Mobile Sensing Applications and Context Awareness

Micro Spare Time-leveraging Service: Enabling Working Parents to Create a Book for Their Baby

The responsibilities of parenthood require parents to spend a significant amount of time and efforts on childcare. However, it is not easy for working parents to secure sufficient time for parenting because they need to devote significant time and efforts to their work as well. As an innovative solution, we propose the notion of micro spare time, which we define as tiny fragments of time with low cognitive loads that frequently occur in daily lives. A few examples include the moments waiting for an elevator, walking to a different building, waiting for public transportation, and so on.

We developed Zaturi, a mobile application leveraging micro spare time of parents in their workplace. Zaturi enables working parents to create an audio book for their baby in their own voice, without disrupting the quantity and quality of their original work. Its key idea is to detect micro spare time at work in real time and allow parent users to record a piece of a book. Then, it creates an audio book by aggregating the recordings and enables children to enjoy the book recorded with their parent’s own voice.

Face-to-face Interaction-aware Applications and Platform

Face-to-face interaction, especially conversation, is a fundamental part of everyday life. Interaction-aware applications aimed at facilitating group conversations have been proposed, but have not proliferated yet. Useful contexts to capture and support face-to-face interactions need to be explored more deeply. More important, recognizing delicate conversational contexts with commodity mobile devices requires solving a number of technical challenges. We identify useful meta-linguistic contexts of conversation, such as turn-takings, prosodic features, a dominant participant, and pace.

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These serve as cornerstones for building a variety of interaction-aware applications. We design and develop a novel mobile application to support everyday home care against language delay, which runs on top of our interaction-aware platform.

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Situation-aware Mobile Instant Messenger

Mobile instant messengers (MIMs) serve as major interaction media for everyday chats. Contrary to the belief that a message is seen only by a designated receiver, it can be accidentally exposed to someone nearby and could result in embarrassing moments, for example, when the receiver is viewing pictures together with his friend upon the message arrival. This work envisions a situation-aware MIM takes the social appropriateness into consideration. We build a situation-aware MIM that pops up the preview when the user is in socially comfortable situations, and hides it in sensitive contexts, achieving both convenience and social appropriateness.

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Understanding Customer Malling Behavior in an Urban Shopping Mall using Smartphones

We develop a novel customer malling behavior modeling framework for an urban shopping mall. As an automated computing framework using smartphones, the framework is designed to provide comprehensive understanding of customer behavior. We prototype the framework in a real-world urban shopping mall. Development consists of three steps; customer data collection, customer trace extraction, and behavior model analysis.

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