Mobility

Getting Closer: An Empirical Investigation of the Proximity of User to Their Smart Phones

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Executive Summary

Much research in ubiquitous computing assumes that a user's phone will be always on and at-hand, for collecting user context and for communicating with a user. Previous work with the previous generation of mobile phones has shown that such an assumption is false. Here, the authors investigate whether this assumption about users' proximity to their mobile phones holds for a new generation of mobile phones, smart phones. They conduct a data collection field study of 28 smart phone owners over a period of 4 weeks. They show that in fact this assumption is still false, with the within arm's reach proximity being true close to 50% of the time, similar to the earlier work.

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