Communication is much more than the direct transfer of information. It is an interactive collaborative act including potentially rich verbal and non-verbal cues. Telecommunication to date has focused on verbal communication at a distance, filtering out the non-verbal situational information. With the existing infrastructure it is necessary to first contact a person before receiving feedback on what they are doing. Current communication devices do not provide a persistent sense of presence of those we connect with, nor do they create opportunities for additional communication with them.
WatchMe will be a platform for mobile communication and awareness, in the form of a watch, which addresses these limitations.
WatchMe enhances communication for a subset of people with whom we want an open channel of rich communication and for whom we want to be available. These are typically people from our "inner circle" with whom we have an established relationship, some common grounding, and a basis of trust. By sharing personal context information with our "insiders" we can enhance the instances of non co-located communication, and by providing channels of non-verbal communication we can foster more (verbal or non-verbal) communication and increase the existing sense of connectedness. The approach is to provide insiders with updated remote awareness information. This mutual awareness serves two different purposes. First, it can strengthen the sense of presence of people we care about and may encourage further communication, besides being a form of non-verbal communication in itself. Second, it will provide insiders trying to contact us with enough information to make an informed decision regarding our availability and the most appropriate communication medium.
This project addresses mobile communication and awareness of people in a closely-knit group. It aims to enhance the telecommunication between them by providing relevant telepresence and a mobile platform facilitating various channels of verbal and non-verbal communication.
One minute explanatory video [RealVideo]