A Step Closer to Digital Secretaries

A Step Closer to Digital Secretaries


Researchers at Accenture Technology Labs in Silicon Valley wanted to build a device that could collect everyday information. They came up with the Personal Awareness Assistant.

The Assistant could become a new way of communicating and “in the very near future wearable computing may allow people to work together in completely new ways,” said Owen Richter of Accenture Technology Labs.

For years, wearable computers have been big, bulky, and beyond most budgets. But wearable computers have begun to evolve from eye-popping, cyborg-style headgear with cumbersome belt packs to lightweight, easy-to-use companions.

The Assistant is a working prototype of a streamlined wearable system that can remember what you’ve forgotten.

“This is one of the first vehicles for exploring our reality and recording and communicating our reality back to us,” Accenture’s Paul Flaherty said.

The Assistant uses speech recognition, two small microphones, a scrolling audio buffer, and a small camera.

But the Assistant doesn’t just record information. It also listens passively and responds to specific situations.

For example, it can begin recording when it hears a trigger phrase such as “nice to meet you.”

Via wireless networking and its combination earpiece/microphone, you can also connect to co-workers from around the globe. They can feed you critical information at crucial moments during important meetings or presentations.

Hours or even days after a meeting or other event, you can ask the personal awareness system to recall and feed back the information stored in its database.