There is more to Context than Location

Environment Sensing Technologies for Adaptive Mobile User Interfaces

Albrecht Schmidt, Michael Beigl, and Hans-W. Gellersen

Telecooperation Office (TecO), University of Karlsruhe, Germany

{albrecht, michael, hwg}


In this paper we analyze the usage of sensors to improve application of ultra-portable mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), wearable computers, or mobile phones. Ultra-portable devices are characterized by being operational while on the move, and have in common that they are used for different tasks as well as in varying environments and situations. We discuss the concept of context to capture conditions in the usage environment of mobile devices, stressing that there is more to context in mobile computing than location. We motivate key application domains for exploitation of context-awareness, and propose to use environment-sensing technologies for automated context recognition. As example implementation we describe improvement of a PDA user interface based on orientation-sensing. Finally, we propose to use combined sensors for recognition of higher-level contexts beyond specific physical conditions.


Adaptive UI, Context-Awareness, Handheld Computing, Ultra-Mobile Computing, Wearable

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