Nat's Place

"If we knew what it was we were doing,
it would not be called research, would it?"
-Albert Einstein

"They haven't got brains, any of them, only grey fluff
that's blown into their heads by mistake ..."
-Eeyore, The House at Pooh Corner

WatchMe : mobile communication and awareness for insiders
Communication is much more than the direct transfer of information. It is an interactive collaborative act including potentially rich verbal and non-verbal cues. Telecommunication to date has focused on verbal communication at a distance, filtering out the non-verbal situational information. With the existing infrastructure it is necessary to first contact a person before receiving feedback on what they are doing. Current communication devices do not provide a persistent sense of presence of those we connect with, nor do they create opportunities for additional communication with them.
WatchMe is a platform for mobile communication and awareness, in the form of a watch, which addresses these limitations.
Ubicomp 04 , MITes

Safe & Sound - a wireless leash ... you're kidding!
Safe & Sound uses location-aware mobile phones to create a "virtual leash"; a secure zone beyond which a child may not travel. If the child leaves this zone, both child and parent receive audible alerts, and the parent can communicate with the child by voice over the phone. The peer-to-peer transmission of location, and the accepted role of responsibility by care-givers, reduce the privacy concerns which often arise with location-aware systems.
CHI 03

TalkBack - a conversational answering machine
Current asynchronous voice messaging interfaces, like voicemail, fail to take advantage of our conversational skills. TalkBack restores conversational turn-taking to voicemail retrieval by dividing voice messages into smaller sections based on the most significant silent and filled pauses and pausing after each to record a response. The responses are composed into a reply, alternating with snippets of the original message for context. TalkBack is built into a digital picture frame; the recipient touches a picture of the caller to hear each segment of the message in turn. The minimal interface models synchronous interaction and facilitates asynchronous voice messaging. TalkBack can also present a voice-annotated slide show.
This project was done in collaboration with Vidya Lakshmipathy.
UIST 03 , short video (2.19 mins)

comMotion : a context-aware communication system
How many times have you gone to the grocery store but left the grocery list on the fridge door? Wouldn't it make more sense to get a reminder to buy groceries when in the geographic proximity of the store and have the list delivered to you there?

publications: (pdf format)
CHI '99 , HUC 2000 , IBM Systems Journal ,
Ubicomp '01 workshop (published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 2002:6)

  Everest project


The 1998 American Everest Expedition consisted of a team of professional climbers, doctors, and 5 MIT students. The aim was to put geological and surveying equipment on the summit of Mt. Everest as well as conduct experiments in physiology and tele-medicine.
At MIT we designed and built the required technology to gather the physiologic data off the climbers - data to be analyzed by doctors.
A weather station was also built. It was left on the summit of Everest to transmit data, via satellite, back to the lab.

short video (2 mins)                     Mountain Zone interview

  RadioSpace - physical and virtual presence
RadioSpace provides awareness of people and their presence is physical space and time. IR-based position tracking allows location awareness of nomadic users with wearable computers. A position-server maintains a history of user interaction and movement in space and time. Users can send messages to other users or to rooms. Dynamic web-based maps allow users to view the location of others and passively listen to cues indicating their activity.