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Search results for '"genevieve bell"'
27 May 2009

The changing TV experience

The changing TV experience
Consumer Electronics 3.0 is the name Intel has chosen for a new concept of seamless integration of internet and television.

The CE 3.0 website is rich in content, but more than that, it exemplifies the relevance of a user-centred approach in the design of new and innovative technology-based products and services.

A few weeks ago, I reported on a few articles that dealt with the problems and challenges related to digital storage in the home.

Today, I will provide some user-centred design links on the topic of the changing TV experience:

Usage models in the digital home: some simple advice
by Dr. Genevieve Bell, anthropologist and director of Intel’s User Experience Group

“Our findings show, at the broadest level, something many of us knew intuitively—people love their televisions. In many different cultures, in many families, TVs emerged as a beloved, if not sometimes annoying, companion, friend, and constant in the home. Wherever we live, TV content engages us at an emotional and visceral level—it is more than simply entertainment, it is about a kind of engagement and about nurturing us as people. TV has our stories, and the characters become extensions of our families. The irony is that while the industry tends to talk about new technology, consumers want to talk about their family, their constant companions, and the comfort and nurturing that TVs bring. To avoid unintended consequences, we as an industry must learn to listen to people, and to be clear about their perspectives.

We need to be clear about the single purpose of an object—why people use it, care about it, desire it, buy it and keep it. The lesson here is not to be seduced by the impulse to increase the number of things any piece of technology can do, or to confuse its purpose with the functions it could incorporate. We must be very careful to identify the purpose of CE devices from a consumer perspective. It would be bad if we broke what people liked most about the television experience. In making consumer electronics devices smarter for instance, potentially increasing their number of functions and features, we should also keep their purpose in mind.

Violating this principle is a recipe for disaster.”

Opening a window into the lives of TV viewers
Q&A with Brian David Johnson, consumer experience architect within Intel’s Digital Home Group

“Our group includes two teams. The first team consists of social science and design researchers who spend time in people’s homes all over the world. This team is really dedicated to getting a sense of what makes people tick, what they care about, what frustrates them, what they aspire to. This research is focused around getting a sense of the larger cultural patterns and practices that shape people’s relationships to and uses of new technologies. [...]

After we have observed people in their homes, our ethnographers get together with our second team, the human factors engineers and research designers. This group takes the data, and the opportunities we have identified, and begins to build them into platform requirements and product specifications.

Through a set of rigorous processes and methods, the team creates personas, usage models and experience assessments that help drive the development of genuinely user-inspired and user-centric technologies. This process provides Intel with a uniquely valuable reference for our long-term product roadmap as well as a means of validating that our product development will meet the consumers’ needs.”

The changing TV experience – Recent findings from the Intel User Experience Group
This article by Françoise Bourdonnec, director of Home Experience Research & Exploration at Intel’s Digital Home Group, looks at what recent Intel research tells us about how Internet technology may change the TV experience – and some of the important questions that remain to be answered.

Listening to the ‘Voice of the Customer’ helps Intel Design to redefine new digital home experiences
Q&A with Jason Busta, a Voice of the Customer (VOC) researcher for Intel’s Mobility Group, and Kimberly Swank, primary VOC researcher for the Digital Home Group

Catalyst for the digital home: 1. Evolution of the fourth-generation user interface
In this first article in a two-part series, Gary Palangian and Randy Dunton of Intel’s Digital Home Innovations Team discuss the evolution of Consumer Electronics user interface.

Catalyst for the digital home: 2. Intel’s fourth-generation UI research
In this second article in a two-part series, Gary Palangian and Randy Dunton of Intel’s Digital Home Innovations Team describe Intel’s ongoing UI R&D program, and share some of the results to date.

