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Dissertation Defense

Rich DeVaul:
"The Memory Glasses: Wearable Computing for Just-in-Time Memory Support"

Tuesday, April 20, 2004, 11:00 AM EST

Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab (E15)

Alex (Sandy) Pentland
Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
MIT Media Laboratory

Jeremy Wolfe
Associate Professor, Brain and Cognitive Science

Thad Starner
Assistant Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology

Asim Smailagic
Professor, Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

This thesis documents a body of wearable computing research surrounding the development of the Memory Glasses, a new type of memory aid. The Memory Glasses combines features of existing memory support technologies (such as PDAs) with a context-aware delivery system and a low-attention cuing interface. The goal of the Memory Glasses is to provide effective, just-in-time memory support while mitigating some of the distraction and over-reliance problems that can result from the use of more conventional memory-support technology.

The Memory Glasses research is a synthesis of the author's six years of work on wearable computing systems and technology, including extensive architecture and platform development work. This thesis documents the author's hardware and software architecture work, including the MIThril wearable computing research platform, the Enchantment middlewear, and the MIThril Real-Time Context Engine. This thesis also documents the author's empirical research in low-attention cuing strategies for memory support.

Although memory support is the primary problem addressed here, the author's research has seen application in a number of other areas, including the mapping of social networks, research in human physiology and biomedical applications, and group situation awareness/command, control, and communications. A selection of these is briefly presented as support for the importance of the author's intellectual contributions.

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