Understanding Mobile Contexts

  • Sakari Tamminen
  • Antti Oulasvirta
  • Kalle Toiskallio
  • Anu Kankainen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2795)


Mobile urban environments present a challenge for context-aware computers, because they differ from static indoor contexts such as offices, meeting rooms, and lecture halls in many important ways. Internal factors such as task goals are different-external factors such as social resources are dynamic and unpredictable. An empirical, user-centered approach is needed to understand mobile contexts. For these ends, we present insights from an ethnomethodologically inspired study. The data consist of travel episodes of 25 adult urbanites (incl. elderly, single mothers, adolescents) in Helsinki. We present how situational and planned acts intermesh in navigation, how people create personal spaces while waiting, and how temporal tensions develop and dissolve. Furthermore, we provide examples of social solutions to navigation problems, examine aspects of multitasking, and consider design implications for context-aware mobile computing.


Mobile Phone Virtual Space Personal Space Temporal Tension Navigation Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sakari Tamminen
    • 1
  • Antti Oulasvirta
    • 2
  • Kalle Toiskallio
    • 1
  • Anu Kankainen
    • 2
  1. 1.Information Ergonomics Research Group (SoberIT)Helsinki University of TechnologyFinland
  2. 2.Helsinki Institute of Information TechnologyFinland

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