Making the leap: the internet comes to the living room
Excerpts from a keynote address by William O. Leszinske, Jr., general manager of Intel’s Consumer Electronics Group, at the Digital Living Room Conference, March, 2008

The next-generation TV experience (video)
Interview with William O. Leszinske, Jr., general manager of Intel’s Consumer Electronics Group

Widget Channel: Personalize, enjoy & share your favorite Internet experiences on TV
In collaboration with Yahoo! Inc., Intel has developed a full-featured software framework named Widget Channel, that allows TV viewers to enjoy rich Internet applications called TV Widgets while watching their favorite programs.

8 April 2009

Sun Dial, a mobile application to alert muslims to prayer

Sun dial
Religious technology may seem like an oxymoron, but as more people obtain mobile phones, iPhones and other devices to help them manage their lives, it’s only natural that many of them will be using their gadgets to help them enrich their spiritual life as well.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a mobile application known as Sun Dial, which alerts Muslim users when it’s time to perform the five daily prayers known as salat. The device is currently being discussed this week at the human-computer interaction conference, CHI, in Boston.

“We have to understand religion because it’s such a central part of peoples lives,” explained Susan Wyche, doctoral candidate in the College of Computing and GVU Center at Georgia Tech.

Read full story
Download paper (“Sacred Imagery in Techno-Spiritual Design”)

The researchers have clearly been inspired by the excellent paper “No more SMS from Jesus: ubicomp, religion and techno-spiritual practices” by Intel researcher Genevieve Bell.

3 April 2009

Intel/GE healthcare alliance underlines strategic value of ethnographic research

Intel's MCA
If you ever need a solid case on why ethnographic research can provide strategic value to companies, yesterday’s announcement of the $250 million Intel/GE healthcare alliance provides you with a great one.

Intel has for years heavily invested in on-the-ground observation and ethnography.

Its focus is often on understanding deeper issues that can affect the future uptake of technology, on better understanding the various cultural and social paradigms in order to avoid forcing a Western concept of technology on societies and cultures that have different viewpoints, or even on influencing strategic business directions.

Genevieve Bell and other Intel anthropologists are keenly interested in researching concepts such as the use of technology to support religious practices, cultural differences in storing and archiving, the various concepts of the home, what sharing might mean in the social and cultural context of Asia, and “the rituals, practices, markers, and triggers” that can influence how technology gets used in the healthcare sector.

This has led to many of Intel’s innovations, including the Classmate PC and the Community PC, but now it is actually influencing a major strategic business decision: an investment of more than $250 million over the next five years for the research and product development of home-based health technologies.

From the press release:
“The combination of Intel’s leading capabilities in ethnographic research and technology development combined with GE’s world-class expertise and global distribution strengths in healthcare IT, electronic medical records, critical care and passive monitoring is a strong strategic fit.”

Read more: New York Times | Electronics Weekly

1 March 2009

What Margaret Mead could teach techs

Genevieve Bell
Fortune Magazine profiles Dr Genevieve Bell, an Australian-born anthropologist and ethnographer, and the Director of User Experience in Intel Corporation’s Digital Home Group.

Part of Bell’s job is to help the company understand quirks of human behavior that could determine whether its strategies fly or flop.

With computers taking new forms and turning up in new places [...], that job is harder than ever to do.

These days the tech landscape is an unpredictable jumble. A sampling: Consumers (particularly in Europe) are clamoring for shrunken, underpowered PCs called netbooks, much to the surprise of the major PC makers.

Amazon’s Kindle 2 wireless e-book reader is in high enough demand to claim the No. 1 spot in its electronics store — beating out the iPod Touch. (Not bad considering Steve Jobs last year dismissed the Kindle’s chances because “people don’t read anymore.”)

Foreclosures are reaching historic highs — yet in the depths of the worst recession in recent memory, consumers are still ordering movies from Netflix, buying downloaded software for the iPhone, and shelling out for wireless data plans.

You need an anthropologist to begin making sense of it all.

Read full story

1 December 2008

The many futures of our digital lives

Genevieve Bell
We all live in a digital world, although it means different things to different people. In her inaugural public lecture as Adelaide’s Thinker in Residence, Intel’s Genevieve Bell will explore how digital technology is shaping our lives, our culture, and our future.

