Portable, But Not Mobile: A Study of Wireless Laptops in the Home

  • Allison Woodruff
  • Ken Anderson
  • Scott D. Mainwaring
  • Ryan Aipperspach
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4480)


We report a qualitative study of the use of physical space and wireless laptops by ten United States households. Although wireless laptops purportedly offer the opportunity and affordances to go “anywhere in the home,” laptops were generally used in a small set of particular places rather than moving fluidly through the home: wireless laptops were portable, but not mobile per se We present factors that influence laptop movement in the home. We also present a model of people’s use of space in the home, identifying a small set of favored places of long-term use and a larger set of kinetic places used for specific tasks. We discuss how the factors we have identified generally promote use of laptops in favored places and generally discourage use of laptops in kinetic places. We discuss how our findings are relevant to the design of technologies for the home.


Desktop Computer Home Network Power Adapter Favored Place Home Office 
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 Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison Woodruff
    • 1
  • Ken Anderson
    • 2
  • Scott D. Mainwaring
    • 2
  • Ryan Aipperspach
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Intel Research Berkeley, 2150 Shattuck #1300, Berkeley, CA 94704USA
  2. 2.Intel Research, People and Practices Research Lab, 7144 SW 29th Ave, Portland, OR 97219 
  3. 3.Berkeley Institute of Design, Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720USA

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