Mobile devices alert users to respond to incoming calls, messages, and reminders. The alerts must get the user’s attention; however, tones and vibrations interrupt and alert everyone co-located with the user. In some circumstances, they inconveniently interrupt the user as well. Even vibration alerts require breaking a conversation to remove the device from a pocket to check the alert.
A low resolution display is embedded into standard eyeglasses to deliver notification cues in a private, subtle and non-obtrusive way. LEDs are lit at dim intensity to display moving patterns in the wearers’ peripheral vision. The peripheral visual cues are an alternative to ringing and vibrating alerts. They are private and unobtrusive: only the wearer sees them. An initial study revealed that because the LEDs sit in the periphery, the cues do not suddenly distract the user.
Costanza E., Inverso S. A., Pavlov E., Allen R., Maes P., “eye-q: Eyeglass Peripheral Display for Subtle Intimate Notifications.” (full paper) to appear in Proc. of MobileHCI 2006, September 2006, Espoo, Finland.