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Ubiquitous computing for person-environment research: Opportunities, considerations, and future directions


Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) devices promise to provide ecologically valid and reliable assessments of people, their behavior, and environments in the natural stream of daily life. In doing so, ubicomp devices are set to address the challenges that historically have been associated with real-time assessment in person-environment research. To help researchers fully embrace the potential of ubicomp technologies, we use this chapter to introduce three types of ubicomp devices (smartphones, wearables, smart home appliances) that permit the collection of fine-grained data via their onboard sensors and metadata logs. Through an illustrative literature review, we critically evaluate these technologies and the analytic techniques with which they are typically coupled, allowing researchers to understand the opportunities presented by ubicomp devices for person-environment research. We conclude by discussing relevant research considerations (both practical and ethical), along with future directions for ubicomp research as it integrates with social science more broadly.

Sumer S. Vaid
Saeed Abdullah
Edison Thomaz
Gabriella Harari
Measuring and Modeling Persons and Situations.
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