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Freetime Search with Multiple Forms of Availability

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015505D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Apr-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system for providing performing a freetime search of multiple electronic calendars that allows the person performing the search to specify different forms of availability such as "in person" or "by telephone" for each person included in the search. Scheduling meetings between multiple people is a time-consuming task that often involves many iterations and instructions or considerations such as "Mary needs to be here for the meeting" and "It's ok for Joe to take part via telephone." Electronic calendars often include a freetime search capability to facilitate the scheduling of meetings. This scheduling is rudimentary and only looks for free time on the calendar. However, this may be too tight a constraint or too loose. For example, it may be acceptable for one or more of the invitees to participate via phone, which they may be willing to do via cell phone during a commute, after hours, when they are off-site or during another period when their calendar would ordinarily indicate that they are not available. Others, on the other hand, may need to be there in person, in which case the location of the person is important, not just whether there is freetime on the calendar. This disclosure allows for the specification of location, requirement for physical presence, and a set of acceptable means for participation which could include: