New Presence Model

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Proposed by Alec Saunders


"New Presence is a user-centric view of presence. Instead of merely reflecting the crude, device specific “availability awareness” of today, New Presence systems understand our context, relationships, wants and desires. The New Presence model reflects the integrated conversation web we live in today." (


Alec Saunders [1]:

The New Presence model has three building blocks: relationships, context, profile. Each of these is a core component in a model which is fundamentally richer, and more user-driven than any presence model previously.

We all have many relationships in our lives. Friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, business partners, affinity groups, political affiliations… these are but a few of the different relationships we have. New Presence spans all of the different relationship repositories we have — personal address books, buddy lists, corporate directories, social networks, CRM and ERP systems, affinity groups, and more — to construct a complete taxonomy of all the relationships we have, not just relationships specific to a particular walled garden. New Presence understands all the roles we play in our lives; worker, friend, parent, sibling, volunteer, and many others.

Most presence systems to-date have focused on a single piece of context information — “availability awareness”, or free/busy on a single device. The context model of New Presence is a vastly richer model, extending today’s free/busy model to include time, time of day, location, social networking information, scheduled events (now and in the future), and many many more sources of contextual information. As we live our lives, we leave electronic trails of information everywhere, all of which can be used to deduce context. At every moment, New Presence knows the fundamentals of what we do, where, with whom, and the relationship we have with those individuals, and how we might want to interact with others.

And lastly a system of profile management is an integral part of the New Presence model. Profiles include identity and role management systems, the ability to specify behavior and rules for different contexts and relationships, and the ability to subscribe to different presence based services and applications which may be offered by various service providers. With these tools, users will selectively reveal their availability to others based on relationship and context, rather than today’s blanket free/busy model. The completeness of the New Presence profile model will naturally lead to it becoming the default way by which we assert identity in the future, and every presentity will have the ability to securely assert the identity of its owner." (


"New Presence enables many kinds of applications, such as:

  • Call Management Applications. Informed by New Presence, call management systems will be more intelligent and capable than ever before. Whether filtering incoming calls, or brokering future conversations between subscribers, New Presence will add the element of relationship and willingness to all calling scenarios.
  • Opt-in Advertising Systems. Google pioneered the use of context-driven advertising on the web. New Presence systems are “communications search engines”. Inherently understanding context, relationship, and profile information, they could be used to drive advertising based revenue models.
  • Enterprise Applications. Sales force automation, CRM, accounting, email, payroll, customer service and many other applications will be dramatically enhanced by the deep understanding of relationships and presence offered by New Presence. In the New Presence world,
  • Mashup Driven Web Applications. Software vendors have the goal of embedding presence everywhere. Wouldn’t it be nice, they ask, to know who the last five readers of a web site were? Without New Presence, and its consequent policy and privacy guarantees, this vision will never come to pass. New Presence gives users control over how their presence information is consumed, and by whom. Using the XML lingua franca of the web, New Presence systems will supply that information to real estate listing services (so that browsers can find the nearest available agent, for instance), customer service systems, social networking sites, gaming systems, matchmaker services and more. This hybrid model will permit people to freely share as much or as little information about themselves as they wish, secure in the knowledge that it cannot be abused."


More Information

  1. Presence
  2. The Voice 2.0 Manifesto