Centre explores personal info explosion

The University of the West of England has set up a centre to explore the strictly personal side of computers.

The centre for personal information management will focus on developments which allow users to manage information away from their offices. The centre, part of the faculty of computer studies and mathematics, will research technologies in the virtual workplace such as in-car information technology, computer telephony integration, cellular phones and personal digital assistants.

Peter Thomas, the centre's director believes that this area of research will be of increasing relevance to both the research interests of large corporations and small to medium-sized enterprises. "Explosive changes in enabling hardware technology such as PCMCIA card memory and flatpanel displays, infrared and radio connectivity and software for specialised tasks is moving computing towards truly personal devices."

The centre will create innovative personal information appliances but its main thrust will be to develop research insights into the ways in which information is managed using technology by individuals, groups and organisations. This work will draw on the multidisciplinary nature of the team in psychology, sociology, user interface design and intelligent systems.

The centre's email address is at PIM@csm.uwe.ac.uk, and its Compuserve ID is at 10255,2506.

Web pages can be browsed at http://gate.uwe.ac.uk/csm/research/PIM/index.html

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