(Featured Project Archive)
Group: Speech Interface Group
Researchers: Natalia Marmasse &
Project Web site: http://www.media.mit.edu/~nmarmas/WatchMe.html
WatchMe is a personal communicator built into a watch. It provides family members and close friends with awareness of each others' activities, and multiple channels for communication between them. It enables the initiator of the communication to choose the appropriate modality (synchronous or asynchronous, voice or text communication) based on the inferred situation of the remote person. Or one might use a channel to negotiate availability (e.g. a text message) and then migrate to a mutually appropriate alternative communication channel (e.g. a phone call). A goal of the system is to help users reduce interruptions at inconvenient moments, yet still be available. Awareness, in itself, is a form of communication and we believe that it can foster communication at opportune moments.
The awareness information is displayed iconically, and includes indication as to whether the person is involved in a conversation (from audio analysis), how many voice and text messages that person has sent us, and their mode of locomotion (from wireless accelerometers). Furthermore, from analysis of GPS data, the watch displays their current location, or elapsed time since last known location one, or predicted destination and expected time to arrival. In the picture, one sees that Joe left home ten minutes ago, he is driving and in a conversation, and he has sent two voice and three text messages.