As promised here is the link to the PDF of my Master’s Thesis, Moleskine to Mobile : How Creative Professionals are Using Their Mobile, as submitted to Trinity College, Dublin, on March 31, 2006, towards a M.Sc. in Multimedia Systems at the Computer Science Dept.
I would like to say a big Thank You to all of the folk who took my survey and interviews, without your respones this thesis would be a much poorer document.
This work is copyrighted 2006 by Jenifer Hanen. Please note that the use and sharing of the content of this thesis is permitted for fair use academic and non-commercial purposes with full attribution. If you wish to reproduce more than 2 paragraphs of content or use the content for commercial purposes, please contact me.
Here is the Summary:
In 2004, there were 1.756 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and these mobile devices are now commonly equipped with camera and video recording, however basic. Given the worldwide penetration of these mobile devices, are artists, designers, writers, and other creative professionals using their mobile devices as a replacement to the ever present sketchbook that many creative individuals have carried with them in the past? Has the presence of a mobile device which can record text, photos, videos or sound increased the productive output of the creative professional?
This thesis examines the use of the mobile phone as a note taking device, a sketchbook, and increasingly, as a tool to create finished or realized pieces, in the last five years and as they are currently being utilized by artists, designers, and writers.
The Introduction raises the questions that the thesis will answer: As pocket and purse space is at a premium, how many creative professionals are replacing their sketchbooks with a mobile device? Are these mobile phones merely for note taking and communication purposes or are they becoming an integral tool in the hands of the artist or designer for creative production or documentation of the world around them for later use? Are creative professionals becoming more prolific due to the easily accessible mobile device?
Chapter One – The Mobile Phone – examines the history and uses of mobile devices, the camera phone and first mobile weblogs (moblogs), Molly Steenson’s challenge to designers and internet futurists to forget the desktop / page paradigm and shift to the mobile. This thesis offers a vision of a creative mobile use.
Chapter Two – Artists, Designers, Writers and Mobile Devices – this chapter gives a snapshot the wide range of how creative individuals and communities have been using their mobile phones from the inception of the moblog in late 2002 to early 2006. The question of who, the mobile handset manufacturers or service providers or the user, is driving and restricting creative innovation is raised.
Chapter Three – The Research – What methodology was used? How the survey and interviews were conducted? The survey and interview results are reviewed and analyzed.
Chapter Four – Where do we go from here? – The conclusion of the thesis determines that creative professionals and non-professionals are using their mobile phones and devices to creative ends. For at least one-third, the use of the mobile camera phone or PDA device is increasing their productivity. More education is needed for many non-technical users and the current system of the service provider who also sells the handset may need to be altered for a fuller adoption of the creative use of the mobile device worldwide.