Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.


  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

BACKGROUND

Mobile services are services delivered to customers via mobile technology artifacts such as mobile networks and mobile devices. One characteristic of mobile services is that they can be delivered to customers anytime and anywhere due to the ability of mobile technology. Thus, it is believed that mobile services are highly related to the environment that the customers are in at the time the services are needed. Location may be one of the most important factors used to describe environment. People may have different needs when they are in different places. For example, when a person is driving, what he wants is the direction to get to his destination, whereas when he is in the office what he wants is important information related to his business. Location-based services can be defined as "services that integrate a mobile device's location or position with other information so as to provide added value to a user" (Spiekermann, 2004). However, there are other elements in environment besides location, such as time which is related to "context." In fact, in Spiekermann's (2004) definition we notice the mention of "other information." "Context" may be defined as "any information that can be used to characterize the situation of entities that are considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and the application themselves." Context is typically the location, identification, and the state of people, groups, and computational and physical objects" (Dey, Abowd, & Salber, 2001). This definition actually gives a very complete list of components of context. Since this definition is not provided for mobile services the question still remains: what should be included as part of context for mobile services? Zhang (2003) mentioned that there are preferences of mobile services users, mobile devices, and the wireless network. Rao and Minakakis (2003) suggested that time, reason customers are in the location, means by which customers come to this location, and preferences of customers, and so forth, are also important information besides location. Abowd and Mynatt (2000) pointed out specifically that context should include the "five W": who, what, where, when, and why. By "who," Abowd and Mynatt (2000) meant not only the type of roles people played in context but also the identification of them. For example, it is not enough to identify that a person is a customer. To be more complete, this person's past actions and service related background should also be identified. "What" refers to the activities done by people involved in the context and interactions between them. "Where" is about location information. "When" concerns the time. "Where" and "When" are closely related to each other. "Why" is about the reason that "who" does "what." "Why" is a very complicated idea and it is actually the operating principle of the whole context sensitive information systems.

Based on the aforementioned literature, we consider the following elements as important components of context for context sensitive mobile services. Location is the first element. Providing location based services is the first task of context sensitive mobile services. Time is the second element of CSMS because people are moving and therefore location is changing with time. The third element of CSMS is mobile technology. By mobile technologies we refer to the hardware and the software that allows transmission of data between mobile devices or between mobile and fixed devices wirelessly. These elements are inter-related. Mobile technologies work as an enabler of CSMS. Mobile technology enables CSMS not only by providing mobile devices but also by connecting these devices so that services can be sent to people anywhere and anytime. On the other hand, the characteristic of mobile technology is also a part of the context. Services delivered via mobile networks should be displayable or executable on customers' mobile devices. By mobile technologies, it is also possible to get information about customers' locations. Again, timing is indispensable from location. Customers' needs vary at different time. Also, the status of location and mobile network condition also changes from time to time. For example, a main road becomes crowded at office hour while it remains almost empty at midnight. There are other elements which can be used to describe the context, such as information about service itself, which is what CSMS delivers to customers. It is relatively difficult to name them because different applications have different characteristics. After all, customers' interests should also be taken into consideration because customers are the center of all these business applications.


  

You are currently reading a PREVIEW of this book.

                                                                                                                    

Get instant access to over $1 million worth of books and videos.

  

Start a Free Trial


  
  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint