Mobiles mobiles mobiles.

This weekend I’ll give a talk on trends in mobile HCI at the Amsterdam MobileDevCamp on 29 + 30 November. It will be an intro talk trying to get coders to not only focus on novel interaction methods and all things techie, but also into considering social interaction with mobile systems and areas such as mobile persuasion.

Check out “A full weekend devoted to developing mobile applications for the iPhone, Android and Symbian platforms. Organised by the Bubble Foundry and hosted at Mediamatic” The sign up procedure is somewhat cumbersome (uses, but it’s free and there’s lots to learn. It’s good to see these type of open events are being organized. Amsterdam needs more of them.


More research-related, I’ll also be participating in the workshop on mobile user interaction at CHI next spring. Still waiting for notifications on the rest of the stuff we sent off to CHI. Already read some quite favourable reviews, so fingers crossed for the final notification [update dec 2008: accepted. I’ve got a note  on interaction with adaptive spam filters and two workshop papers; one on human-robot interaction, one on mobile interaction].

Meanwhile I’m also working on our experiment on human interaction with autonomous mobile systems. The experiment context will be an environmental hazard monitoring system that uses information from both a sensor network and human users via mobile devices/phones. The overarching project aims to prevent catastrophic chemical incidents and reduce pollution through quick detection of harmful gasses and identification of pollution sources. If a potential hazard is detected or reported, the system will use human observation in and around the affected area to gather more information. Participating users will be asked by their mobile agent (e.g. application or service on phone/PDA) to self-report their observations. If necessary, the system provides location-based warnings. I’ll be carrying out a controlled experiment on effects of social behaviour of the system and its positioning as a distant entity that both caters to users but also ‘uses’ them as sensors for its own means.

4 thoughts on “Mobiles mobiles mobiles.

  1. That was an excellent talk, which addressed questions that have been on my mind, and agreed with what I’ve learned from experience.

    The part I’m having a problem with is narrowing my application and its story down to a tightly focused scope, that I can explain to people in a few sentences.

    Your suggestion to keep the handheld application extremely simple and focused, and provide more advanced full features tools on the web site, is just what I’m planning on doing!

    Link globally, interact locally.


  2. Oh yeah, the article whose premise is “Interactivity Considered Harmful”, that I mentioned during your talk, is here:

    The point (which applies very strongly to TomTom’s products), is that interactivity is a failure state that happens when the computer is unable to predict what you want from context and history, and present it to you at the right time, without you having to ask.

    (Of course that doesn’t apply to games and content creation tools, in which interactivity is a pleasurable reward or produces a useful end product. Navigating through command structures and manipulating the state of an application like a Rubic’s cube to twist it into the desired mode, is where interactivity is evil and unproductive.)


  3. thanks, Don!
    It was excellent having someone with a lot of ‘real-world experience’ there. Really appreciate your comments and I’ll check out the link. Please keep me in the loop on the talks/lectures you mentioned!

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