if a phone could...
- Change ringer volume when appropriate?
- Let emergency calls through?
- Help you remember to call people back?
SenSay does. It eliminates...
- Unwanted interruptions
- Missed important calls
- Forgotten call-backs
| ...thereby creating:
- Alleviation of cognitive load
- Socially-acceptable phone use
Uninterruptible: user is in scheduled meeting, conversation,
or giving a talk. [Ringer off. If phone in pocket, vibrate on. If
not, vibrate off.]
High Activity: user is jogging or at a concert, bar, or
disco. [Ringer extra loud, vibrate on.]
Idle: user is waiting for the bus, eating alone. [Suggest
people to call based on calling history and patterns.]
Normal: user's normal settings.
We used this in-house GUI to visulize sensor values in order to
conduct threshold analysis. With this information we came up with
formal definitions of conversation, jogging, a night at the bar,
etc. For example, we had to test the "high activity" user
state by simulating a user jogging. Watch
a (humorous) short video of us testing this.
If I'm having an important conversation with somebody for 10 minutes
and we stop talking, I don't want my phone to immediately exit 'busy'
mode. We have to take into account the duration of the conversation before
we attempt to transition to a new state. The duration of an event can
be interpreted as its "importance".
At each second for 10 minutes, we stored the sensor values and what state
the phone was in. Then we looked at different lengths of time, calculated
the averages, and applied the state priority algorithm to place the phone
in the correct state.
| The normal SenSay user interface. Notice
the ability for the user to place the phone in "Auto" or
"Normal" mode because we knew the phone would reguarly make
mistakes (remember, this was a rapid prototype).
|| Right now, phones cannot discriminate
between urgent or unimportant phone calls. Using today's technology,
we came up with a solution. If the user was detected as being busy
when an important call was being received, an SMS message would be
sent back to the caller. The SMS message if the above text and then
starts a timer on the user's phone (SenSay). If the same caller calls
back within two minutes, the user is interrupted.|
| Remembering who to call back and who
you tried to call seemed like an easy thing for phones to do. So,
we figured out when the user was idle and then showed suggestions
to the user. Here, a certain person has, throughout the day, attempted
to call the user but failed to connect. Now SenSay is offering to
return the call.
|| The settings screen. We knew the SenSay
would never be perfect when detecting the user's state and so we wanted
the system to be configurable.
My Role & Responsibilities
- Designate the feature set by conducting informal contextual
interviews with college students
- Create the decision module (how the phone should react to the
user's state) and flow diagrams
- Design poster and write much of academic paper; help direct
and write demonstrational video
- Create formal rules for state transitions
- Present this project several times to different audiences including
Microsoft Research Technology Evangelist, Project
AURA, and the Pittsburgh Community.
- Field testing and threshold analysis
- Conduct formal
research in mobile phone usage patterns college-aged students