Your Personal Assistant – EMS of the Future

June 8, 2016


Smart applications make your tasks easier to accomplish, but really smart apps anticipate your needs, maybe even before you realize you have them. For example, Google Now combines knowledge of your calendar with knowledge of traffic conditions to tell you when you need to get on your way to a meeting. Google Now also combines its knowledge of your calendar and its ability to recognize flight numbers within your email to warn you when your flight has been delayed.

Google has plenty more cutting-edge tricks up its sleeve, as do a few other software companies – like us.

As a hint of EMS working towards app magic like Google Now, I wrote in a previous blog that,

“In our vision, EMS knows the preferences, habits and location of each user so that the system can automatically suggest the best fit for their needs – and even anticipate users’ needs before they ask.”

So what exactly would this look like with EMS? Here are some thoughts…

Preferences and Habits: Most apps only know your favorites if you’ve deliberately indicated them as such. A smarter EMS would know your favorite meeting room or workspace because EMS has seen that you reserve them repeatedly. And a really smart EMS would recognize patterns in your usage to know your favorite location for each day of the week, at various times of the day, for each floor, building, or location that you regularly visit.

And a really, really smart EMS would know your habits so well that it would sense when you’re breaking your usual pattern and when there’s nothing on your schedule to explain why, it would send alerts. For example, if a future EMS knows that you regularly book a workspace when you’re in New York, and if it knows that you’re in New York and you have nothing on your calendar that suggests you’ll be at a client’s site, it would remind you that you haven’t made your usual reservation and offer to make it for you.

Location: If you travel for your job, especially across multiple time zones, then you know the frustration of managing your schedule. If you need to set up meetings before you travel, you have to deal with applying the time zone at your destination so that you avoid inviting people to meet with you at odd times.

Moreover, if people back home want to meet with you while you’re away, how would they know that your working hours have changed according to the time zone at your destination?

A really smart EMS of the future would see your plane flights on your calendar and figure out when you’ll be away and where you’re going. It would automatically adjust your availability for the time you’re going to be away and guide you to book meetings at times that are appropriate for both you and your colleagues – as well as guide your colleagues to book meetings at times that are appropriate for where you’re going to be.

Scheduling problems can also happen related to your location within your home city too. Have you ever been stuck in traffic and arrived late for a meeting that you expected to attend in person? With just a little more smarts, EMS of the future could know your current location, your travel conditions, your likely arrival time, and your schedule. If it knows that you’re going to be late, EMS could automatically let the host know that you’re running late and call you at the start of the meeting to include you remotely.

As described above, EMS of the future is about making work-life easier. We’re working hard to fulfill our vision. To learn more about what this vision is, watch my short presentation:

Do you have any ideas for making a smarter EMS? Please let us know in the comments.