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A system to enforce undivided attention to an email or a document by using a webcam Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250174D
Publication Date: 2017-Jun-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 145K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a workflow management system that ensures that users read all emails of high importance. The system manages the process by collaborating different peripheral devices and software together to determine whether a user reads an entire email and notify the sender the correct user did so.

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A System to Enforce Undivided Attention to an Email or a Document by Using a Webcam

Users often overlook the importance of certain emails as they come into their inbox because they are preoccupied with a heavy workload. An example of when this is particularly problematic is in the case of a manager sending a high-priority email, requiring full attention, complete reading, and follow-up action, to the team. If a team member overlooks this email, then the manager might have to repeat communications, which is inefficient.

One approach to resolving this issue is for the manager to open a video call and watch the user read and acknowledge the email. This is not efficient, as there may be a large number of email recipients for a given message. Current art does not have a good way to ensure that the email reader did not just skim over the email and click on the confirmation button without absorbing the knowledge.

This disclosure describes a method to overcome the described problems by:

 Requesting that the user has their web camera running while they read their email

 Using an intelligent system to confirm that the user is: o Staring at the screen while they read the mail. o The intended recipient for the document. o Pro-actively looking at the screen and not doing something else

The contribution to knowledge is a system that works with email meta-data to statically invoke a camera "insurance/verification" system, as well as a system that detects the important of such messages in order to automatically invoke said camera system.

The idea is to create a workflow management system that ensures that when a person sends an important "must-be-read" document to other user/users, they will have no choice but to read it. The system manages this process by collaborating different peripheral devices and software that work together to perform the following:

1. The mail server monitors incoming email for keyword/subject tags or flags that indicate a level of high importance and trigger the process. The sender may have enabled the "need for webcam confirmation" button or the system may notice specific keywords or email subject (e.g., private and confidential).

2. The system informs the users of the new document/email and requests a time slot from the user's calendar for when they will read this document.

3. The end user accepts the time and the system begins when the user opens the document.

4. When the receiver opens the email, they click on “allow webcam” to confirm that they are reading the document. This engages the webcam and face recognition software.

5. When the recipient user begins to read the document, the webcam begins. Using the webcam, the system compares the user profile images against the webcam input to confirm this is the intended user. At this point, the system securely releases/u...