What are quickies ?

The goal of ‘Quickies’ is to bring one of the most useful inventions of the 20th century into the digital age: the ubiquitous sticky notes. Sticky notes help us manage our to-do lists, tag our objects and documents and capture short reminders or information that we may need in the near future. Keeping track of these sticky notes is a difficult task in itself. They are yet-another passive pieces of paper. ‘Quickies’ are stickies that have some intelligence and the ability to remind us about the task we ought to perform or to provide us at the right time with the information we captured in the past. ‘Quickies’ enrich the experience of using sticky notes by allowing them to be tracked and managed more effectively. The project explores how the use of RFID, Artificial Intelligence and ink recognition technologies can make it possible to create intelligent sticky notes that can be searched, can send reminders and messages, and more broadly, can help us to seamlessly connect our physical and digital worlds.

  How do they work ?

Physical sticky notes are captured into a computer using a digital-pen hardware, which captures the movement of the pen on the surface of a sticky note. A software program stores the handwritten notes as images/strokes and converts the stored hand-written notes into computer-understandable text using handwriting recognition algorithms. The computer program also provides an easy to use interface to browse or search all of the user’s notes. The recognized text is processed using a commonsense knowledge engine and computational AI techniques. This process provides the note database with contextually rich information. Later, the computer program uses its understanding of the user’s intentions, content and the context of the notes to provide the user with reminders, alerts, messages and just-in-time information. The Quickies system links hand-written sticky-notes to the mobile phone, digital calendars, task-lists, e-mail and messaging clients. At the back of each of the Quickies is a unique RFID tag, which makes it possible to locate Quickies in the house or office.

  What can they do ?

• Imagine you scribbled a sticky note about an upcoming meeting appointment with your work-colleague; you placed the note on your desktop. Unfortunately, you have overlooked the note, completely forgetting about the meeting and went for lunch with a friend; however you receive a reminder about your appointment with your colleague via a friendly text message on your mobile phone.

• While washing the dishes in the kitchen, the sink garbage disposal breaks down. You make a note, so that you do not forget to email your landlord about the malfunctioning garbage disposal. At the computer later in the night, you are reminded, via a friendly message, to email your landlord.
• The grocery list that you created on a paper sticky note is automatically synchronized with the task-lists in your mobile phone and computer. Now, your mobile phone has a list of the things you noted down to buy, which comes handy when you are at the grocery store.

• Your mom prefers writing on paper rather than using mobile phones and computers. She leaves a message for you on a sticky note when leaving for the market. You receive her message as an SMS or as an email.

• You use a sticky note to bookmark a section about the ‘Platypus Paradox’ in Peter Morville’s ‘Ambient Findability’ book. Several weeks later, a discussion about the ‘Platypus Paradox’ arises and you remember bookmarking Morville’s explanation. You can now use Quickies’ graphical interface to search for the keywords ‘Platypus Paradox’. As the system is keeping track of all your notes in digital form, it shows all the relevant notes you have created in past. It also helps you locate that note (and so forth the book) in your house.
By augmenting the familiar and ubiquitous physical sticky-note, ‘Quickies’ leverages existing patterns of behavior, merging paper-based sticky-note usage with a user's informational experience. It also provides an interface and enables people who are on the other side of the Digital Divide to interact with the digital information world.

  in NEWS

Quickies have been in news recently, Here are some of the links to the news.

Discovery Channel News
Popular Science
The Tech Herald
Gizmodo Japan (Japanese)
Golem.de (German)
Pressetext.de (German)
Times of India - Mumbai Mirror
Yahoo India News
Gizmodo Japan (Japanese)
Zee News
Thaindian News
Khabar Express
WebIndia123 News
TopNews.in News
The Info Sage
TheCheers.org News
Vsekomnmentarii News (Russian)
IndiaTimes InfoTech News
Guardian Unlimited UK
Pocket-lint UK
T3 News

  Publications and Videos

P. Mistry, P. Maes. Quickies: Intelligent Sticky Notes. In the Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE08). Seattle, USA. 2008

P. Mistry, P. Maes. Intelligent Sticky Notes that can be Searched, Located and can Send Reminders and Messages. Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI2008). Canary Islands, Spain. 2008.

P. Mistry. Quickies: Intelligent sticky notes. 2008

video (wmv)

Watch Quickies Video at YouTube

Watch Quickies Video at ZDNET NEWS

Pranav Mistry
Fluid Interfaces
MIT Media Lab