What insights about people and technology are needed to better understand mobile device form factors, applications and connectivity?
As alternative form factors beyond the desktop and laptop continue to advance, the options for access to information increase. This raises key issues of application, security, connectivity and human psychology. A variety of interfaces and interactions are possible for different form factors, multiple-modalities and the potential for mobile devices to be “always with the user.” Business and consumer applications for mobile devices include knowledge management, search and retrieval, workforce collaboration, location-specific services, gaming and entertainment, personal media content creation, and communication. Security models for sensitive data are an important concern. As connectivity options proliferate, millions of data and communication devices may no longer be physically tethered to the network. What are the implications for supporting networks if more daily activities (work and otherwise) are performed on mobile devices? What should people be able to do, access and manage on devices connected to next-generation networks?
We invited faculty-led teams across all disciplines to propose multidisciplinary, concept proving research to explore the human science and information technology dimensions of personal devices. This challenge included but was not limited to research into the device itself, applications and use cases, the interface, and issues of connectivity. Priority was given to proposals that included research methods or questions about how personal mobile devices will be shaped and used 5-7 years from now.