Capturing, structuring, and representing ubiquitous audio

Oct. 1, 1993

Debby Hindus, Chris Schmandt, Chris Horner


Although talking is an integral part of collaboration, there has been little computer support for acquiring and accessing the contents of conversations. Our approach has focused on ubiquitous audio, or the unobtrusive capture of speech interactions in everyday work environments. Speech recognition technology cannot yet transcribe fluent conversational speech, so the words themselves are not available for organizing the captured interactions. Instead, the structure of an interaction is derived from acoustical information inherent in the stored speech and augmented by user interaction during or after capture. This article describes applications for capturing and structuring audio from office discussions and telephone calls, and mechanisms for later retrieval of these stored interactions. An important aspect of retrieval is choosing an appropriate visual representation, and this article describes the evolution of a family of representations across a range of applications. Finally, this work is placed within the broader context of desktop audio, mobile audio applications, and social implications.

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