Location awareness and its effects on rendezvousing

A paper close to my research topic (the impacts of location awareness on collaborative processes/behavior): Effect of Location-Awareness on Rendezvous Behaviour by David Dearman, Kirstie Hawkey, Kori Inkpen, Dalhousie University, Canada. Short paper at CHI 2005:This paper is a very interesting account of an field study. It investigates how location-aware technology impacts social behaviour within the context of rendezvousing (meeting at an agreed upon time and location). Three different technology conditions were investigated: Mobile phones / Location-aware handheld computers / Both mobile phones and location-aware handheld computers. Data was collected via field notes, audio recordings, data logging, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews.


Regardless of the technology provided to the participants, all of the pairs were able to complete the rendezvous tasks without much difficulty. However, the results of this study clearly demonstrate that the participants exhibited very different behaviours depending on the technology used. (...) Mobile phones are an easy medium to assist people in communicating information about actions and intentions (i.e. ‘what are you are doing?’ or ‘where are you planning to go?’). This information can be difficult to gather from sensor-based devices such as location-aware handhelds. In contrast, >sensor-based devices are very good at gathering overt contextual information, such as location, in a very unobtrusive manner. However, they provide little assistance in interpreting the associated state of the person. In our study, when participants were given both devices, they easily recognized the strengths of each device and utilized each appropriately (i.e. monitoring their partner’s location with the handheld and using the mobile phone to call when they were confused about what the person was doing).