Collaborative Work Systems Inc.

Engineering Human Centered Collaborative Systems for Complex Work Environments

Collaborative Work Systems Inc.

Engineering Human Centered Collaborative Systems for Complex Work Environments

CWS Products & Technologies

CWS has developed a number of technologies to support situation awareness, communications, and collaboration in complex work environments, where work is distributed amongst a network of technology users. These technologies fall into three main categories: (1) Situation displays and alert management software; (2) Multimodal communications software; and (3) User situation awareness assessment software.

1. Situation displays and alert management software

GeoDocent is a software application that supports the authoring, sharing, and presentation of multimodal guidance information (i.e. information in a visual, auditory, and/or tactile form) with geographic context. Geofencing can be designed so that real or simulated events in the geographic area of interest trigger a wide variety of actions. Users may be mobile and operating in the area of interest, or remote from it. GeoDocent also supports authoring synchronized voice and pointing about a geographic area and sharing that information in different forms (e.g. as a Google Earth "tour").

HailDetected is a software application that utilizes National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates of hail fall location, size and probability in order to help users better understand and respond to hail events that have occurred and their potential to have caused damage to buildings at particular locations. These estimates are based on NEXRAD radar data and standard weather prediction algorithms. The HailDetected application is intended to be useful to end users such as insurance claim agents (e.g. looking for evidence that roof damage could have been caused by hail) and roofing companies (e.g. needing to decide when and where to market their services, and to help clients make insurance claims). Situation awareness and decision making is aided by an interactive dashboard containing multiple integrated views (e.g. charts, lists, and maps) and through configurable Email alerts.

ScanKeeper is a web-based application developed by CWS that facilitates touch free, distance preserving, attendance taking to support contact tracing. It involves creating ID cards with QR codes, so that attendance can be recorded by simply putting the QR code in-front of a camera attached to a computing device (e.g. laptop or clamped smartphone).

Location-Insight is a software application that interfaces with location sensing technologies (e.g. GPS or Active RFID) to track the movement of valued entities. The software is currently used to track endangered wildlife, but could be used to track other types of entity.

2. Multimodal communications software

PointnTalk is a software application that allows the user to easily create voice-overs for one or more images, optionally with synchronized pointing, and annotation marks. The annotated set of images are stored using a W3C XML markup language to facilitate sharing and interoperability. Microsoft Windows, Android, and Web versions of PointnTalk have been created by CWS to provide further flexibility for its users.

THATO was developed to aid dismounted soldier-to-soldier communications, situation awareness, and navigation during tactical operations. THATO stores tactile message designs that are instantiated with context specifics and played through its interface to Tactile Control Units (TCUs) when a command is received from another soldier, the soldier's location relative to a planned route or landmark/entity of interest triggers a message, or the soldier requests information.

3. User situation awareness assessment software

AWARE is a software application that can help explain where human geographical situation awareness breakdowns have occurred. It supports efficiently capturing where users believe certain entities were, are, and will be located geographically, (and why), over time. It does this by recording their voice summaries and any concurrent pointing they make to particular locations and entities on the map. This data is synchronized with other information, such as geo-tagged and/or time stamped audio recordings from participants actively engaged in an exercise and decoded observer logs, and utilized in interactive report summaries.

Other artifacts to support user and group centered design and assessment, and project management

Industry standards define a number of methods and procedures for designing and evaluating technologies to support individuals and groups, which can benefit from reusable templates and toolkits. From experience, CWS has developed a multitude of these, such as user and group profiles, interface design and evaluation heuristics, usability testing protocols, surveys and questionaires, risk assessment tools, and report templates.

< Research & Development GeoDocent >



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