Browse Prior Art Database

A Process for vector-space-time based events

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033630D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-20
Document File: 5 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article describes a system allowing a user to mark personal events based not only on time, but also on location and direction of travel, allowing meaningful reminders to be set to occur exactly when they are relevant. It also describes an extension to this functionality allowing the commercial provision of databases containing useful/interesting events to be triggered as a consumer travels.

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A Process for vector-space-time based events

People who have a terrible memory often need prompting. The traditional method for this is to write lists of things to remember, or set reminders to go off at certain times, (eg alarm clocks, pda, calendar etc).

    If a user wanted to remember to do a particular task like picking up milk on the way home, where there is no fixed time in mind, but the user does want to be reminded specifically whilst on the way home.

    Alternately, the user may be interested in certain information about the places being travelled through without first having to have decided where the user was going. For instance, if a person has an interest in history, but does not necessarily want actually to go to historical sites, it might be interesting to have a means of being told information if the user happened to be somewhere relevant to the user's interests.

    This article discusses a mechanism that will deliver information relevant to a user's interests based on their current vector, location and the time/date.

    The closest thing to this is a typical GPS device mapping a route. These map a specific sequence of linked events that you determine you want to know for this journey up-front (you pull the information you know you want right now). The 'events' are merely to do with turnings on your route. These can be dynamically updated to route around traffic problems, but are still a specific fixed sequence of steps to reach a known and predetermined point.

    There are also location based services that have been suggested with mobile phones, with messages left at a given position, so the idea of tokens/messages hanging in a point in space time has been established. However that idea relies on a server based implementation that knows where the user is, and which tokens to apply. This idea of this article is different, in that the user only sees the messages that he/she has chosen to download to a unit, and those messages are not just location based, but also configurable by time and direction of movement.

    The reason most people do not make use of location-aware type technologies (GPS) is that the functions currently available to GPS are not actually that helpful. Most people do not spend very much time travelling without already knowing the route.

    Whilst there are many mechanisms to trigger events based on time there are none that can tie time, location and direction of travel to trigger a reminder as a useful vector-space-time event (ie "pick up milk on the way home", as a reminder *just* before one passes the turn for the shop). Fixed time reminders are only useful for fixed time events.

    The system proposed is a combination of GPS, a storage area (for holding previous GPS coordinates and reminder events) and software for calculating vectors and for triggering vector-space-time events. The mechanism for creating reminders involves an action (such as pressing a physical button on the dashboard) and storing a reminder (most lik...