A New York based start-up called Triggerhood has built software that can decide when it is a good time to send you a cell phone notification.
Research has shown that untimely notifications can pull our attention away from the task at hand, such as driving.
The developers can add the software to the apps to collect data from an app itself -- such as how long it has been operating, when it is opened, and when it is closed, MIT Technology Review reported.
This information is combined with location data and signals from smartphone sensors that indicate whether the phone's user is running, driving or tilting the device, and is sent anonymously to Triggerhood's servers, where an algorithm determines whether you are likely to find it a good or bad time to get a notification.
It takes a few days to build a personal profile for a user before Triggerhood can determine that, say, a news app should send you notifications about articles after you go running rather than during your run.
Triggerhood's cofounder and product head Guy Balzam was reported as saying that the information it collects is not personally identifiable or linked to a user's identity.
If Triggerhood can figure out how to hold off on sending notifications to people who are driving or working, that could help reduce distractions.