J. Ho and S. S. Intille, "Using context-aware computing to reduce the perceived burden of interruptions from mobile devices," in Proceedings of CHI 2005 Connect: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York, NY: ACM Press, 2005, pp. 909 - 918.


The potential for sensor-enabled mobile devices to proactively present information when and where users need it ranks among the greatest promises of ubiquitous computing. Unfortunately, mobile phones, PDAs, and other computing devices that compete for the userís attention can contribute to interruption irritability and feelings of information overload. Designers of mobile computing interfaces, therefore, require strategies for minimizing the perceived interruption burden of proactively delivered messages. In this work, a context-aware mobile computing device was developed that automatically detects postural and ambulatory activity transitions in real time using wireless accelerometers. This device was used to experimentally measure the receptivity to interruptions delivered at activity transitions relative to those delivered at random times. Messages delivered at activity transitions were found to be better received, thereby suggesting a viable strategy for context-aware message delivery in sensor-enabled mobile computing devices. 


Interruption, context-aware computing, human-computer interface, mobile computing


This work was supported, in part, by National Science Foundation ITR grant #0313065 and the House n Consortium. The authors thank Jennifer Beaudin, the subjects who participated in the study, and the anonymous reviewers.