5 Pages

Mobile contexts of use: Socio-spatial attributes

Elements surrounding a particular action (use context) are widely discussed in the literature dealing with the use of context-aware mobile devices. According to Paul Dourish (2001, 299), "two distinct strands of what we might call context-aware computing within HCI research, although typically conducted and developed in isolation, are in fact two aspects of the same broad program. These two topics are, first, physically-based interaction and augmented environments, and, second, attempts to develop interactive systems around understandings of the generally operative social processes surrounding everyday interaction." First strand is more constructionoriented (e.g. Dey et al., 2001). Although it is highly concerned of social context of use, it doesn't really study it, but rather speculates it analytically. The conclusion usually is that contextual questions are highly complicated and thus almost impossible issues to handle (e.g. Svaneas, 2001). Our paper belongs to the latter line of Dourish's classification. The main idea is that we cannot find any ready-made "frames" around certain activities but the very activities themselves create something we could call social contexts of use. Social factors of context of use are usually shaped by spatial conditions, or at least these two are interwoven together.