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The Elements of the Mobile Context

27-07-2007

(The information below was taken from presentation by C. Enrique Ortiz "The Elements of the Mobile Context"

The mobile context can be defined as the intersection between the elements that defines it. These elements include:

Elements of the Mobile Context

  • * Spatial / Location (positioning) information, and related (surroundings)
  • * Time
  • * Presence and related status (online, offline, available, busy, etc)
  • * Handset and their 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
  • * Represented by Sets and their Intersections (relationships)

The social context consists of the person's social circle, and related attributes and actions.

The Social Context

  • * 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

The mobile handset is the social artifact that together with software running it enables the mobile context.

The Mobile Handset

  • * A Social Artifact
  • * An object made, and used by people to connect with people.
  • * Enable better ways to find, communicate and share with friends and family
  • * And to learn about nearby places, to consume information, all while on the go
  • * It is about the freedom to connect, interact and find

The mobile context is implemented in software via Mobile Social Software.

What is MoSoSo?

  • * 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 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 the above definition emphasizes location and time and social networks, the mobile context is more complex than described above.

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)

The Mobile Platform

  • * Native, Java, BREW, Windows, Palm or Web - decide your initial target platforms based on your target network carrier and customers
  • * The top platforms to deliver are Java ME, Symbian OS, Mobile Web, followed by BREW, Flash Lite, Windows Mobile

The 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

There are a number of challenges to address when creating mobile social software:

Some Challenges

  • * Good Mobile User Experience is key to success
  • * Access to native functionality such as the Address Book
  • * Application permission, signing, cost
  • * Inconsistent Address books APIs on the web
  • * Facebook vs. Plaxo, etc.
  • * Carrier pricing/business models
  • * Subscription + Data Plan
  • * OTA downloads
  • * How to get to the app?
  • * Platform inconsistencies
  • * Java, BREW, Symbian OS, etc

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