about featured project people events sponsorship press members-only
cel at the mit media lab



Group: Ambient Intelligence
Researchers: Bradford Lassey & Pattie Maes
Project Web site: http://interact.media.mit.edu/research.html

This project explores location-based services with respect to community messaging. A user is able to leave a message at a specific location (and to be delivered in a specific time range) for specific recipients and related to a specific thread or topic. Mobile devices, both phones and PDAs, combine the user's current location with information about the user's interests and preferences to display messages relevant to that user at that place and time. For example, upon receiving bad service at a restaurant, a user might leave a message outside the door addressed to everyone interested in restaurants detailing the negative experience. Other users, who have told their device they are interested in messages about restaurants would receive the message as they walked by the restaurant and could make their decisions accordingly.
The system uses a regular Bluetooth-enabled cell phone to leave & pick up messages. Outdoors, it uses GPS to determine location, for indoors we developed a novel way of determining location with up to 1m accuracy based on Bluetooth beacons. The system is not a free-for-all graffiti system, but works more like email in that messages can be addressed to individuals or mailing lists. Filtering is provided by the users saying which threads they want to subscribe to (e.g. a "restaurant-review" thread if you are walking around town, trying to decide where to have lunch; or the "IBM-Media Lab visit" thread if you are an IBM employee visiting the Media Lab and wanting to tap into the IBM corporate memory related to the Media Lab).