Anonymous Tasks - Mobile Interaction

The project aims to encourage the use of mobile devices to complete a simple collective task by gathering images from around the user based on anonymous requests. The user is presented with a request collected from other mobile users for which they must for fill in order to progress the application. For instance when the application is run the previous request and answer image is initially shown before the next task is presented to the user. This task can take any form but must be answerable with an image of some sort. For instance the user may be asked to take a photo with a stranger or something simpler such as walking 10 paces and taking a photo of the first thing they see. This response is then saved and the person is given the opportunity to set a task for the next user of the application. This will then continue as people undertake anonymous tasks set by other users. People are then able to see a timeline of the requested tasks and the images received.

The main purpose of this project is to create a simple application that connects unrelated people through the completion of tasks. The project allows people to use their imagination to create tasks that will hopefully be completed by the following user. By creating a task you are causing actions to be directly taken based on your instruction somewhere else in the world. The purpose of the project is to highlight the willingness and imagination of people through the use of user generated content driving the development of the application. Without the continued input and participation of users the application will stagnate and so the hope is to show how their actions bring direct change.

The project is formed of a J2ME application and an associated website and database. The application once run downloads XML data describing the previous user generated request and the image answer that was provided. The image is downloaded via the URL described within the XML data and presented to the user. Once the user has viewed this they are then able to simply view the latest request asked by the previous user. When a suitable response is ready to be sent the user takes a photo from within the application which is then uploaded to the server via FTP. The file details are then associated with the original request so that subsequent users can see the previous response to the posed question. The user now has the opportunity to create a further request for the next user of the application. Once the question has been created this is added to the database through a simple HTTP GET request containing the appropriate information. Through this the system is self perpetuating due to the use of user generated content.

At present the application is only partially complete and does not provide a means for users to view timeline data of previous tasks. This will be addressed through the creation of an associated user visible website for the application. As the aim of the project is to show how people from various locations can be brought together further work could be undertake geo tagging each image to shows the variety of users and the locations of completed tasks. This would allow the distance between requester and responder to be highlighted showing this connection.

More Info


Anonomous Task