A large and growing proportion of the general population in the UK and similar nations routinely carry smart phones and access the Internet while on the go. However, especially in rural areas, mobile Internet access can be intermittent and slow, and the particularities of the immediate locality can get lost in the non-geographical vastness of the Internet. In order to understand more about the opportunities and challenges of connecting with customers and visitors in-situ on their mobile phones we extended a media authoring and distribution research system to support both Internet-based and off-Internet situated displays for discovering and downloading local multimedia content. Within a broader participatory process, we ran a workshop with members of the community of a small countryside town, working with participants to understand the local relevance of this kind of system. The ability to work off-Internet was considered important in some specific rural situations. The local and situated character of the system led to a proposal to establish a town-wide network and a common identity through such a system, and through this to steer visitors from entry points (e.g. significant tourist sites) to other sites and enterprises within the town.
Greenhalgh, C., Chamberlain, A., Davies, M., Glover, K., Valchovska, S., & Crabtree, A. (2014). Displaying locality: connecting with customers and visitors in-situ via their mobile devices. In PerDis '14 Proceedings of The International Symposium on Pervasive Displaysdoi:10.1145/2611009.2611021