Reminders that make sense: designing multisensory notifications for the home

Marilyn R. McGee‐Lennon (Glasgow Interactive Systems Group, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Assistive Technologies

ISSN: 1754-9450

Publication date: 15 June 2012



The purpose of this paper is to present a synthesized overview of empirical work carried out in the MultiMemoHome Project in the area of designing multimodal reminders for home care. The paper aims to present an overview of multimodal interaction techniques and how they can be used to deliver messages to the user in a way that is more appropriate to the user's needs, the devices available, and the physical and social environment that the person is in when they receive a message.


The paper argues that electronic reminders or notifications delivered in the home (such as appointments or when to take medication to your phone, computer or TV) should be available in multiple sensory modalities (visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory) in order to increase their usability and acceptability and make them accessible to a wider range of users. This paper supports these arguments by presenting an overview of a series of empirical studies that have been carried out (and reported elsewhere) on the design and evaluation of multimodal reminders for the home.


The paper provides some guidelines and lessons learned on how to design personalisable multimodal reminder systems for the home.


This paper presents a synthesized overview of a body of existing research on multimodal reminder design for the home. Its contribution is in the argument and presentation of empirical findings that support these arguments. A set of guidelines emerging from the body of work is also presented.



McGee‐Lennon, M. (2012), "Reminders that make sense: designing multisensory notifications for the home", Journal of Assistive Technologies, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 93-104.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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