Friday, September 14, 2012

A system which blocks notifications if the user is busy

Desktop notifications play a crucial role in warning the user about what's going on his/her system. Often times though, these notifications become more of a distraction from doing work or simply using the computer. In result, in university of Japan researchers developed a system which determines how busy the user actually is at any given time and makes a decision whether to show these notifications or not.


The system was developed by Takahisa Tani and Seiji Yamada which analyzes user's level of activity on the computer based on keyboard click. This technology involves the use of a built-in control panel with a sensor under keyboard buttons. Depending how actively and hard the user presses keyboard buttons, the system automatically calculates whether the user is busy or not. If the condition is true, all notifications and warnings are automatically blocked by the system and will be shown in the most convenient time for the user.

This technology has been tested on volunteers which had to complete a series of online tests. Every so often there would be a pop-up which required user's attention to select whether they wanted to read the notification or not. After a few user selections the system learned automatically to determine when (and when not to) show the notifications on the screen. The system proved to perform its correctness up to 80%.

More broad testing has been performed in Paris (France) during Ro-Man conference, from September 9 to 13.

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