Blog post

Mobile devices

By Peter West • 22nd March 2014 14:19

Originally posted for the
Web Science COMP6051 module, University of Southampton

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly pervasive and, with high speed internet becoming more common in these devices, there is greater opportunity for rich media consumption in pervasive contexts. For these reasons, we have chosen to focus our social network on mobile devices.

Pervasiveness

The introduction of mobile devices has bought about a “post-pc” era of innovation. Smartphones, for example, are increasingly personal – people carry phones with them throughout the day, motivating the design of features such as “Siri” (iPhone’s personal assistant) or GPS tagged photos.

The personal nature of mobile devices is a feature which we think will be particularly important for our social network for two reasons. First, the majority of UK citizens now own a smartphone (approximatly 72%), meaning there is a large audience for our product. A larger audience means a larger demand and more users, which in turn provides more demand. Second, our social network is for creating and consuming creative content, and as such should allow users to express themselves in creative ways. Personal devices could provide a more personal experience, increasing the expressiveness of our product.

Rich media

Mobile devices are appropriate for the creation and consumption of rich media due to their functionality. Smartphones, for example, usually have a number of input devices: camera, microphone, touch screen, GPS and accelerometer. This variety of input mediums permits the creation of a vast array of types of rich media.

Left: Apple iPhone 5S, displaying images on a full screen colour display. Photo: Apple.  Right: Samsung Galaxy Tab4 10.1, displaying a large colour display. Photo: Samsung.
Left: Apple iPhone 5S, displaying images on a full screen colour display. Photo: Apple.
Right: Samsung Galaxy Tab4 10.1, displaying a large colour display. Photo: Samsung.

Our social network is designed to provide people with space to express themselves in creative ways. Users should be provided with a choice of mediums, from which they will be able to choose the most suitable. The diversity of input mediums that can be created using mobile devices is therefore something we consider important in the design of our social network.

A social network for mobile devices

Due to the pervasiveness of mobiles and their support of diverse rich mediums, we consider mobile devices to be a very suitable platform. For these reasons, we will be targeting our social network at mobile devices. The devices will undoubtedly include smartphones, but may also include tablet computers.