24 August 2008

Draping the city in data and dodging augmented urban spam

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Urban nerds
Russell Davies is concerned that “we’ll end up blundering into cities plastered with the equivalent of flash banners and microsites.”

“Technologists are busying themselves turning buildings into displays, or at least draping them with informatics (whether physically or via various forms of augmented reality.) It’s all really exciting, thoughtful, stuff with tons of thrilling prototypes and sketches, it reminds me of early webiness. Because, unless I’m missing something, there’s not a lot of sophisticated thinking about how this intersects with commerce, marketing and advertising. (And I’m very willing to believe I’m missing something, this is why this is a bit of a voyage of discovery. And I just noticed today that Adam Greenfield’s talking about it here.) The city is already festooned with persuasion, screens are already talking to phones and animating transport systems but it’s not being done by thoughtful UI experts it’s being done by poster contractors at the behest of advertising agencies.” […]

“Is there some connection to the (admittedly unformed) notion of pre-experience design? How cool would it be if the data that’s draped around the city leaks back into communications, and if those communications helped to explain and contextualise that data.”

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(via AHOi)

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