[MyResearch] Location Matters!

Exploring Spatial Features for Collaborative Problem Solving with locative Media Location Matters! is the name of my research project. It deals with how people use space and spatial features to solve problem collaboratively in mobile settings. There is a very wide range of literature concerning how people rely on space during social interactions. For instance, proxemics states that distance between people is a marker that both expresses the kind of interaction that occurs and reveals the social relationships between the interactants. Moreover, space impacts on how people solve problem collaboratively. Former experiments revealed very interesting facts about that topic like the fact that people rely on space for division of labor or that an individual could used space to infer their partners's strategies.

Nowadays, information about space, and location in particular are available on lots of devices like mobile phones, PDA and so on. We would like to investigate the added values of giving people information about their physical location as well as other contextual cues. Location-aware systems take advantage of the users change of location to aid the user in certain tasks. The actual utility of context-awareness in mobile systems has been demonstrated in a wide range of application examples, in obvious domains such as fieldwork and tourism. However, it appears that most of the applications are devoted to individual activities or just cooperative activities. Just few systems indeed supports joint and collaborative tasks.

The idea of this research project is to test the effectiveness of an application that provide users with spatial information. Experimental studies will be conducted in order to study the cogntive impacts of those tools. The research question is to study how modelling the partner's spatial position with mobile devices impacts on collaboration. What are the outcomes with regard to performance, division of labor, understanding of the task. In sum, this project aims to examinate the socio-cognitive roles of space in collaborative teams using mobile technologies.