Project

Social Polling of Immediate Surroundings

People are experts in social intelligence. Most know what is socially appropriate in a given situation, especially how to gauge if something is important enough to interrupt a conversation. People usually also know what kind of social situation they are in and, for example, if it is appropriate to take phone calls. We have built a system that allows an intelligent call-handling agent to "ask" the participants in a face-to-face conversation with the user in a very subtle way�a wirelessly actuated, vibrating finger ring�if an interruption from a mobile communication device would be appropriate. All involved people are given the possibility to "veto" an incoming communication anonymously in an equally subtle way, by touching their finger ring. This shifts the burden of deciding to interrupt or not away from the agent and toward the humans actually involved in a conversation.

People are experts in social intelligence. Most know what is socially appropriate in a given situation, especially how to gauge if something is important enough to interrupt a conversation. People usually also know what kind of social situation they are in and, for example, if it is appropriate to take phone calls. We have built a system that allows an intelligent call-handling agent to "ask" the participants in a face-to-face conversation with the user in a very subtle way�a wirelessly actuated, vibrating finger ring�if an interruption from a mobile communication device would be appropriate. All involved people are given the possibility to "veto" an incoming communication anonymously in an equally subtle way, by touching their finger ring. This shifts the burden of deciding to interrupt or not away from the agent and toward the humans actually involved in a conversation.