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The Whereabouts Clock is a situated display for the kitchen wall which displays the general whereabouts of family members using cell phone data.
The Whereabouts Clock works by using cell phone data. When a family member's cell phone is on, it automatically transmits SMS messages to the device when that person moves from one registered zone (such as "home") into another registered zone (such as "school").
Registering these zones only needs to be done once for each zone when the software is first installed.
Thereafter, users need do nothing except switch on their phones.
If they do not wish to be shown on the clock, they simply switch the application off.
So, for example, if a person is "out" but shopping, they can text "shopping" and the text will appear under the person's icon on the Clock.
We will soon be testing the “home” version of the Clock in selected households in the Cambridge area.
This version will be more like a clock in its physical form, and will allow greater freedom of expression through SMS messaging to the device.
This prototype will also allow touch input so that family members can touch a person’s icon to read the accompanying text message.