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Serendipitous File Exchange Between Users and Devices

Students: Juwon Ahn

At work and at play, people need access to the right information, and they frequently need to share that information with others. While current tools such as electronic mail and USB flash drives provide powerful mechanisms for managing and sharing information, they too often require that users anticipate what information they might share (e.g. so they have it on their flash drive) and when they might share it (e.g. so they bring the flash drive with them). These tools thus provide excellent support for planned sharing but inadequate support for serendipitously sharing digital information with others. SEREFE is a new architecture for SEREndipitous File Exchange that extends an instant messaging architecture to allow users to use any of their devices, including a cell phone, to share information stored on any of their devices with other users or to copy it to another of their devices.

  SEREFE allows users to access files on any of their devices using any of their devices. Users can thus easily and seredipitious exchange information with other users and across their own devices.

  We primarily targeted SEREFE at mobile phones, because those are the devices that users are most likely to have with them at all times. Users can access and send files using their mobile phones.

  Users can also choose how to receive files using their mobile phones. SEREFE supports several mechanisms for transferring files, including email and FTP. Users receiving a file can specify which of their devices should receive it.

  Although our primary interest was supporting the use of mobile phones, we did implement a Windows PC version of the SEREFE interface.



Juwon Ahn and Jeffrey S. Pierce
SEREFE: Serendipitous File Exchange Between Users and Devices.
To appear at Mobile HCI 2005.