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June 21, 2010

IBM Unveils 'Email Triage'

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

Although users get instant access to their emails through their mobiles, managing these mobiles on their mobile phones is still not an easy task. To simplify the mobile users’ life a bit, IBM has unveiled a new research project that studies mobile device user behaviors to create a new application for managing mobile e-mail.

The research aims to build a mobile email client that would better fit how users actually handle e-mail on mobile devices.
According to IBM (News - Alert) scientists, mobile email usage differs greatly because of the environment and context in which it typically takes place. With mobile mail, researchers have found that users are focused on “triaging” what’s in the inbox at that moment. By allowing users to quickly “triage” their email and identify what needs immediate action and what can be handled later, IBM Mail Triage project, rethinks the mobile email experience.
“This project has grown out of ongoing research that attempts to understand how people use the technology devices in their lives mobile phones, laptops, desktops, tablet computers, etc. and spread their computing time,” said Jeff Pierce, manager, mobile computing research, IBM Research Almaden. “Today, people use devices interchangeably and in context with other devices, so we have developed a prototype application for mail triage to reflect today’s smartphone email experience.”
The IBM Mail Triage project takes care of the behavioral differences in the way users address emails on a desktop computer versus email a mobile device. A user can indicate an intended action for messages that do not require immediate action. Through a cloud-based service, users can easily access the created tasks via their mobile device or desktop
Recently, the company opened the IBM Mass Lab - IBM’s largest software development lab in North America. The IBM Lab is located in Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts, and brings together 3,400 of IBM’s employees to find first-of-a-kind solutions to computing challenges.  According to company officials, the Lab is creating software that responds to some of the world’s most complex process and infrastructure problems.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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