comfort perception and smartphone sensor data

Denis Lalanne
Julien Nembrini
Roman Kuepper
Project status: 

One of the top factors which determines human productivity and happiness is the level of comfort their in. A person who feels comfortable works more effectively and is overall happier than a person who is distressed. But causes someone to feel comfortable? Besides interpersonal relations and health related issues, one of the key aspects are the surroundings. External factors have huge impacts on the well-­‐being of people. A better knowledge about their correlation could help e.g. architectures to build better office workspaces and private houses.

The goal of this thesis is the evaluation of comfort in buildings or more accurate under which circumstances in terms of lighting, temperature and so on, humans feel comfortable. The data is collected by volunteers using smartphones and sharing their own personal opinion about their level of comfort with the application. Of special interest is hereby the relationship between the data collected by the sensors and the subjective perception of comfort by the users. Various studies already tried to show a correlation between environmental variables and personal comfort. The benefits of this work are the easy setup of scientific research since instead of expensive equipment and large questionnaires the test subject only has to have a smartphone with a single app installed. This allows to collect much more data.

The application is designed to run on the personal smartphones of the volunteers. This means that there will be different kinds of devices with different operating systems like iOS, Android or Windows Phone. Since all of these different operating systems rely on different programming languages it would be an enormous amount of work to produce three different apps running on the three operating systems natively. A solution to this problem is the usage of a framework like Phonegap which allows the building of an app in JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 which is then translated into the platform specific languages.