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IRL™ (In Real Life™) would be a mobile app to facilitate better situational awareness and higher quality personal relationships by calling attention to people, conversations, and events with other significance besides electronic contact lists, media, and apps.

Technology consumers often find themselves distracted by their devices, even to the point that they themselves do not want to be. For example, family relationships may suffer because family members may sit around a room in their house distracted by other activities (watching movies on their TVs, using social networks on their laptops, texting on their phones), and neglect interacting with their family.

The Vision
IRL aims to restore balance between interactions in traditional relationships and those enabled by technology.

Reality Checks and Zone Outs
IRL could achieve this balance through reality checks and zone outs. A reality check could display a notification, interrupting what the user was doing on their device to alert them to a matter of a higher priority IRL. A zone out would temporarily pause and hide other functionality of the device to help the user focus on a matter of high priority IRL.

Places, Times, and Shouts
The IRL app could maintain "awareness" of places IRL, times IRL, and shouts. IRL could use the device's location functionality to maintain awareness of places, the device's calendar and clock functionality to maintain awareness of times. When the user sets up matters (see below), those matters will be associated with certain places and times. IRL would use places, times, and shouts associated with the matters to detect when the user encountered a matter IRL, and provide reality checks and zone outs accordingly.

IRL could watch other things that are going on, online, (possibly using knowledge systems) to detect shouts. Online activity such as through social networks and email could also be associated with matters IRL. Then IRL could tell when an important matter IRL was shouting for the user's attention based on activity in email, chats, text messages, social networks, etc.

Focuses, Priorities, and Matters
IRL could allow the user to setup focuses of his own choosing, which would categorize matters with a certain kind of significance that is important to him. For example, faith, family, health, work, and education. Then the user could arrange each focus in order of its priority. Emergencies would be a focus that would always have the highest priority. Three types of matters could include people, conversations, and events.

People IRL
An IRL user could use IRL to associate his online profiles with himself as a person IRL. For example, his social network profile through which he could show up as a "friend" on a friends list, his email address as an email user, and his phone number as a text message user. Then IRL users can add themselves to one or more common focus to confirm that they have an association with each other IRL. Then, IRL can alert friends when their friend IRL walks into the same room (a place IRL) or shouts.

For example, Smith family members could get together to create a Smith Family focus. They could each join IRL and add themselves to the Smith Family. Then, if Smith Family was a higher priority at a moment than a focus of Mindless Entertainment, the device could show a reality check when a fellow Smith Family member deserved more attention than watching the current movie.

Conversations IRL
IRL users could get together in the same place at the same time to create an offline conversation. They could use IRL to add a conversation to a focus. This would allow IRL to use reality checks to interrupt a conversation with shouts that were more important, or to use zone outs to help the users focus on one important conversation.

Events IRL
IRL users can create events at certain times, add them to a focus, and, optionally, associate them with online activity, people and/or places. The focus of the event could determine the priority of associated matters in relation to other matters. This way, for example, a father could get a text from his wife during a movie to pick up medicine for the baby; but he could remain uninterrupted during a business meeting by a sports news notification.

Also, places, times, and shouts could be associated with focuses. For example, home could be associated with the family, the office could be associated with work, mornings could be associated with education, and evenings could be associated with relaxation. You could get a reality check if you were performing work related activities at home, or relaxing too much in the office. You could zone out to focus on the things appropriate to your place and time, unless that was preempted by a more important shout.

Verified Author: Serafino Software™
Maturity Idea 
Type: Software Product
Date Claimed: 5 September 2017


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