Mobile phone location in public places

A good one about mobile phone location in public plaecs: WHERE'S THE PHONE? A STUDY OF MOBILE PHONE LOCATION IN PUBLIC SPACES by F. Ichikawa, J. Chipchase, R. Grignani (from Nokia), Mobility 2005 conference in Guangzhou, China. The paper describes characteristics of how mobile phones are carried whilst users are out and about in public spaces. This emereged from series of contextual interviews in public spaces of Helsinki, Milan and New York. The point of this research is to get some insights about designing handheld technology: there is a need for users to explicitly remember to carry them from place to place. That's why they investigated where people keep their phones when they are in mobile context so that they canFind out if there are specific profiles of the user tied to the phone location. The last goal was to verify if there is any influence of the phone location to the user or their perception on phone interaction.

most male participants carried their phones in trousers front pocket and female participants in their shoulder bags. High penetration of front pocket, which can be tight and uncomfortable, shows that a mere capacity of the location is not enough to influence where users should keep their phone. A high concentration of males over 30 used belt clips, which we interpret to be because of the relative importance of convenience and security (risk of theft of the device) over appearance.

Why do I blog this? once in a while Nokia gives a bit of its research... it's then nice to see what they are looking at and how they are doing so. The article is full of other interesting findings as well as ideas of how they can impact design of future products (flexible displays? what if new featurea re included...)