One current vision of future communication systems lies in a universal system that can deliver information and communications at any time and place and in any form. However, in addition to this, the user needs to be able to control what communication is delivered and where, depending on his or her context and the nature of the communication. Personalized redirection is concerned with providing the user with appropriate control over this. Depending on the user’s preferences, current context and attributes of the communication the user can control its delivery. This chapter provides an understanding of what is meant by personalized redirection through a set of scenarios. From these, it identifies the common features and requirements for any system for personalized communications, and hence the essential functionality required to support this. It goes on to describe in detail two systems that aim to provide a personalized redirection service for communication and information.
What Is Personalized Redirection?
In order to understand what is meant by personalized redirection, this section describes several scenarios where redirection might be useful. From these it extracts the common features and arrives at a set of requirements for systems to support personalized redirection.
Key Terms in this Chapter
User Preferences: This consists of a set of personal data indicating what to do with incoming communications and which device to use under which circumstances (e.g., data format, location, etc.). The user can modify these preferences as often as desired. User preferences could be in the form of rules. A rule is composed of a set of conditions (on caller identity, location and time) and an action (accept, delete or forward): when the conditions are met, the action is executed.
User Context: User context is any relevant information that can be used to characterize the situation of a user. There are three important aspects of user context: where the user is, whom the user is with, and what resources are nearby. Typically, user context consists of user’s location, profile, people nearby, the current social situation, humidity, light, etc.
Communication Control: This allows users to access communications flexibly under a range of different circumstance according to their preferences.
Universal Access: This is the mechanism for providing access to information wherever the user may be, adapting content to the constraints of the client devices that are available.
Pervasive Computing: As a major evolutionary step, following on from two distinct earlier steps–distributed systems and mobile computing, it is concerned with universal access to communication and information services in an environment saturated with computing and communication capabilities, yet having those devices integrated into the environment such that they “disappear.”
Personalized Redirection: This is the mechanism to control the delivery of incoming communication and data to a user’s preferred devices (or persons specified by the user) at any time in his/her preferred form taking into account user context. It intercepts, filters, converts and directs communications, thereby giving the user control over the delivery and presentation of information.
Personal Communication: This is the ability to access many types of communications (e.g., e-mail, voice call, fax and instant messaging) with different types of devices (e.g., mobile phones, PC, fax machine).