Dr Genevieve Bell is an anthropologist and ethnographer with both an academic and industry background. Her research has provided considerable insight to the importance of culture in the adoption and adaptation of technology. She is currently the Director of User Experience in Intel Corporation’s Digital Home Group in the United States.

Listen to lecture (mp3, 48 min, 16.5 mb)

21 October 2008

Science fiction and HCI/interaction design

Star Wars
Nicolas Nova has posted some quick pointers about the relationships between science-fiction and HCI/interaction design on his blog:

Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies by Michael Schmitz surveys the different kind of interaction design sci-fi movies envisioned during the past decade. It also interestingly describes how the film technicians made prototype possible and legible.

Make It So: What Interaction Designers can Learn from Science Fiction Interfaces by Nathan Shedroff and Chris Noessel is a nice presentation from SxSW08 that looked at sci-fi material as well as industry future films to show design influences sci-fi and vice versa.

The upcoming paper by Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell entitled ““Resistance is Futile”: Reading Science Fiction Alongside Ubiquitous Computing that investigates how ubiquitous computing is imagined and brought into alignment with science-fiction culture.

Julian Bleecker’s presentation from Design Engaged and SHiFt 2008 also addressed that topic.

Personally I would add Bruce Sterling’s work in general, as a major direct and indirect inspiration for interaction designers all over the world.

1 October 2008

“Resistance is Futile”: reading science fiction alongside ubiquitous computing

Crucible
The Crucible/Microsoft HCI Reading Group at Cambridge University is a journal-reading group dedicated to review and critique of recent theoretical developments in human-computer interaction.

In early August, the group discussed a draft manuscript from Paul Dourish (UC, Irvine) and Genevieve Bell (Intel) that is currently under review, entitled “‘Resistance is Futile': Reading Science Fiction Alongside Ubiquitous Computing”.

Abstract
Design-oriented research is an act of collective imagining – a way in which we work together to bring about a future that lies slightly out of our grasp. In this paper, we examine the collective imagining of ubiquitous computing by bringing it into alignment with a related phenomenon, science fiction, in particular as imagined by a series of shows that form part of the cultural backdrop for many members of the research community. A comparative reading of these fictional narratives highlights a series of themes that are also implicit in the research literature. We argue both that these themes are important considerations in the shaping of technological design, and that an attention to the tropes of popular culture holds methodological value for ubiquitous computing.

Download paper (pdf, temporary available at this url)

(via Nicolas Nova)

26 September 2008

Experientia’s Jan-Christoph Zoels at Picnic /2

PICNIC
Experientia’s senior partner Jan-Christoph Zoels is this week at the Picnic conference in Amsterdam and is sending regular updates. Here is his second one, covering the Thursday morning sessions:

Group actions just got easier!Clay Shirky jump-started the second day of PICNIC 08 with stories about the problems and challenges of social media. In each story he showed how social dilemmas or needs facilitate new ways of sharing, collaborating and social action. Sharing of social objects such as images, tools and questions enables the starting of a discussion leading to a gathering of an interested community with a trail of conversation. Group rules on Flickr ‘Black & White Maniacs‘ address the social dilemma of getting attention by asking people to comment on to previous photos in the act of posting their own, therefore spreading the opportunity of getting seen and acknowledged throughout the community of practice.

In a second example Shirky documented the re-emergence of simple tools to facilitate fast uptake, sharing and synchronization with others. Limited features and clear rules of engagement (no shouting – visual text changes) help to divide the attention across the bulletin board members.

His discussion of the Pluto page on Wikipedia showcased the powers of collaboration of reciprocal sharing and syncing in creating exhaustive content with extensive links. 5000 edits by over 2200 users showed the distribution of a long tail curve demonstrating an ecosystem where everybody can participate on the level they desire. The Galileo page on the other side has still the trappings of a five hundred years flame war resulting in the disabling of editing capabilities.

Lastly he demanded an extension of the power of social media to not only show how we think but to also cover how we can act. Harnessing collective actions require a built-in acknowledgement of the assembled insights and opinions and resulting new group structures.

