Ecko

The primary goal of this project was to produce an effective short-term memory aid and reminder system that requires a minimum of the user’s attention. The function of the system is to deliver reminders to the user in a timely, situation-appropriate way, without requiring intervention on the part of the user beyond the initial request to be reminded. In other words, the system behaves like a reliable human assistant that remembers reminder requests and delivers them under appropriate circumstances. A context blind reminder system (a modern PDA) which records and structures reminder requests can not know the user’s context. The Problem to be Addressed, or the Limitations of Context Blind Systems People’s lives are increasingly complicated, and the need for effective logistical and memory aids is on the rise. For years, digital technology and computers have promised effective solutions for the problems of organization and memory, Such a system is qualitatively different from a passive reminder system (such as a paper organizer) or a but present technology offers little more than an incremental improvement over the paper scheduler and alarm clock of the 19th century. Even the most sophisticated PDA is deaf and blind, and knows no more about the user’s context than the time of day. The solution we propose is a proactive, context-aware memory aid called Ecko. By creating a reminder system that is context aware, the role of the system is transformed from a blind, passive organizer to a proactive, perceptive entity akin to a human assistant.

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