Software developers regularly have to focus in order to successfully perform their work. At the same time, developers experience many disruptions to their focus, especially in today's highly demanding, collaborative and open office work environments. When these disruptions happen during tasks that require a lot of focus, such as comprehending a difficult piece of source code, they can be very costly, causing a decrease in performance and quality. By sensing how focused a developer is, we might be able to reduce the cost of such disruptions.
In our previous work, we investigated the use of biometric and computer interaction sensors to sense interruptibility - the availability for interruptions - and developed the FlowLight approach - a traffic light like LED indicator of a person's interruptibility - to reduce the cost of external in-person interruptions, a particularly expensive kind of disruption. Our results demonstrate the potential of accurately sensing interruptibility in the field and of reducing external interruption cost to increase focus and productivity of knowledge workers.