Original Publication Date: 2001-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Aug-01
An increasing number of people rely on applications like Outlook calendar to manage their daily activities. These programs are capable of notifying the users about an event through several means. However, these programs do not take the user's location (Location in this paper refers to user presence near the device and should not be confused with the physical location of the user) into consideration for selecting the notification delivery option. This paper explores how user location information can be used to effectively send the notifications about the scheduled event.
If the application is programmed to popup reminders (dialog boxes) in the device window, it will do so even if the user is away from the device.
Redundant information to the user. For example if the application is capable of sending notifications to both e-mail and pager it will do so even if the user is currently accessing his/her e-mail.
Lack of acknowledgements from the user. Lack of acknowledgements from the user prevents applications from implementing advanced business logic.
Why do we need this?
Increasing use of calendar like programs to manage daily events
Multiple ways to reach the person (E-mail, pager, voice mail, etc.)
For security reasons corporations require persons to lock their computer screens when away from their desk.
Definitions and Acronyms
Definitions for some of the terms used in this paper.
Reminder: Notification sent to the user usually in the form of text before a certain event (E.g meeting).
UPM: A module inside the device that monitors user interaction with the device. The main purpose of this module is to logically conclude whether the user is near the device or not. User has an option to turnoff monitoring in which case it will always return true when asked for user's presence.
Calendar: A software program that allows the user to manage events and receive reminders abount the events.
In this paper we will discuss an enhancement to the programs, like calendar, to check the presence of the client (User) before choosing the notification delivery mechanism (E-mail, pager, popup dialog etc.).
We propose that a monitoring module called UPM (User Presence Monitor) be added to the calendar program to check the user presence. This module can use any of the techniques discussed below to determine the user presence
Running of a particular process can indicate that user is away from the device. For example it could check for a screen lock process if the device is a computer.
Lack of any user input (keyboard entries or mouse movements or any other type of input) for a certain period of time can indicate that the user is currently not accessing the device.
Based on the user presence, the programs can choose the notific...