I helped to develop the Kimura prototype system with the goal of understanding how activity models, peripheral displays, and context-awareness can be used to support task-awareness and multitasking in knowledge work. The Kimura prototype combines a desktop computer running a custom virtual desktop manager with an electronic whiteboard and context-aware infrastructure. As in previous systems like Rooms, users create virtual desktops on the computer to separate and organize their various work activities. Kimura builds a model of activity based on the "virtual context" of users' interactions with the desktop computer and virtual window manager. It then integrates other virtual and physical context sensed by the context-aware infrastructure into the model. The resulting clusters of computational artifacts and contextual cues are called working contexts, and display a representation of each, called a montage, on the electronic whiteboard. Users can view the whiteboard as a passive peripheral display and monitor the state of all ongoing work activities. They can also interact with the whiteboard directly to annotate, organize, and switch among working contexts.



Research Sponsors

National Science Foundation Microsoft Ricoh Innovations, Inc. Sun Microsystems