CI-ADDO-NEW: PhoneLab: A Programmable Participatory Smartphone Testbed
Geoffrey Challen Principal Investigator
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The mass deployment of smartphones is changing the world around us. Growing numbers of users carry a powerful computing, communication and sensing platform in their pocket, and the growing worldwide network of smartphones already constitutes the most powerful and pervasive distributed system ever built. Today there are two primary methods for performing smartphone experimentation: distributing experiments through an application marketplace, or assembling a group of participants for a single study. Unfortunately, both of these approaches fail to provide the power, scale, realism and density necessary to enable next-generation mobile computing research.<br/><br/>PhoneLab is a public testbed enabling smartphone research at a scale not previously possible. PhoneLab provides programmatic access to a large group of participants at SUNY Buffalo. Participants use their PhoneLab smartphone as their primary device, generating high geographic density and representative usage patterns. PhoneLab allows researchers to distribute applications or modify the core smartphone platform, facilitating a broad range of experiments. By providing repeated access to the same participants, results can be validated, competing approaches can be compared, and new experiments can utilize existing data. PhoneLab's capabilities will accelerate smartphone research and lead to advances in wireless networking, distributed and mobile systems, mobile sensing, social networking, and crowdsourcing. PhoneLab will also play a vital role in teaching and learning, enabling both new assignments at the college level and secondary school science projects. By exposing students to the transformative power of smartphones, PhoneLab will excite the next generation of computer scientists.