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Interactive applications of personal situation-aware assistants

: Chavez, E.; Ide, R.; Kirste, T.


Computers and Graphics 23 (1999), Nr.6, S.903-915
ISSN: 0097-8493
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Mobile information systems; mobile assistance; situation awareness

Ultraportable mobile computers provide electronic assistance for environments and usage situations, where computer support up to now has not been feasible. For the first time, a true physical and cognitive integration of computer support into the everyday business of the real-world becomes possible, as envisioned in Marc Weiser´s concept of "ubiquitous computing"(Weiser, Communication of the IMC 1993, 36 (12):75-85). However, although Handheld-PC, etc. today; already support a good deal of personal information management and basic access to distributed multimedia information services such as the World-Wide Web, they are still surprisingly difficult to use in "full action". Specifically, lengthy interaction sequences and the inability to find quickly that important piece of information which is embedded somewhere in the machine makes using those devices sometimes a very disappointed experience. In this paper, we outline a new approach to realizing an easy-to-use personal digital assistant systems, based on the concept of Situation Awareness. Using knowledge about task structures, situation dependencies, and task contexts, our concept allows a mobile assistant to proactively provide the right information at the right time and the right place, without intruding upon the users primary task: interacting with reality.