Future Email is a series of concept addressing information overload in email and improving the experience of using email in work environments. It includes clustering information based on content, visual timeline view, eye tracking to highlight key terms and data, voice email emphasizing the tones, as well as proximity based data exchange.







24 hours (Sep, 2013)

Umeå Institute of Design

Yedan Qian, Taís Mauk, Siyuan Fang, Marcel Penz, Kallirroi Pouliadou

Concept, Video Production,  Paper Writing

Stop Motion, Premiere, Paper Writing



Visual Overview

In a traditional email inbox, information is sorted by timestamp. There is no real hierarchy of content, creating a massive wall of identical looking pieces of text. This new visual overview clusters email information and attachments based on content. Imagine if every project you worked on was automatically sorted into a cluster, and all attachments, images, contacts and messages associated with it were all kept together. 

Timeline View

Today, email is used not just for communication, but also for archiving and looking back on your past workflow. Timeline view provides a birds eye perspective of your pevious and current projects. Scrolling through, you can see all the emails you sent relating to projects, which are color coded.  In this way you can see which projects were taking up more of your time at which points and gain a powerful tracking and planning tool. 

Eye Tracking

Here we proposed a system that would help filter through emails. By tracking the users eye movements with the computer's built in camera, the system can detect when they linger their eyes on a specific word. With a confirmation action such as winking, the user can have that word highlighted and tagged as a key term, thereby creating a filtering system. Additionally the system can use eye tracking to see if you fail to read a whole email, leaving a bookmark for future reference so no information is lost.

Proximity Based Data Field

Sometimes necessary attachments and information can be buried in piles of email threads. We proposed that if two people were working on the same project, and were within a certain range of each other, their tablets would automatically bring up all the necessary files so that they could collaborate. This would allow more fluid collaborations and save the time of having to dig through attachments. 

Text and Voice Recording

One of the main problems with exclusively written correspondence is that there is no obvious tone of voice. Emails are especially ambiguous, and you have to spend a great deal of time formatting your message in order for it to be understood as you intended. We proposed that the sender could record themselves reading the email they're about to send, and attach this recording along with the email.  This way, the receiver gets both the final text, and the audio containing the intended tone of the message.