Building a Better Intercom: Context-Mediated Communication within the Home
Kidd, Cory D.
Nagel, Kristine Susanne
Abowd, Gregory D.
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As we enable everyday environments with ubiquitous technology, there are many opportunities to support simple activities in useful ways. We are investigating how an environment made aware of the location and activities of its occupants can better support direct human-human communication. Specifically, we have instrumented a home to explore lightweight, spontaneous hands-free communication between residents in different parts of the home. Our working prototype demonstrates how existing technologies of voice recognition, indoor positioning and audio routing lay the foundation for the exploration of a variety of more intelligent alternatives to the traditional home intercom system. We show how context can be used to mediate the initiation and management of one- and two-way audio connections between residents, supporting a range of within-home conversational patterns. In this paper, we describe a variety of home communication scenarios and the general infrastructure we have built to explore them.