Session Proposal–Using mobile devices for data collection

I’ve become very interested in the potential for using mobile devices as  collection tools for primary data.  As an ethnographer, I’m especially interested in the ways a mobile app could be developed to enable research participants to collect data (audio, video, still images, etc) that would normally require the presence of a researcher.  An app could also help automate much of the workflow to convert primary data into formats that are analyzable by social science researchers (an archival step could also be easily added to this workflow for long-term preservation).   Furthermore, it could be used to facilitate greater participation by research subjects within the the research process and greater reflexivity between participants and researchers.

There are one or two mobile products out there for this type of research, but these continue to require (in my opinion) a great deal of training to use effectively, and may not be sufficiently flexible for all  methodologies.

I am therefore at the point where I have an idea for the kind of app that I (and hopefully others) would like to have, but I have essentially no experience in what it takes to develop one.   My proposal then, is if there are other people interested in this type of project, we could talk through what the requirements would be and what it would take to get started.



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