A Temporally Aware Media Player

What if your portable media player could assemble an audio program that fits within your available listening time?
We often have 'idle' time in which we consume various types of audio media (radio, audio books, mp3s, CDs, podcasts…) such as when driving to work, or waiting at a cafe for your friend to arrive…
Using mobile devices that are location aware, we can infer an estimate of the time it will take someone to complete a journey. Using this information, we can produce a personalized media playlist that will finish playing close to the conclusion of the listener's journey.
We can then use audio time-compression techniques and exactly match playback duration to the user's available listening time. A media player connected to a phone could also use information about the activities of friends or workmates to determine the available listening time.
Additionally, if the media playing device has access to a personal calendar, a playlist could be constructed to play until the next appointment.
This initial 'proof of concept' demo illustrates an example of time-compressing audio tracks. A second generation is also planned - one that can be used in a mobile setting.

Year: 2006
Status: active
Advisor: Chris Schmandt
Thanks to: Pattie Maes for helpful input.
Course: Parts of this project were developed for MAS.963 Ambient Intelligence.

A Hands-Free, Glancing Input Device

A cell phone call comes in when you are cooking. You want to reject the call but both hands are occupied…. What can you do?
The PuffButton is badge you can wear on your shirt or lapel that senses when you blow on it.
A novel aspect of this device is that it is capable of receiving a voice-like (hands free) command, without the need for the user to actually make a sound. The PuffButton allows the user to impart explicit commands with little or no interruption of their current task.
The badge senses a blower’s puff through both a microphone and a thermister pair.
The main challenges were to make it intuitive to use, small, able to filter out unwanted phenomena such as speaking, wind, or pager motor vibrations and (eventually) make a wireless mobile version. Future work might even include a command language (e.g. puffing twice quickly means something different to a single puff which in turn means something different to a long puff ).

Year: 2006
Status: active
Collaborators: Chaochi Chang
Course: MAS.836 Sensor Systems for Interactive Environments
Thanks to: Mark Feldmeier and Joe Paradiso for all thier helpful advice and encouragement.