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The challenges of mobile devices for human computer interaction (editorial for special edition)

Dunlop, M.D. and Brewster, S.A. (2002) The challenges of mobile devices for human computer interaction (editorial for special edition). Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 6 (4). pp. 235-236. ISSN 1617-4909

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Abstract

Current mobile computing devices such as palmtop computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile phones, and future devices such as Bluetooth and GSM enabled cameras, and music players have many implications for the design of the user interface. These devices share a common problem: attempting to give users access to powerful computing services and resources through small interfaces, which typically have tiny visual displays, poor audio interaction facilities and limited input techniques. They also introduce new challenges such as designing for intermittent and expensive network access, and design for position awareness and context sensitivity. No longer can designers base computing designs around the traditional model of a single user working with a personal computer at his/her workplace. In addition to mobility and size requirements, mobile devices will also typically be used by a larger population spread than traditional PCs and without any training or support networks, whether formal or informal. Furthermore, unlike early computers which had many users per computer, and PCs with usually one computer per user, a single user is likely to own many mobiles devices [1] which they interact with indifferent ways and for different tasks.