So I had this great idea, what about ‘attention as an interface’ i.e..

Ambient Display + Attention Toolkit, as someone pays more attention to the display the granularity of the Information changes, displaying more information as you pay more attention.

i.e. let’s say you had an ambient orb, it’s red outside if it’s hot, and blue outside if it’s warm. As you look at it more it shows the temperature, as you look at it even more it shows today’s high and low… as you pay more attention it shows the 5 day forecast. We’d have to hack the Attention Toolkit a bit, but this would be a really cool project.

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=634067.634176

[ This is one of the earlier projects in this direction, so if you look at the people who cited it — and I looked briefly.. people have thought about it, but I am not sure they’ve thought about transitioning from ambient to more information… You’d want to check that other paper out of Toronto which is more recent, and talks about this transition, but doesn’t jump into the possibilities… ]

http://research.microsoft.com/~horvitz/cacm-attention.htm

[here’s sort of a summary of attention on the desktop… My advisor at VT also has done some work with Notification Systems, http://research.cs.vt.edu/ns]

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