ITcon Vol. 9, pg. 355-366, http://www.itcon.org/2004/25

Mobility support for distributed collaborative teamwork

submitted:July 2003
revised:May 2004
published:August 2004
editor(s):Rebolj D. and Menzel K.
authors:Mathias Johanson, Ph.D.
Alkit Communications
email: mathias@alkit.se, http://www.alkit.se

Peter Törlind, Ph.D.
Polhem Laboratory, Division of Computer Aided Design, Luleå University of Technology
email: peter.torlind@cad.luth.se, http://www.cad.luth.se
summary:Following the trend in computer and network architecture towards smaller and lighter devices that are more or less constantly connected to the Internet through wireless access networks, mobile computing has emerged as a promising means to improve the possibilities of distributed collaborative teamwork. However, the mobility support implemented in state of the art collaboration software has hitherto been rather limited. In this paper we investigate the emerging technologies for wireless network access and mobile computing, how mobility support can be built into the software tools used today for distributed collaborative teamwork, and the benefits it gives users. The main focus is on synchronous, real-time communication tools like multimodal teleconferencing, and the perspective is both technical and methodological. Until now text has been the primary medium for mobile collaboration and our key finding is that user mobility support for video can substantially enhance the possibilities for informal, spontaneous communication between team members. Furthermore, we argue that mobility support for the applications in question is more appropriately implemented at the application level rather than at the network level.
keywords:computer supported cooperative work, distributed engineering, collaborative engineering, mobility, video-mediated communication.
full text: (PDF file, 0.18 MB)
citation:Johanson M and Törlind P (2004). Mobility support for distributed collaborative teamwork, ITcon Vol. 9, Special issue Mobile Computing in Construction, pg. 355-366, http://www.itcon.org/2004/25