Where Are You and When Are You Coming Home? Foundations of Interpersonal Awareness

A barely explored frontier in HCI is how computers can augment the everyday social world of home inhabitants. Within this rich setting, our own focus is on how people naturally maintain interpersonal awareness for members of their household and other individuals in their personal lives. We carried out an exploratory study designed to: a) define the interpersonal relationships critical to home members, and b) articulate the needs of home members for maintaining awareness of the activities and lives of these people. Our results identify three types of interpersonal awareness: home, intimate, and extended awareness. For each type, we identify the people for whom this awareness is desired; the actual awareness information wanted; and the current techniques people use to maintain this awareness. Our results also identify two problems that inhibit people s maintenance of this awareness: time constraints, and distance/time separation. These results motivate and lay the foundations for groupware that augments how home inhabitants maintain interpersonal awareness.
Computer Science