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Understanding Mobile Phone Situated Sustainability: The Influence of Local Constraints and Practices on Transferability
January-March 2009 (vol. 8 no. 1)
pp. 46-53
Elaine M. Huang, Motorola Labs
Koji Yatani, University of Toronto
Khai N. Truong, University of Toronto
Julie A. Kientz, University of Washington
Shwetak N. Patel, University of Washington
Mobile phones are the most prevalent example of pervasive computing technologies in use today, with phone subscriptions reaching 3.3 billion in 2007. According to a 2005 estimate, consumers discard roughly 125 million mobile phones into landfills every year. Although devices continue to proliferate, viable options for ecologically responsible solutions remain elusive, inaccessible, or unknown to users. In this article, the authors examine people's practices with mobile phones, particularly those surrounding end-of-use. They focus on the differences and commonalities between practices in North America, Japan, and Germany, and the impact of varying local constraints on mobile phone sustainability. Building upon previous research examining sustainability and mobile phone ownership decisions, they explore the notion of situated sustainability by looking at how mobile phone sustainability is affected by local and community factors.

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Index Terms:
mobile phones, pervasive computing, sustainable design, Human-Computer Interaction, qualitative studies
Citation:
Elaine M. Huang, Koji Yatani, Khai N. Truong, Julie A. Kientz, Shwetak N. Patel, "Understanding Mobile Phone Situated Sustainability: The Influence of Local Constraints and Practices on Transferability," IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 46-53, Jan.-March 2009, doi:10.1109/MPRV.2009.19
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