A Cooperative Framework for Information Browsing in Mobile Environment

A Cooperative Framework for Information Browsing in Mobile Environment

Zhigang Hua (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China), Xing Xie (Microsoft Research Asia, China), Hanqing Lu (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China) and Wei-Ying Ma (Microsoft Research Asia, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch042
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Abstract

Through pervasive computing, users can access information and applications anytime, anywhere, using any device. But as mobile devices such as Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), SmartPhone, and consumer appliance continue to flourish, it becomes a significant challenge to provide more tailored and adaptable services for this diverse group. To make it easier for people to use mobile devices effectively, there exist many hurdles to be crossed. Among them is small display size, which is always a challenge. Usually, applications and documents are mainly designed with desktop computers in mind. When browsing through mobile devices with small display areas, users’ experiences will be greatly degraded (e.g., users have to continually scroll through a document to browse). However, as users acquire or gain access to an increasingly diverse range of portable devices (Coles, Deliot, & Melamed, 2003), the changes of the display area should not be limited to a single device any more, but extended to the display areas on all available devices. As can be readily seen from practice, the simplest multi-device scenario is when a user begins an interaction on a first access device, then ceases to use the first device and completes the interaction using another access device. This simple scenario illustrates a general concern about a multi-device browsing framework: the second device should be able to work cooperatively to help users finish browsing tasks. In this article, we propose a cooperative framework to facilitate information browsing among devices in mobile environment. We set out to overcome the display constraint in a single device by utilizing the cooperation of multiple displays. Such a novel scheme is characterized as: (1) establishing a communication mechanism to maintain cooperative browsing across devices; and (2) designing a distributed user interface across devices to cooperatively present information and overcome the small display area limited by a single device.

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