You know the seconds and minutes you waste waiting for the elevator to arrive, for a friend to reply to an IM or for a website to load? A team of MIT CSAIL researchers believe you can put them to good use, so they created a series of apps called the WaitSuite that makes the most of those idle moments by helping you learn a new language. The tools can test your vocabulary without whisking you away to another app. For instance, if you’re chatting with a friend, a flash card asking you about a word in the language you’re learning will pop up within the IM itself. If you’re waiting for a website to load, the card will appear within the browser.
MIT PhD student and project lead Carrie Cai explained:
“With stand-alone apps, it can be inconvenient to have to separately open them up to do a learning task. WaitSuite is embedded directly into your existing tasks, so that you can easily learn without leaving what you were already doing.”