Truly Moble Applications: Location, Media Capture, and Social Connectivity


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A talk I gave at an Interaction Design class at the IIT Institute of Design. Talks about unique aspect of mobile computing including location, media capture, and social connectivity. Uses the ZoneTag application as an example of a mobile app that uses all three.

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Truly Moble Applications: Location, Media Capture, and Social Connectivity

  1. Frank Bentley Senior Staff Research Engineer Motorola Labs Truly Mobile Applications: Location, Media Capture, and Connectivity
  2. What is unique to mobile?
  3. Rich Mobile Applications Yahoo! Go ZoneTag Radar ShoZu
  4. Overview <ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>Media Capture </li></ul><ul><li>Social Connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Putting it all together: ZoneTag </li></ul>
  5. Mobile Location <ul><li>Cell ID </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available on all GSM phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Localization to zip-code level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires translation to semantically meaningful location </li></ul></ul><ul><li>GPS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs special hardware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not available indoors/in cities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minutes to get first fix </li></ul></ul>
  6. Cell ID <ul><li>In GSM networks, all cells in the world have a globally unique ID made up of four numbers: cell id, lac, mnc, and mmc </li></ul><ul><li>Databases are being made that map cell IDs into locations </li></ul><ul><li>Cells can be manually mapped to semantic locations (e.g. Campus, Home, Downtown Boston, etc.) </li></ul>
  7. Cell Density <ul><li>Cell topology scales with population density </li></ul>
  8. Uses of Cell ID <ul><li>Cell ID has been used to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine when someone was at a given place (e.g. home) (see Sohn et al ‘05) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinguish between walking/driving/stationary (see Sohn et al ’06) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide accurate positioning (e.g. Chen et al ’06) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Down to 95% error of 163m with all visible cells </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine when people are moving between locations (e.g. Bentley et al ’07) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Databases such as ZoneTag and Place Lab can map Cell ID to physical locations </li></ul>
  9. GPS <ul><li>30 satellites in earth orbit </li></ul><ul><li>6 satellites always in line of site of any place on earth </li></ul><ul><li>Receivers must find 4 or more satellites for a fix </li></ul><ul><li>First fix usually in 1.5 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Typical phone can last for four hours with GPS turned on </li></ul><ul><li>Can get you accurate position within 10m with altitude </li></ul><ul><li>People in GPS coverage 4.5% of the day </li></ul>
  10. GPS Continued… <ul><li>Some phones have built in GPS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All Motorola phones on the iDEN (Nextel) network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some GSM phones (including European version of the a780, n95 from Nokia, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many CDMA phones (e.g. RAZR on Verizon) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phones without GPS can use a bluetooth unit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sends a NMEA stream to the phone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>phone can listen through a BT serial connection </li></ul></ul>
  11. Place Its (Sohn et al 2006) <ul><li>The problem: getting reminders in particular locations (e.g. call my mom when I get home, stop at the grocery store on the way home, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Uses Cell ID to determine when the user is in a given place </li></ul><ul><li>Manually connects sets of Cell IDs to places in people’s lives </li></ul><ul><li>When user enters a given ‘place,’ if there are any alerts for them, notifies them (also can have leaving alerts) </li></ul>
  12. Motion Presence (Bentley et al 2007) <ul><li>Augmented phone book </li></ul><ul><li>See when close friends and family are moving or in one place </li></ul><ul><li>Users used this data to infer location, activity, destination, time to destination, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Used GSM Cell ID changes to determine when people transitioned between moving and at a place </li></ul>
