Mobile Brands and Data Privacy

As mobile Web including location-based services evolves, data privacy concerns, especially in relation the the commerial use of data, arise. Today the seminar revolved around the different aspects of data privacy in mobile Web.

Our guest speaker was Dr. Nils Christian Haag from intersoft consulting services, specialising in data protection, IT security and IT compliance. The guest lecture was delivered and recorded in Adobe Connect and can be now viewed on Vimeo.

Dr. Haag explained the term “data retention” and the reasons behind different regulations aiming at retention of data. He also refered to diverging tendencies on the European leven and national level in Germany. Some of the interesting examples of how location-based services can be used to track and analyse our movements were user movement profiles that can be reconstructed based on device-based positioning. These examples make clear that we need to understand and discuss the privacy implications of  geolocalisation.

Another thrilling example was the futuristic vision of location- and context-based advertising from the film “Minority Report”. Just click the link to see the scene from this film showing how the advertising of the future may look like.

Here is the recording of Dr. Haags’s guest lecture:

Right after the guest lecture, a group of students presented their project on “Mobile Brands”, in which they focused on current battles of brands in mobile Web. A very interesting presentation, which I hope to be able to link to soon …


Mobile Entertainment

Yesterday in the course “Mobile Web/Sociology of Technology” at Beuth University in Berlin another group of students presented the results of their research on Mobile Entertainment. They distributed their survey via Facebook, Mahra and among friends and received 53 responses which they could analyse. The aim of the survey was to build user categories depending on the different uses of Mobile Entertainment.

Here are some socio-demographics:

  • 89% were male respondents
  • 60% age of 22-30
  • 86% had a smartphone
  • 83% of smartphone users had a flatrate
  • 47% had the annual salary of 1.500-2.500€
  • 56% regarded themselves as experts in the use of smartphones

As far as the use of Mobile Entertainment is concerned:

89% of smartphone users use different types of Mobile Entertainment, i.e.:
  • 44% Mobile Audio
  • 37% Mobile Gaming
  • 12% Mobile Video
  •  7% Mobile TV

As far as intensity of daily use of Mobile Entertainment:

  • 43%   1-10 min
  • 48%   10-30min
  • 7%   30-60min
  • 2%  >1h

Based on these and other data students could build two categories of users:

  • Casual Users: use Mobile Entertainment less frequently, download less than 20 apps, mostly free apps and are in general not willing to pay for Mobile Entertainment apps.
  • Power Users: use Mobile Entertainment more frequently, download over 20 apps and spent approx. 1 € per Mobile Entertainment app.


Mobile Learner

The next project presented at the Beuth University in the course “Mobile Web” (#AW600) was titled “Mobile Learner”. A group of four students wanted to explore how Mobile Web is used for learning, especially in terms of:

  • searching for information
  • finding references
  • supporting problem-solving
  • conducting calculations

The students invited about 200 persons to participate in the study. This was mainly done by email and via Facebook. Eventually 36 persons with an average age of 25 years of age answered all questions asked by this group. Here are some of the results:

  • 33 out of 36 said they use mobile Web for learning – some of them do so once or twice a week for approx. 15 minutes, some of them do it more intensively 4-5 hours a day.
  • Most of the participants of this study said they use mobile Web for learning when they are on the campus or on public transport
  • Most of the participants don’t use apps but access informaton via mobile browsers
  • Most participants use mobile Web for learning to search for information. The most popular websites accessed via mobile Web are Google and Wikipedia
  • Three participants use special services such as Wolfram Alpha for computational problem-solving.
  • One participant uses mobile Web to work on an ePortfolio.
  • Most of the participant wish better display quality, faster and ubiquitous Internet connection and longer battery runtimes in order to use mobile Web for learning more intensively.

Mobile City

This week we started presenting student projects as part of the course “Mobile Web – Perspectives and Challenges”. The first student project – Mobile City –   was presented today by a group of four students.

All student projects start with a research question related to Mobile Web. The group project Mobile City wanted to find out what mobile applications are used in cities for orientation, parking, travelling etc. The group conducted a survey with over 50 participants, most of them 18-25 year old. The survey participants were recruited on Facebook and among local friends. Almost 80% were male.

