Carnegie Mellon Seals Context-Aware Mobile Phone Research Deal With French Telecom


July 13, 2004

Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) signed a research agreement on August 25 with French Telecom that could revolutionize the future of mobile phone devices.

The technology was developed by Carnegie Mellon Research Professor Asim Smailagic and Buhl University Professor of ECE and CS Dan Siewiorek, Ph.D students Anthony Rowe (ECE) and Andreas Krause (CS), and visiting student Uwe Maurer. The state-of-the-art, context-aware mobile phone can track a multitude of everyday details in a person's life — the email sent, the phone calls made and a user's location. The phone also adapts to dynamically changing environmental and psychological conditions, including monitoring heart rates and helping to determine a user's state.

In addition to manipulating ringer volume, vibration and phone alerts, SenSay also is augmented with eWatch technology, a wearable array of sensors that are so precise they can exchange sensitive electronic information during a simple handshake.

Smailagic unveiled this technology on August 25 in Hamburg Hall on Carnegie Mellon's Oakland campus to a delegation of officials from Paris-based French Telecom.

"The new context-aware system allows individuals to create new delivery rules specifying which information they want to see, when they can be interrupted, and which notification schemes should be used," Smailagic said. The technology can be used by both commercial and consumer markets. At present, the technology uses sensors like accelerometers, thermometers, light, microphones, and vibrator mounted on a wearable unit on the human body to provide data about the user and determine a user's state.

More than one billion consumers worldwide use cell phones daily and the new technology can account for substantial savings to business and industry.

Source: Chriss Swaney, Carnegie Mellon News

ICES visiting student Uwe Maurer testing the SenSay and eWatch hardware.

SenSay equipment