Conversations

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A Car Conversation Use Case

In order to reach an understanding of the proposed use context, we have

developed the following use case based on Carroll’s (2000) task-artifact cycle.

The actors involved in the use case are a driver and a passenger.

The driver and a friend enter the car while the driver has an

ongoing call on his mobile phone. While seated the driver transfers

the call to the in-car phone system for convenience and safety

reasons. They start driving, and after a while the driver’s conversation

shifts to a discussion about personal matters. Due to privacy

reasons, the driver transfers the call from the hands-free system to

the mobile phone. After a couple of minutes he terminates the call.

A few minutes later, the driver initiates a new call using the in-car

phone system. They finally reach their destination, but the driver

wants to sustain the conversation. While leaving the car, the driver

transfers the on-going call to the mobile phone.

As illustrated above, the situated nature of a mobile phone conversation can be

handled by user-controlled media switches. In the use case, we can see how

media switches between the mobile phone and in-car resources can facilitate

both safe driving and convenient context switching. Existing in-car conversation

systems cannot do both. Either the user (approaching the car) must terminate

the call on the mobile phone and restore the conversation using the in-car

phone, or he must face the danger involved in sustaining the call on the mobile

phone while starting to drive the car. Moreover, media switches can support

privacy by allowing switches initiated by the user in view of changing conversation

topics.