100% of user on online dating sites lieGenevieve Bell, a leading anthropologist at Intel’s Digital Home Group, spoke about the complicated daily constructions of truth and lies in personal life on and off the web. How to resolve our daily Secrets & Lies in new engaging social media where the devices and media keep trails forever. The uncoordinated intentions of individuals and their revealing devices will lead to tensions between cultural practices and ideas about secrets and lies and ICT applications. This poses complicated questions for e-Gov, national security and reputation indices.

Mike Fries, president of Liberty Global, discussed O3B Networks – the other three billion initiative – of Google, HSBC and Liberty Global in bringing high-speed satellite telecommunication access to underserved populations in emerging markets. His Future of Television conversation focussed on the delivery of more tailored and personalised content supported by advertisements, changing viewer behaviours of random access to digital TV and time shifting viewing habits.

Michael Tchao, the manager of Nike Techlab, spoke in his Tools, Things and Toys presentation about how to use information to inspire runners and convert physical activities into digital connect and communities. The Nike+ collaboration with Apple focussed on supporting runner motivation in designing sexy tools, engaging interfaces, synched running cycles and community challenges. The Nike+ HumanRace initiative used web tools to connect individual aspirations with local running communities to organize a series of worldwide races on 31.8.08.

Nabaztag co-inventor Rafi Haladjian (blog) presented his search from connecting rabbits to connecting everything else. What will be the effortless, spontaneous information providers of the future? How will they enable limited attention bandwidth? In extending his hold on emotive objects he showcased the new and very cute Naonoztags. The newest Ztamps and Mirror by Violet is a passive RFID reader and sensors enabling fast connections between tangible object and web-based information. Examples shown were links between drug packages and your personal health site, direct access to news sites or personal photo collections.

For more Picnic reporting, check also Bruno Giussani, Hubert Guillaud (writing proficiently in French), Ethan Zuckerman, and Ernst-Jan Pfauth and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten.

23 April 2008

Cultures of virtual worlds

Cultures
A two-day conference this week will bring together scholars, developers and participants in virtual worlds to discuss the emerging cultures being created from a range of online communities.

Event organizers theorize that virtual worlds can be studied by researchers in the fields of humanities and social sciences.

Cultural anthropologist Mimi Ito, Intel anthropologist Genevieve Bell, UCI informatics professors Paul Dourish and Bonnie Nardi, Intel researcher Maria Bezaitis and UCI anthropologist Tom Boellstorff will lead the discussions.

The event is sponsored by Intel Research and UCI’s Department of Anthropology and Center for Ethnography.

Tom Boellstorff, one of the conference organizers, is the author of Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. His is the first book to take a look at Second Life from a purely anthropological perspective.

- Press release
Event website

14 March 2008

When Users “Do” the Ubicomp

Present-day ubicomp
When Users “Do” the Ubicomp is the great sounding title of an article by Finnish researcher Antti Oulasvirta in the March-April issue of Interactions Magazine.

Abstract: Computers have become ubiquitous, but in a different way than envisioned in the 1990s. To master the present-day ubicomp-a multi-layered agglomeration of connections and data, distributed physically and digitally, and operating under no recognizable guiding principles-the user must exhibit foresight, cunning and perseverance. Preoccupation with Weiserian visions of ubicomp may have diverted research toward problems that do not meet the day-to-day needs of developers.

The article builds on the work done by Genevieve Bell and Paul Dourish, and in particular their article Yesterday’s Tomorrows. Like them, Oulasvirta argues that there are two ubicomps: the idealised one presented at conferences and the “real ubicomp”, described as “a massive noncentralized agglomeration of the devices, connectivity and electricity means, applications, services, and interfaces, as well as material objects such as cables and meeting rooms and support surfaces that have emerged almost anarchistically, without a recognized set of guiding principles.”. This infrastructure is therefore “not homogenous or seamless, but fragmented into several techniques that the user has to study and use.”

