Supporting group collaboration with interpersonal awareness devices

Lars Erik Holmquist*, Jennica Falk, Joakim Wigström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


An Interpersonal Awareness Device, or IPAD, is a hand-held or wearable device designed to support awareness and collaboration between people who are in the physical vicinity of each other. An IPAD is designed to supply constant awareness information to users in any location without relying on an underlying infrastructure. We have constructed one such device, the Hummingbird, which gives members of a group continuous aural and visual indications when other group members are close. We have used the Hummingbirds in several different situations to explore how they affect group awareness. These experiences indicated that the Hummingbird increased awareness between group members, and that it could complement other forms of communication such as phone and email. In particular, we found the Hummingbird to be useful when a group of people were in an unfamiliar location, for instance during a trip, where no other communication support was available. We argue that IPADs such as the Hummingbird may fulfil important functions in modern work situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


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