4th Workshop on HCI in Mobile Guides 2005
In conjunction with the 6th Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Mobile Systems (AIMS), University of Salzburg, Austria, 19th September 2005
The scientific community can meanwhile look back on more than 10 years of research into mobile devices and mobile applications. Early in the 90s, the research focussed on small devices and wireless technologies to support location-aware services. From early lab prototypes, the technology soon grew into demonstrators in various application fields, among them museum guides and tourism guides. The problem of guiding mobile people is a significant mobile applications research area. While there are already maps and yellow pages available on mobile devices as commercial products, the more challenging location-aware and context-aware services still demand further research, both from a technological and from a human factors perspective. Overall, this is a technology-driven area, where new generations of hardware and new dimensions of wireless infrastructure promise a huge potential to improve services and create new applications. However, following closely on the heels of technological enthusiasm, there must also come research into real user needs in order to explore the usefulness, usability and user acceptance of what is possible. Such research is crucial in order to influence and inform application development in a user-oriented way. For this special issue of Behaviour and Information Technology on "Mobile Guides - an HCI perspective" we have chosen five contributions that tackle some of the more challenging issues: Two papers deal with the use of landmarks to enhance navigation support for mobile people; One paper reflects on a series of no less than seven field studies in order to investigate user needs and user acceptance of mobile guides; One paper focussing on which methods are most suitable for the user evaluation of mobile services; One paper deals with a more detailed aspect of the usability of mobile services, i.e. the use of spatial metaphors in a voice-controlled user interface to mobile services.