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Mobile, Web and Multi-device

From: Dominique Hazael-Massieux <dom@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 13:09:09 +0200
Message-ID: <1379416149.16187.28.camel@cumulustier>
To: public-web-mobile@w3.org
Hi,

A recent tweet on @w3c_webmob triggered a discussion which touched among
other things on the scope of mobile, and the scope of this IG:
https://twitter.com/w3c_webmob/status/379541848953323520

Since this is a topic that will doubtlessly come back on the table
often, I thought it might be useful to bring the discussion here.

Defining what a mobile device is a certainly a difficult endeavor, full
of semantic traps; although I think "phone, tablets, and their hybrids"
is probably a reasonable approximation of what most of us have in mind,
I think it's probably more useful to look why we talk about "mobile" in
the first place.

As far as I can tell, the main reason "mobile" is so popular is that it
combines a number of characteristics:
* always (or at least, very easily) connected
* easy to transport 
* easy to start
* allowing rich interactions

It so happens that these characteristics are today best embodied in
smartphones and tablets.

But these characteristics also point to a fundamental role that "mobile"
is set to play in the coming years (as was repeatedly pointed out in the
twitter thread): it will act as a hub of our connected devices in
general (as I've tried to highlight in an ALA column back in March [1]).

This becomes particularly interesting because the Web is also acting as
hub for development, due to its presence on most (if not all) connected
devices out there.

Part of our goals in this IG is to refine and develop that vision:
        "Definition of requirements that enable Web technologies to be
        used to enable cross- and multi-device user experiences."
http://www.w3.org/2013/07/webmobile-ig-charter.html

There are obviously a lot of open questions in this field (how much
responsive design can help, how do we enable device discovery, how do we
compose applications across devices, etc), and only very few early
answers.

It would be great if this thread could serve as a starting point to
identify these questions in more details :)

Dom

1. http://alistapart.com/column/the-web-on-mobile-and-beyond
Received on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:09:28 UTC

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