Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Well, what do you know, it's a tip! We were perilously close to having today's only content be me writing "oh, what's the point?" and then laying my head back down on my desk, but reader Jay O. saves the day with this: Current mobile communication devices do not grab our attention in a socially appropriate way. They could be disrespectful of ongoing social activity such as an important meeting or private dinner. To improve on this, I have built the Cellular Squirrel, a system where the agent that controls my cellphone is embodied in a small portable animatronic device, as a personal 'companion' for the user. This embodiment is able to use the same subtle but still public non-verbal cues to get our attention and interrupt us like humans would do (like eye gaze and small gestures), instead of ringing or vibration. The user can whisper and listen to her squirrel, receiving and replying to voice instant messages. Videos of the squirrel, along with earlier embodiments cute bunny and parrot, will be found toward the bottom of the page.


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