He then takes his analysis a step further and actually shows “the many ways in which it is the users who have to ‘do’ ubicomp; that is, actively create the resources for using an application in a heterogeneous, multicomputer environment.”

Oulasvirta concludes with “a laundry list of approaches to improving ubicomp infrastructures:”

1) minimizing overheads that create temporal seams between activities;
2) making remote but important resources, such as connectivity or cables, better transparent locally and digitally;
3) propagating metadata on migration of data from device to device;
4) supporting ad hoc uses of proximate devices’ resources like projectors, keyboards, and displays;
5) triggering digital events like synchronization of predetermined documents with physical gestures; and
6) supporting appropriation of material properties for support surfaces“

To read the entire article, you need an ACM Digital Library subscription.

19 February 2008

Tech’s feminine side

Woman with mobile phone
The Boston Globe ponders what happens now that women are wielding increasing influence in a high-tech world that has been largely built and engineered by men, and how that changes the technology itself.

No one would make the argument that megapixels are masculine or that gigabytes have a gender. But as gadgets and websites become an integral part of everyday life, a high-tech world that has been largely built and engineered by men is getting the feminine touch.

Digital cameras, cellphones, and online social networks appear unisex – but social scientists argue that every product is hardwired in subtle ways that reflect the cultural assumptions of its makers.

In a technology world that has been dominated by men, a growing number of companies are realizing that “feminizing” their products – essentially, by putting style and functionality on an equal footing with power and speed – is good for business.

“Women say, ‘Listen, I always have demands on my time – kids or husbands or in-laws or my parents . . . I don’t want technology that requires me to fiddle around with it,”‘ said Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist at Intel Corp. who has over the past decade helped push the company to consider consumers in its engineering choices. “It makes women really interesting bellwethers or benchmarks for usability.”

The article refers to a Nokia entertainment study, entitled ‘A Glimpse of the Next Episode’ (press release | downloads), but has some interesting insights on future user interfaces as well.

Read full story

8 February 2008

LIFT videos online

LIFT08
The LIFT conference started on Wednesday and unfortunately I could not attend due to work pressures (our partner Jan-Christoph Zoels is there though). But there is a solution: fifteen presentations can already be viewed online.

Check out Genevieve Bell (Intel), Paul Dourish (UC-Irvine), Bruce Sterling and Younghee Yung (Nokia) to name just a few, or read up on what Bruno Giussani has to say.

24 January 2008

Palpable computing: a taste of things to come

Palpable
ICT Results reports on an EU-funded research project on “palpable computing” (Palcom), led by the University of Arhus in Denmark. The ideas behind it seem similar to concepts developed by both Genevieve Bell (see here and here) and Adam Greenfield.

“Palpable computing”, a term coined by Morten Kyng, a researcher at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, refers to pervasive computer technology that is also tangible and comprehensible to its users.

Ubiquitous computing, in the traditional sense, is based on the vision of making the computers invisible, Kyng suggests. “The problem is that when the technology is invisible you can’t see what it is doing, how it functions or comprehend it.”

By making the technology visible when it needs to be and comprehensible all the time, palpable computing reduces the complications of using the technology, while opening the door to developers creating new applications more easily.

The vision of ubiquitous computing has focused on tools honed through use over time and well suited to what they are designed to do, comments Kyng. “The problems arise when you want or need to do something new or different from what the designers intended: the user is not really in control,” he adds.

Read full story

17 October 2007

The LIFT08 conference programme is out

LIFT08
Bruno Giussani reports on the press conference announcing the LIFT08 conference programme (backgrounder):

The conference LIFT08 will take place for the third time in Geneva, Switzerland, on 6-8 February 2008. The main structure of the programme has been presented tonight in a trendy bar downtown Geneva by organizer Laurent Haug and editorial producer Nicolas Nova.

And again, like last year, they seem to have got a knack of seeking out many new voices and speakers that haven’t made the rounds yet – but have interesting things to say. The programme is structured in thematic “tracks”, four per day on Thursday 7 and Friday 8. On Wednesday, a pre-conference will present a series of focused workshops. Thursday evening will feature the now-traditional fondue for 500+ people. Alongside the main conference there will be a “blogcamp”-like space for unplanned discussions and presentations, as well as an “off” space dedicated to design, art and games.

