Regular Paper

Multimedia Systems

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 57-74

First online:

Ubimedia based on readable and writable memory tags

  • Eija KaasinenAffiliated withVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Email author 
  • , Marketta NiemeläAffiliated withVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • , Timo TuomistoAffiliated withVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • , Pasi VälkkynenAffiliated withVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • , Iiro JantunenAffiliated withHelsinki University of Technology, TKK
  • , Javier SierraAffiliated withTelefónica I+D
  • , Miguel Angel SantiagoAffiliated withTelefónica I+D
  • , Harald KaajaAffiliated withNokia Research Center

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Ubimedia is a concept where media files are embedded in everyday objects and the environment. We propose an approach where the user can read and write these files with his/her personal mobile phone simply by touching the physical objects. This facilitates easy access and storage of, e.g. video and audio files related to the physical object in question. This paper describes our work in developing a technical solution for ubimedia and studying user acceptance of forthcoming ubimedia services. Our technical development of the ubimedia concept has been focused on a mobile phone platform with a tag reader/writer, memory tags with large storage capacity, and the communication between the phone and the tags. Currently, the technical design is in test and evaluation phase. The preliminary results show that the concept works and it can be implemented technically. In parallel with the technical development, we have studied usage possibilities for ubimedia and user acceptance of future ubimedia services. User acceptance has been studied in a web survey and in user evaluations of proofs-of-concept. In addition, an ethical assessment has been carried out. The users appreciated especially the simplicity, speed, low cost and reliability of ubimedia. Ethical concerns were related to control over the download with regard to viruses and other unwanted content.


Ubimedia Ambient intelligence Memory tag User evaluation Ethical issues Mobile phone