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In recent years instant messaging tools have been successfully introduced to support communication and collaboration processes in work environments. Research suggests that the use of instant messaging tools lead to an increased feeling of connectedness, social presence and awareness within a collaborative group. Consequently, the goal of our research is to improve communication and collaboration within a group through automated and real-time dissemination of presence information, using instant messaging software. The paper describes LocaTag, a system that enhances instant messaging tools with real-time location information through the use of NFC enabled mobile devices. The LocaTag application is implemented as a prototype system that provides the Skype instant messaging application with automated status messages, reflecting the current location of a user. This location information is derived from a NFC-tag based check-in/-out routine incorporating the mobile phone of the user. The tie-in of NFC based location information and existing, broadly used instant messaging applications is an approach towards the real-timed is semination of presence information in collaborative groups. Its technical feasibility, limitations and future research approaches are discussed in this manuscript.
Date of Conference: 20-20 April 2010