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How It Works

Microsoft’s Priorities system has the goal to help users get the right information at the right time on the right device. The Priorities system is part of a larger project named the Notification Platform. This platform, being developed by Microsoft Research, is part of their Attentional User Interface (AUI) project, which focuses on attention- and context-sensitive costs and benefits of information and services.

The Priorities system goes well beyond analysis of an email message when determining a priority and deciding when to alert an end user to the arrival of an incoming message. It actually uses a number of HAL-like techniques to determine the user’s context and readiness to be alerted to an inbound priority message. Beyond email, the inbound message could be a telephone call, an instant message, or an information feed. The system visually observes the user’s activity, listens to the surrounding sounds, checks the user’s calendar, and makes decisions as to the appropriate timing and manner in which to deliver information.


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