Date of Award

6-2012

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Dr. Franz Kurfess, Dr. John Bellardo

Abstract

Today's mobile computing platforms provide new, convenient possibilities for location-based commercial activity. In particular, the global positioning system (GPS) provides location data for local advertising and retail activity. In this thesis, we take the next step and introduce the concept of micro check-in. Micro check-in is a simple framework that allows users to match their current location to specific objects or places at a resolution much finer than that allowed by GPS based check-in. We show that micro check-in enables customers to reveal their location at a fine level of granularity. By describing the concepts of points of service, service providers, users, and the enabling technology, we present a generalized, abstract, framework for designing, developing, and analyzing micro check-in based systems.

We discuss several new applications that open up as a result of the combination of real-life and digital communication channel as a result of the micro check-in process. For example, micro check-in could prove quite useful to customers at a restaurant table, a gym equipment station, an exhibit at a museum and many more. This thesis studies micro check-in applied to the process of ordering food from a table at a restaurant and present the beneficial tradeoffs enabled by micro check-in. We find that the micro check-in framework has promising applications in several areas, but specifically utilize the restaurant application, OnTable, to prove the potential use of the micro check-in framework.

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