There will be a MASL Meetup this Wednesday afternoon at 2pm – 2:50, in B2-116 MAK. GVSU Faculty and students interested in mobile technology are welcome to attend this meetup. We will be presenting a couple of papers on past and ongoing MASL projects.

J. Engelsma, F. Jumah, A. Montoya, J. Roth, V. Vasudevan, and G. Zavitz. Shop Social: The Adventures of a Barcode Scanning App in the Wild. Fourth International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services. October 11-12, 2012. Seattle, WA.

Abstract: Mobile retail is a space rich with plausible hypotheses but sparse on longitudinal datasets that give us a corpus of user behavior to validate or disprove theories around the use of digital devices in a physical store. Popular price comparison apps such as ShopSavvy have shown that a smartphone in the aisle is a reality that brick-and-mortar retailers have to contend with. A nuanced, data-driven understanding of a smartphone powered shopper might enable store-based retailers to leverage the smartphone rather than fear it as something that leads to sales erosion. To this end, we built and deployed a novel, mobile retail app that blends mobile, media and social capabilities. In this paper, we describe the user needs and design axioms behind the app, and the data that we’ve collected over the course of its use by about 5,500 users over the period of a year.

A. Restrepo, J. Engelsma, T. Parker and J. Farris. Accessorized Therapeutic Games Experiences for Tablets. Meaningful Play 2012 Conference. October 18-20, 2012. East Lansing, MI.

Abstract: In the world of physical therapy, a number of consumer gaming devices have been used with various levels of success. Most commercially available video games are designed for the general population and are, in most cases, overwhelming and difficult for traumatic brain injury (TBI) or stroke patients to use. Specialized therapeutic medical devices are not only expensive and non-portable, they also make limited use of gamification techniques to better engage and motivate the patient. This paper examines the use of inexpensive, portable handheld devices, together with a custom sensor accessory in order to drive a set of therapist designed and configured, short video games. Games have been designed that are intended to elicit specific therapeutic movements from the patient, are customizable by the therapist for a given patient’s needs, and also produce clinical output for the therapists to use. The games have been evaluated in clinics by physical therapists who treat TBI patients, and the results indicate our approach addresses the shortcomings therapists have experienced with prior attempts at gamification in physical therapy. Moreover, game controllability by the therapist has been identified as a key component in successfully gamifying treatment of TBI patients as it allows the therapist to customize the game experience to suit a patient’s individual needs.