Here a quick rundown of the main tracks:

  • Internet in society — With Jyri Engestrom (he just sold microblogging platform Jaiku to Google), Jonathan Cabiria (on virtual environments and social inclusions) and others
  • User experience — With two tech anthropologists, Younghee Jung (Nokia, Tokyo) and Genevieve Bell (Intel, Seattle) and UC’s Paul Dourish.
  • Stories — With serial entrepreneur Rafi Haladjian and others.
  • A glimpse of Asia — With Marc Laperrouza, a specialist of new tech in China, Heewon Kim, a Korean researcher on teens and social networks, and others.
  • New Frontiers — With “cyborg” Kevin Warwick, Henry Markram who’s trying to simulate the functioning of brain cells, and Holm Friebe talking about new forms of cooperation and collaborative work.
  • Gaming — With Robin Hunicke (who worked on games for the Nintendo Wii) on gaming trends, and others.
  • Web and entreprises — With David Sadigh and David Marcus on how the web is reshuffling work practices.
  • Foresight — With future researchers Scott Smith (Changeist) and William Cockayne (Stanford) and Nokia designer Francesco Cara.

Haug also announced that LIFT is exporting itself to Asia: after a successful small launch event a few weeks ago in Seoul, South Korea, they’re now planning a full LIFTAsia in September 2008, again in Seoul.

I am very pleased to notice that Genevieve Bell, Paul Dourish and Francesco Cara are amongst the speakers.

6 October 2007

Ethnography in Industry: Notes from EPIC2007

EPIC
Today is the closing day of EPIC 2007, the third international Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, in Keystone, Colorado, USA.

EPIC is the premier international forum bringing together artists, computer scientists, designers, social scientists, marketers, academics and advertisers to discuss recent developments and future advances around ethnographic praxis in industry. Keynote speakers this year are Genevieve Bell (Intel) and Brenda Laurel (California College of the Arts).

Jeffrey Bardzell, an assistant professor of HCI/Design and new media at the School of Informatics in Indiana University, writes on some of the tensions that were discussed at the conference, on his post on the OTOinsights blog:

“There was an interesting tension that many of the researchers seemed to be facing. On the one hand, their work was being used to help develop models for complex business practices. On the other hand, as ethnographers, they wanted to focus on concrete situations and contexts and the real, flesh-and-blood people within them. From my perspective, one way that this tension got addressed was to work proactively to improve communication between managers (who want the models) and employees, on whom the models are ideally grounded and in any case who will have to live with them once they are developed. Stated more abstractly, the ethnographers seemed to want to make a distinction between managing complex processes (which is seen as good) and implementing rationalist control schemes (which are seen as inhuman and bad).

Another major issue is one of legitimation. How can ethnographers convince managers and marketing leaders to take them seriously? How do they justify their work both intellectually (methods, data, etc.) and also from a business perspective (actually leads to better business processes or products)? Complicating this argument is the perceived conflict between the reductionist, abstract models that managers and marketing professionals want and the rich, individual “thick” and nuanced descriptions that ethnographers value and provide. Another way of saying this is that there is a lot of thinking about how ethnographic research can, should, does, or fails to connect to business cycles, that is, there is a lot of thinking about ways that ethnography can have real business impact.”

Read full story

5 October 2007

From the Electrical Fairy to the Magic Box

Genevieve Bell
An anthropological take on wireless broadband technology

Genevieve Bell, a highly respected anthropologist and director of user experience at Intel, gave a lecture this week at Rice University in Houston, Texas, entitled “From the Electrical Fairy to the Magic Box: An anthropological account of invisible infrastructures.”

Rice University’s News & Media Relations office has a short report:

“Bell’s talk [...] showed how historic, economic, regulatory and cultural frameworks affect the way wireless technology is perceived and used. The fast-talking, Australian-born scientist weaved together dozens of stories, both from her own work and from historical accounts dating to the 19th century. [...]