  13. Media Capture <ul><li>Phone is a window into a person’s world </li></ul><ul><li>Data-connected phones allow people to share experiences with others </li></ul><ul><li>29 billion mobile images captured/year </li></ul>
  14. Media Capture <ul><li>Distant Closeness: knowing about others, keeping others informed about oneself, without direct interaction - Nancy VanHouse (Berkeley) </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile photos taken for: Memory, Relationship Creation and Maintenance, Self-Presentation, Self-Expression, Functional, Social Documentary </li></ul><ul><li>- Nancy VanHouse (Berkeley) and Marc Davis (Yahoo!) </li></ul>
  15. Other uses of camera <ul><li>To control a cursor </li></ul><ul><li>To set a level in a game </li></ul><ul><li>To determine if the phone is in a pocket/purse </li></ul><ul><li>QR Codes </li></ul>Makinde Adeagbo, Ben Lu, Chris Moses, Kah Seng Tay (MIT 21W.780 ’07)
  16. Radar <ul><li>Service of TinyPictures Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Lightweight Visual Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share media with close circle throughout the day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>J2ME application to see photo streams and comment on the go </li></ul></ul>
  17. ShoZu <ul><li>Allows for photo/ video blogging to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kodak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc… </li></ul></ul>
  18. Social Connectivity <ul><li>Not just about access to data </li></ul><ul><li>Think access to people and places </li></ul>
  19. Connectivity: SMS <ul><li>Simple way to send information between phones </li></ul><ul><li>Ports allow data to go straight to J2ME applications instead of to Messaging application </li></ul><ul><li>No server necessary </li></ul><ul><li>No data plan necessary </li></ul><ul><li>SMS can auto-start application with MIDlet-Push </li></ul>
  20. Connectivity: Data <ul><li>Data services open up phone to the world of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Connections with social networks, information, and places </li></ul><ul><li>HTTP/HTTPS supported in J2ME </li></ul><ul><li>Web services supported on latest handsets </li></ul><ul><li>~10% of US subscribers have data plans </li></ul>
  21. Connectivity: Bluetooth <ul><li>Discovery and communication with nearby devices </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing media with co-located people </li></ul><ul><li>Discovering who is around for media tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-player mobile gaming without need for a server or data plan </li></ul>
  22. Putting it all together <ul><li>A walk through the ZoneTag application </li></ul><ul><li>Client for Motorola phones developed by Motorola Labs </li></ul><ul><li>Server developed by Yahoo! Research Berkeley </li></ul><ul><li>Allows users to: </li></ul><ul><li>capture photos </li></ul><ul><li>apply location information (derived from Cell ID) </li></ul><ul><li>apply relevant tags based on location </li></ul><ul><li>upload tagged photos to Flickr </li></ul>
  23. ZoneTag: Location <ul><li>On starting application, gets cell id </li></ul><ul><li>Resolves this using Yahoo! Research Berkeley’s ZoneTag server </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps current location and relevant tags cached </li></ul><ul><li>Updates location and tags when cell id changes </li></ul>
  24. ZoneTag: Media Capture <ul><li>Integrated viewfinder, when supported </li></ul><ul><li>File system scanner that runs on launch to find new media </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic suggestion to upload photos taken in the past 10 minutes </li></ul>
  25. ZoneTag: Social <ul><li>Uploads media to Flickr with tags </li></ul><ul><li>Allows use of Flickr privacy levels </li></ul><ul><li>Allows browsing of photos taken in vicinity or with a given tag </li></ul>
  26. Mobility – More than just on-the-go <ul><li>Location- Based </li></ul><ul><li>Media-Centric </li></ul><ul><li>Socially Connected </li></ul>
  27. References… <ul><li>Practical Metropolitan-Scale Positioning for GSM Phones (Chen et al ’06) </li></ul><ul><li>Place-Its: A Study of Location-Based Reminders on Mobile Phones (Sohn et al ’05) </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility Detection Using Everyday GSM Traces (Sohn et al ’06) </li></ul><ul><li>Distant Closeness, Cameraphones and public image sharing (VanHouse ’06) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing Motion Information with Close Family and Friends (Bentley and Metcalf ’07) </li></ul><ul><li>ZoneTag: Designing Context-Aware Mobile Media Capture to Increase Participation (Ahern at al ’06) </li></ul><ul><li>Location Disclosure to Social Relations: Why, When, & What People Want to Share (Consolvo et al ’05) </li></ul><ul><li>Place Lab: Device positioning using radio beacons in the wild (LaMarca et al ’05) </li></ul><ul><li>MIT Class 21w.780 </li></ul>