Ad Hoc Networks and Mobile Devices in Emergency Response – A Perfect Match?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering. 2010, 49 17-33. 10.1007/978-3-642-17994-5_2
In this paper we use findings from three empirical studies to analyze how the use of wireless ad hoc networks as part of an ICT solution for emergency response imposes requirements to the user interface of these solutions. The analysis starts by arguing that explicit details about the network used (like availability, coverage and connected nodes) should be visualized for the user and may be used by applications to obtain useful information. It continues by discussing requirements to user interfaces for local leaders and field workers, identifying cross-platform support as an important need for the leaders and supporting different modalities as an important need for field workers. These and other requirements are used as input to an analysis of challenges when developing these user interfaces, concluding that handling flexibility is essential. Finally, we turn around and look at ad hoc networks from a user interface perspective. In particular, we present requirements to ad hoc networks used in ICT solutions for emergency response, focusing on size, speed and providing awareness of network status through the nodes in the network themselves.