Co-Located User Interaction with Social Mobile Devices

CoSMo in Brief

What if mobile devices could proactively initiate interactions between people?

The CoSMo project studies user needs for proactive, "social mobile devices", as well as implements demonstrators of the concept in various contexts of social interaction. Modern smart devices are capable of sensing the presence of other devices, as well as gathering various information about the user’s context. This information can be used for providing people with proactive services that facilitate interaction with other people.

Social mobile devices could, for example:

As one of the practical outcomes we are building a software framework that allows easily creating applications on Social Devices, please see the separate page about the platform. The platform currently supports Android, Windows Phone and Arduino -based systems. The project is both utilizing the platform to build demonstrator applications and constantly updating its capabilities and support of different technical systems.

CoSMo tag cloud

Research objectives

In order to let devices appear as social requires research also on new interaction techniques, such as speech- and gesture-based interaction, and a social protocol for the devices. People and proactive, context-aware mobile devices can form a new kind of socio-digital system, such as that in the figure below.

The main goal of the project is to implement prototypes of social mobile devices, based on Cloud Computing and novel interaction techniques. In detail, practical research objectives include:

CoSMo interaction model

Studies and demonstrations

We're currently building functional demonstrations of social devices in different social roles: e.g. creating "tickets-to-talk" to initiate discussions between unfamiar co-located people, or enriching the interaction between a group of friends with slightly provocative comments or suggestions. Furthermore, we're running user studies with various methods and approaches in order to understand how people would accept the new proactive and social role of mobile devices, as well as what is the user experience of this kind of new ecosystem of devices.

Funding and collaboration

The project is funded by the Academy of Finland and lasts for three years, 2013-2015. Close collaboration will take place with University of Stuttgart and Mobile Life Centre in Stockholm, as well as with the Finnish TIVIT ICT shok projects Cloud Software, Services and Internet of Things.

Partners and personnel

The project is executed by the Dept. of Pervasive Computing, including the research units of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) and Web and Mobile Programming. The project is led by Professors Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila and Tommi Mikkonen. The research staff includes:


(last updated 29.8.2013)

If you wish to participate to our studies (e.g. in interviews or filling in surveys) or are otherwise interested in our research, feel free to contact userstudies or directly the project personnel.
© 2013 Department of Pervasive Computing – Tampere University of Technology