Context-Aware Computing:
A World That Knows What To Do For You

 Ted Selker, MIT Media Lab

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 20, 2005

The familiar and the useful come from objects we recognize. Their appearances communicate their use and they show the change in their value though patina. Designers and technologists are poised to create a world where computing objects communicate with us in-situ; where we are. We use our looks, feelings, and actions to give the computer the experience it needs to work with us.

Keyboards and mice are useful for writing but will not dominate future computer user interfaces. Computer interactions will be replaced in a large measure by systems that know what we want and require less explicit communication. Sensors are gaining fidelity and ubiquity to record presence and actions; sensors will learn to know our intentions.

As the sophistication of the objects continues to increase we will need to explicitly draw upon cognitive science as a basis for understanding what people are capable of doing. Physical objects will make more sense as we thoroughly integrate understanding of human abilities into the design process. They will make more sense ergonomically, psychologically and pedagogically

This talk will present a framework for developing objects to be aware of physical and user situations. We focus on the use of user models, task models and system models within the system to allow them to adapt to context. We describe a representation of interface choices and tools and their contextual implications.

Dr. Ted Selker is an Associate Professor at the MIT Media, the Director of the Context Aware Computing Lab and MIT director of The Voting Technology Project and Design Intelligence. Ted's work strives to demonstrate that people's intentions can be recognized and respected by the things we design. Context aware computing creates a world in which people's desires and intentions cause computers to help them. The lab is recognized for its work in creating environments that use sensors and artificial intelligence to create so-called "virtual sensors"; adaptive models of users to create keyboardless computer scenarios. Ted's Design Intelligence work has used technology rich platforms such as kitchens to examine intention based design., It has also been applied to developing and testing user experience technology and security architectures for recording and voter intentions securely and accurately.

Prior to joining MIT faculty in November 1999, Ted was an IBM fellow and directed the User Systems Ergonomics Research lab. He has served as a consulting professor at Stanford University, taught at Hampshire, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Brown Universities and worked at Xerox PARC and Atari Research Labs. Ted's research has contributed to products ranging from notebook computers to operating systems. His work takes the form of prototype concept products supported by cognitive science research. He is known for the design of the TrackPoint in-keyboard pointing device found in many notebook computers, and many other innovations at IBM. Ted's new domestic technologies have been featured on Good morning America, food channel, ABC and Discovery channel and many radio interviews and in print forums. He was co-recipient of computer science policy leader award for Scientific American 50 in 2004


View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine

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