Personal Information Environments (PIE)
Imagine sitting at your desk at work and being able to retrieve your pictures from your cell phone without ever touching the phone. Or… how about instantly retrieving your data files from your laptop or your co-workers computer onto your work computer with just one click of a mouse. It seems a little far-fetched but as one can imagine, nothing is impossible. We have seen the computer evolve from large machines with terminals to desktops to laptops to netbooks to even cell phones. It appears that changes and upgrades are occurring all the time. No one will ever doubt that computers have made our lives easier, especially with all the new gadgets. We can compute from almost anywhere. It also seems that the endless array of gadgets has prompted the need for new technology. There is a need to organize and integrate all of our gadgets in order to yet simplify our lives some more.
One can keep some pictures on their cell phone, some photos on their computer, and even some on online photo albums. The same applies to work files. Some files may be on your work desktop, others may be on your laptop or even possibly on another work computer. To have access to all of the items at one location, the user would have to transfer the files by either emailing them, transferring them to a disk or card, or by other similar means. While no one may seem to mind, researchers are always looking for ways to improve our gadgets and our gadget interactions. One of these research developers is IBM.
IBM has devoted a lot of time to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in order to design interactive systems around the needs and characteristics of people, groups, and organizations (IBM, 2010). One of these designs includes the Personal Information Environments (PIE) that is comprised of multiple heterogeneous computing devices employed by the same user that will enable the user to control information...