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myUnity: A new platform to support communication in the modern workplace

Modern office work practices increasingly breach traditional boundaries of time and place, making it difficult to interact with colleagues. To address these problems, we developed myUnity, a software and sensor platform that enables rich workplace awareness and coordination. myUnity is an integrated platform that collects information from a set of independent sensors and external data aggregators to report user location, availability, tasks, and communication channels. myUnity's sensing architecture is component-based, allowing channels of awareness information to be added, updated, or removed at any time. Multiple channels of input are combined and composited into a single, high-level presence state. Early studies of a myUnity deployment have demonstrated that the platform allows quick access to core awareness information and show that it has become a useful tool for supporting communication and collaboration in the modern workplace.

Jacob T. Biehl FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.
William van Melle FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.
Thea Turner FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.
Andreas Girgensohn FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc.

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