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The Mobile Context and People-centric Mobile Computing
 

The Mobile Context and People-centric Mobile Computing

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An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software, which explores the topics of the mobile context and its role on what I referred to as People-centric mobile computing.

An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software, which explores the topics of the mobile context and its role on what I referred to as People-centric mobile computing.

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    The Mobile Context and People-centric Mobile Computing The Mobile Context and People-centric Mobile Computing Document Transcript

    • The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software Table of Contents The Mobile Context - Introduction...........................................................................1 The Effects of the Mobile Context ..........................................................................3 Learning about the Mobile Context ........................................................................3 Implementing Mobile Social Software (MoSoSo)...................................................3 Challenges of MoSoSo ..........................................................................................4 Related to this Topic...............................................................................................5 About C. Enrique Ortiz............................................................................................5 The Mobile Context - Introduction In this article we will explore the topic of the Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing. The mobile handset is, by its own nature, a social artifact; an object made, and used by people to connect with people. This is the reason why the next big development in mobility and mobile services involves social software in some form or fashion, to enable better ways to find, communicate and share with friends and family, to learn about nearby places, to consume information, all while on the go. It is about the freedom to find and consume information, and connect, interact, communicate, and share with others… Successful mobile applications are the ones that are great at delivering a great mobile user experience. A great mobile experience is one that keeps the user engaged, is visually appealing, is well organized, and provides clear flows and ways of accomplishing the tasks at hand. A rich mobile user experience leverages that mobile context. The user’s mobile context can be defined as the set of and the intersection between facts, events, circumstances, and information that surrounds the (mobile) user at a given point in time. Figure 1: Elements of the Mobile Context C. Enrique Ortiz © 2006-2008 -1-
    • The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software The elements of the mobile context include: • Positioning: spatial / location information, and related (surroundings) • Point in time • Presence and related status (online, offline, available, busy, etc) • Handset status and capabilities (capabilities of my handset vs. other handset capabilities) • Personal context (User Preferences, calm behavior) • Information Genre, Descriptor tags, allows for categorization and context- based processing • Social context • Is represented by Sets and their Intersections (relationships) The social context is a very important element of the mobile context and the user experience; it is what defines people-centric mobile computing. The social context consists of the person’s social circle or context, and related attributes and actions. The elements of the Social Context include: • The friends and family — the augmented or live address book • The relationship distance or degrees of separation • Social information such as events (calendar, location, other) • Inbound/Outbound social media channels • Social actions — find friends/family, meet, invite/introduce, share content • Represented by a graph C. Enrique Ortiz © 2006-2008 -2-
    • The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software The Effects of the Mobile Context Leveraging the mobile context has a positive effect on the mobile user experience. As described above, the mobile context is defined as: “The user’s mobile context can be defined as the set of and the intersection between facts, events, circumstances, and information that surrounds the (mobile) user at a given point in time.” But what are the benefits (positive effects) of the mobile context in the user experience? The list below describes some of these effects: • Informative • Timely • Accurate information (accuracy) • Useful information (relevant) • Connected (to friends and family, and other) • Dynamic (always changing) • Adaptive (to current circumstances) • Transformational (promotes behavioral changes) The above characteristics define a framework (or the elements of a model) for the effects of the mobile context. The above list should grow as more elements for this model are ‘discovered’. One thing I would like to mention is that one of the beauties of the mobile context is that can be applied differently (yet similarly), to different circumstances or “verticals”. It is up to the reader to go over such mental exercise. Learning about the Mobile Context How to learn about context it all depends on the ability to access such context information; some is found locally, while other is found remotely, or both. Pushing “context learning” to the edge, this is, to the handset itself or closer to the handset, is the preferred way. But the truth is that it is irrelevant from the user’s perspective, except (potentially) for privacy and cost of operation (such as data plans, per message costs) considerations. For some centralizing such personal/private information can be cause of paranoia; I refer to this as the Google effect — see Google owns you (and me too). The goal is to find the right balance between local and remote access to such context information, for the purposes of privacy, security, operational cost, computational cost, and latency… Implementing Mobile Social Software (MoSoSo) The mobile context is implemented in software using Mobile Social Software. MoSoSo is short for Mobile Social Software. Wikipedia defines MoSoSo as: “The basic idea of a MoSoSo is to overlay a location and time element to the idea of C. Enrique Ortiz © 2006-2008 -3-
    • The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software digital networking. So it enables you to find people in your vicinity and at that time for social, sexual/dating or business networking. It’s worth noting that the time variable is often overlooked in analysis of MoSoSo dynamics. While this definition emphasizes location and time and social networks, the mobile context is more complex than described above. The following are some of the elements of MoSoSo: • Mobile Application • Network-aware / Connected, or more likely occasionally connected over various networks: personal to wide • It is context-based. Leverages the Mobile Context, as described at the beginning of this page, which in turns leverages the Social Context • It is private and secure • May or not have a Web-based counterpart (portal) At the center of the mobile context is the mobile handset/platform. You decide your initial target platforms based on your target network carrier and customers: • Native, Java, BREW, Windows, Palm or Web • The top platforms to deliver are Java ME, Symbian OS, Mobile Web, followed by BREW, Flash Lite, Windows Mobile The mobile platform is a Connected platform; Network-Aware over various networks: • Proximity and Personal Networks • Bluetooth, Infrared • Discovers nearby handsets • Local Networks • Wi-Fi • Wide Networks • Cellular • Connects Social communities over the Internet • May consume services on the Web Challenges of MoSoSo There are a number of challenges to address when creating mobile social software, all starting with the premise that a Good Mobile User Experience is key to success and the challenges restricting such good mobile experience must be addressed: • Access to native functionality such as the Address Book is important; this is what makes local mobile applications best at delivering the fullest mobile user experience. • Inconsistent Address books APIs on the web; i.e. Facebook vs. Plaxo, vs. local, vs. IM, etc. C. Enrique Ortiz © 2006-2008 -4-
    • The Mobile Context and People-Centric Mobile Computing An Introduction to the mobile context and mobile social software • Carrier related costs, pricing/business models, Application permissions, signing cost • Subscription + Data Plan • OTA downloads; how to get to the app? • Platform inconsistencies • Java, BREW, Symbian OS, etc Related to this Topic • The Elements of the Mobile Context • The Mobile Context — The Effects of Leveraging the Mobile Context; a Framework for Mobile Context. • The Actionable Mobile Context • The Mobile Perimeter About C. Enrique Ortiz C. Enrique Ortiz is a noted mobile technologist, author, developer, and blogger. Enrique is founder and CTO of eZee inc., a mobility company that specializes in advanced context-based marketing, where he oversees the company's technology and products groups. Enrique is founder and principal at Artemis Wireless Werks, a mobile strategy and services consulting company which has helped dozens of companies deliver their mobile products. Enrique, a vocal mobile evangelist, helped define the Java standards for mobile handsets, and is a founding member of the Austin Wireless Alliance, the Austin chapter of Mobile Monday, Carnival of the Mobilists, and the Austin Bootstrap Network’s Mobile Subgroup. Enrique has over 18 years of engineering and management experience on behalf of IBM, Pervasive Software, AGEA, and Aligo. His expertise lies in avionics software (Space Shuttle OS), embedded, robotics and image processing, multimedia streaming, large financial systems, and end-to-end mobility systems. Enrique holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Puerto Rico. Change History September 16, 2007 Initial Release V 1.0 April 20, 2008 Formatting changes V 1.1 C. Enrique Ortiz © 2006-2008 -5-