Updating the Classifications of Mobile Music Projects

John, David

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper reviews the mobile music projects that have been presented at NIMEin the past ten years in order to assess whether the changes in technology haveaffected the activities of mobile music research. An overview of mobile musicprojects is presented using the categories that describe the main activities:projects that explore the influence and make use of location; applications thatshare audio or promote collaborative composition; interaction using wearabledevices; the use of mobile phones as performance devices; projects that exploreHCI design issues. The relative activity between different types of activity isassessed in order to identify trends. The classification according totechnological, social or geographic showed an overwhelming bias to thetechnological, followed by social investigations. An alternative classificationof survey product, or artifact reveals an increase in the number of productsdescribed with a corresponding decline in the number of surveys and artisticprojects. The increase in technical papers appears to be due to an enthusiasmto make use of increased capability of mobile phones, although there are signsthat the initial interest has already peaked, and researchers are againinterested to explore technologies and artistic expression beyond existingmobile phones.