March/April 2002
Volume Two - Issue Two

Wearable and Pervasive Computing: Seamless Computing Environment (continued)

Suppose you are rushing to a meeting to give a presentation. The pervasive computing system transfers the state of your work from your desktop to your wearable, allowing you to make final edits and additions using voice commands while walking. As you enter the meeting, your wearable senses its location and transmits your presentation to the projector. The computing environment knows where you are, knows who is with you and triages your incoming messages. If it is urgent and confidential, you get a silent "tap on the shoulder" or a private "whisper" from your wearable's tactile and audio interface. If it is for everyone, the caller (or a text version of their message) is flashed on a wall screen. While giving the presentation, the room's face recognition system senses an unfamiliar face present and silently advises you to not present a slide with confidential data. Meanwhile, you have the whole meeting automatically videotaped, transcribed, and indexed-either by an in-room system or by a "flight recorder"-type wearable. You can pull out selected notes quickly, and watch instant reply of key moments.

Furthermore, interaction with the computer will be at the task level. Rather than thinking about icons and files, and going through a sequence similar to a series of pedestrian steps, you will think in terms of tasks. For example, you will tell your computer, "I want to make a presentation, and this is what I want to include." Or, "prepare my trip to MIT" and it will automatically prepare what you need for a successful trip, such as your presentation files, hotel reservations, and maps.

The vision embodied in this research will help us break away from a forty-year computing machine preoccupation to a new era of people-centric computing, focusing our technologies increasingly on human needs, augmenting their capabilities and productivity, ushering in an age of distraction-free computing.


Spot Wearable Computer worn by Matthew Hornyak, ICES student


Idealink Virtual Meeting and Collaboration Space


Context Aware Portable Help Desk


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