Here are some of the results related to the use of mobile Web in the city:

  • Approx. 30 % use local news
  • Approx. 25% use social networks like Facebook
  • Over 20% use public transportation itineraries
  • Approx. 20% use Wikipedia
  • Less than 20% use mobile city guides
  • None of the participants buys event or parking tickets from their mobile devices

Some of the benefits of mobile city applications that participants of the study listed were:

  • Easy and quick access to information
  • Better orientation and personalized mobility
  • Personalized information

Some of the drawbacks named by the participants were:

  • Lack of contact to real people
  • Strong reliability on the device
  • Lost in the city if batter is out/device not working

All groups document their project work in group e-portfolios in Mahara. The next step is to write the final report on the study based on the feedback the group got today from me and other students. As soon as the group publishes their presentation, I will post the link to it here.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce as a type of electronic transactions or electronic commerce with the use of mobile communication technologies and devices was on our agenda at Beuth University in Berlin yesterday. The main discussion topics were the new possibilities of mobile marketing and how they change the communication between enterprises and customers. We had a look at some new practices from both the providers’ perspective and from the consumers’ perspective.

We hosted a quest presentation by the B2B consultant Doris Schuppe, who illustrated some current practices in mobile commerce by showing a number of interesting examples ranging from location-based services to augmented reality. The presented examples included: Barcoo,  QR Code Reader,  MyTaxi,  Ludwig II, Layar,  Junaio, Foursquare . You can see her presentation on SlideShare. The recoding of the presentation from Adobe Connect can be viewed on Vimeo.

Here is the list of links Doris Schuppe used in her presentation

Thank you @DoSchu for this great insight into mobile commerce!

Mobile Content

Mobile Content was the topic of yesterday’s seminar in our course “Mobile Web” at BHT in Berlin.

Accodring to Wikipedia mobile content is “any type of media which is viewed or used on mobile phones, like ringtones, graphics, discount offers, games, movies, and GPS navigation”. Yesterday we focused on two types of mobile content:

  • different types of apps adailable in app stores
  • mobile user generated content (mUSG)

Comparing different statistics shows that some of the most pupular app categories being dowloaded by a great number of users include: entertainment, personalisation, books and references and most of all games (e.g. AppBrain, Nielsen).

We also discussed such issues as the pros and cons of in-app purchising (Apple) or in-app billing (Android), pros and cons of app stores in general and had a look at some current practises related to mobile user generated such as TV reporter at RTL.

Our guest speaker was Daniel Rieber from Interrogare specialising in Market Research. Daniel Rieber introduced some interesting reasearch projects and results related to mobile content. The recording of this virtual presentation (Adobe Connect) can be viewed below or on our Vimeo Channel called “Web 2.0 and Mobile Web“. Thanx for watching!


Mobile Web Use

How students use mobile web? This is one of the first questions I asked my students at the onset of the course “Mobile Web: Social impact and perspectives” at Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin/Germany. As I wanted to take a more systematic approach and compare the results with some larger-scale studies, I used some of the questions that were asked in the study conducted by accenture in 2011:

Mobile Web Watch 2011. Germany, Austria, Switzerland. The chances of the mobile evolution.

In order to get responses via desktops and smartphones without having the students set up accounts or download anything, I used polleverywhere, which turned out to be a good option for conducting a short survey in the seminar room in a quick and easy way. I also noticed that it was an engaging way of presenting research results to students.

Interestingly, the survey results from students correspond pretty well to the results from the accenture study, for example:

  • Only 25% use their mobile devices for mobile web
  • 39% of those who do not use mobile web say, that it is enough for them to use desktop devices to access Internet
  • 17% say that the connection is too slow
  • 76% of those who use mobile web do it several times a day
  • 88% of those who use mobile do it for private use
  • 43% never uses Facebook, Twitter or Social Networks via their mobile devices
  • 48% never uses location-based services, 31% uses location-based services only once a month or less
  • 71% never uses or does not have a tablet/iPad
  • 30% uses Nokia, 30% Apple mobile devices, noone uses BlackBerry or LG
  • 31% of students have mobile devices that are less then one year old, 38% between 1 and 2 years old

This short survey gave me the first insight into how students at our university use mobile web. I am curious to see how this can change within the semester. I found it also very interesting to discover what students think are the necessary conditions for using mobile web the university. Most students said that what they need most of all are: stable WLAN which is accessible everywhere, longer battery lifespans but also a common understanding of how to use mobile devices at the university.