A mechanism that permits the state of your physical door (open, ajar, closed) to be sensed and used to control your electronic accessibility. The notion is that the same mechanism that controls access for physical visitations does the same for electronic ones (telephone or video). Simple techniques are provided to over-ride the default setting. The point is to provide a cheap and transparent mechanism to divert phone calls and other interruptions when in a private meeting, for example.
Currently this has been prototyped by securing a mouse to the hinge of a door. The mouse will send back three door states: open, ajar, and closed. The software was developed on the Macintosh in Supercard, although some XFNC written in C were also written.
Simple concept. Has market outside of computers and video. Could be simple door-activates switch that diverts phone to answering machine from hand set, and back again.
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To be mature, the unit will have to know a lot more than simply the status of the door and control a switch. A real issue has emerged from our practical experience with desktop-video: the problem of, say, telephone interruptions during a meeting are further compounded when desktop video is introduced into the equation. For example, one has a telephone call in the middle of a video conference, or vice versa, or a video call and telephone call during a face to face meeting. As the number of channels of entry into the office increases, mechanism to control access will become increasingly important, but more complex.
The concept is defined. The software understands the concept of door-state. We have a working prototype of an inexpensively instrumented door controlling video access. The current version does not deal with the case of the telephone.