While I was looking for papers on collaborative  reminder systems, I found the paper titled:  Semi-Public Displays for Small, Co-located Groups. This paper discussed the applications developed by the authors for small collocated groups. The public displays in this setting are meant to be source of ambient information about the group members.

  • Reminders – slide show style display of reminders, requests and frequently emailed documents like status reports. Requests were extracted from status reports using a Perl parser
  • Collaboration space – allows anyone to enter test in freeform text and images. Supports asynchronous group work.
  • Active Portrait – shows a group  photo. The brightness of a group member indicates his/her activity. Less active members are shown as silhouette thereby accentuating their absence.
  • Attendance panel – an abstract visualization to depict attendance of upcoming events as a flower. The color of the flowers would indicate the response rate of a event.

I liked the idea of extracting reminders and help requests from the status reports. For my project I can extract requests or event reminders sent to si distribution lists and bounce it off our display.

The authors have completely dodged privacy questions, claiming that the semi-public display acts an quick and accessible source for information available within the group. The  argument doesn’t seem convincing to me. The authors tested the applications in academic labs, that can be secluded, like our SI North. But in a corporate environment small team don’t share a cozy space, hence a system without any privacy control may not be deployable.