Challenges on Collecting Smartphone Data in Cold Environments

Smartphones can be considered the cheapest and well-penetrated devices for collecting everyday human behaviour data. However, smartphones, as any battery-dependant electronic devices, face a number of problems when exposed to below-freezing conditions, from sudden crashes and decreased battery life to challenging usage experiences such as freezing fingers especially during prolonged periods of time. In this paper, we present the results of a user survey (N=130, 59% female) exploring smartphone usage in below-freezing temperatures, including the problems caused by cold conditions and prevention mechanisms users could be willing to take to protect their device and user experience during winter months.