are able to
a group and start
once again a day or a week later.
These comments point toward
the fact that people don’t want to
think about the hassles of setting
up a group, but rather about the
potential joys of repeatedly sharing and interacting with others in
mobile collocated interactions.
others in a fast
and easy way,
they might lose
in mobile collocated
interactions in the
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Andrés Lucero is a senior
researcher at Nokia in Tampere,
Finland, where he leads research
projects. His interests lie in
Matt Jones is a professor of computer science at the FIT Lab,
Swansea University, and the co-author of Mobile Interaction
Design. For more about the lab,
March + April 2013
Sharing Personal Phones
Going back to our initial question
of whether people are willing to
share their mobile devices and
engage in collaborative interactions, in our studies we have found
that people are concerned about
letting other people handle their
personal phones. Often-mentioned
reasons for those concerns were
that they may spill drinks on the
phone when using it in the context
of a bar or cafe, or unintentionally damage it (e.g., scratch the
back when moving the phone on
a surface), beyond the normal
wear and tear that happens from
daily use. People seemed more
comfortable with sharing their
devices with people they know and
trust, such as close friends and
family members, as opposed to
complete strangers. In such cases,
the owners of the phones can
more accurately judge whether or
not someone will be careful with
their phone. On the positive side,
most participants felt that the
benefit of engaging in ad hoc collocated social interactions using the
phones outweighed the potential
risk of damaging the devices. But
first, we must be able to deliver
useful and sensible mobile collocated experiences to people. This
is the first step toward better balancing our networked life with our
intimate, personal life.
Tero Jokela is a principal
researcher at Nokia Research
Center in Tampere, Finland. His
primary research interests include
human-computer interaction and
user interface software, as well as
mobile multimedia applications.
Simon Robinson is a researcher
at the FI T Lab, Swansea
University. He is interested in
interactions that allow people to
maintain their immersion in their
surroundings, rather than a
1. Turkle, S. Alone Together: Why We Expect More
from Technology and Less from Each Other. Basic
Books, N Y, 2011.
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