Geekspeak: June 18, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-06-18 Print this article Print

How sweet it could be

Could it sweeten your day if someone you know could say, "Have an M&M"—and dispense it over the Net? Or what about a little doodle that suddenly appears on your desk to say, "Youre special"? This notion, formally termed "nonverbal communication via kinetic objects," took shape in these and other prototype devices shown by researchers from GVO Interaction at the Make IT Easy conference, hosted this month by IBM. Full conference materials are online at

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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