Throughout her talk, Bell sought to uncover the oft-overlooked religious, social and cultural dimensions that impact wireless technology.”

Read full story

4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

20 July 2007

Nicolas Nova talk now on Google Video

Nicolas Nova video
The video of last week’s talk by Nicolas Nova in Turin is now available on Google Video. The slides are available here (pdf, 1.36mb, 90 slides).

Nicolas Nova is a researcher at the Media and Design Lab at the Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne and one of the organisers of the LIFT conference.

His talk “Designing a new ecology of mixed digital and physical environments” was a critical overview of ubiquitous computing based on current research in the field (showing what people like Paul Dourish or Genevieve Bell are discussing but also geographers such as Stephen Graham), art/start-up/research projects and alternative visions such as what Nicolas is doing with Julian Bleecker.

The talk was organised by Experientia and the Order of Architects of the Province of Turin.

(Thanks to Experientia collaborator Haraldur Már Unnarsson for making this possible).

14 July 2007

Slides available of talk by Nicolas Nova in Turin

Nicolas Nova
A few days ago Nicolas Nova, a researcher at the Media and Design Lab at the Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne and one of the organisers of the LIFT conference, came to visit us in Turin, so Experientia organised a talk for him at the local Order of Architects.

Nicolas Nova reports:

“Currently in Torino, where I gave a talk yesterday organized by Experientia and the Order of Architects of the Province of Turin. My talk “Designing a new ecology of mixed digital and physical environments” was a critical overview of ubiquitous computing based on current research in the field (showing what people like Paul Dourish or Genevieve Bell are discussing but also geographers such as Stephen Graham), art/start-up/research projects and alternative visions such as what I am doing with Julian Bleecker. As I said in the talk, lots of the aspects presented here as design challenges are messy to reflect the complexity of ubicomp design.”

Download pdf (pdf, 1.36 mb, 50 slides)

(We will soon also post a video registration).

26 April 2007

The infrastructure of experience and the experience of infrastructure

Planning and Design
In “The infrastructure of experience and the experience of infrastructure: meaning and structure in everyday encounters with space” Intel‘s chief anthropologist Genevieve Bell and UC Irvine professor Paul Dourish explore space as an infrastructure for our lived experience of the world, and discuss the ways in which pervasive computing transforms this experience.

The paper was published in the latest issue of Planning and Design – a theme issue on “space, sociality, and pervasive computing“.

Abstract

Although the current developments in ubiquitous and pervasive computing are driven largely by technological opportunities, they have radical implications not just for technology design but also for the ways in which we experience and interact with computation. In particular, the move of computation `off the desktop’ and into the world, whether embedded in the environment around us or carried or worn on our bodies, suggests that computation is beginning to manifest itself in new ways as an aspect of the everyday environment.

One particularly interesting issue in this transformation is the move from a concern with virtual spaces to a concern with physical ones. Basically, once computation moves off the desktop, computer science suddenly has to be concerned with where it might have gone. Whereas computer science and human – computer interaction have previously been concerned with disembodied cognition, they must now look more directly at embodied action and bodily encounters between people and technology.

In this paper, we explore some of the implications of the development of ubiquitous computing for encounters with space. We look on space here as infrastructure—not just a technological infrastructure, but an infrastructure through which we experience the world. Drawing on studies of both the practical organization of space and the cultural organization of space, we begin to explore the ways in which ubiquitous computing may condition, and be conditioned by, the social organization of everyday space.

I am also quoting one synthesising paragraph from halfway into the paper:

What we are suggesting then is an alternative model of space and spatiality than that which dominates current discourse in the design of pervasive-computing technologies and environments. Pervasive computing brings computation out of the traditional desktop and into the spaces beyond; but the critical feature of these spaces is that they are always already populated and inhabited. More to the point, the experience of space is the experience of multiple infrastructures — infrastructures of naming, of movement, of interaction, etc — and these infrastructures emerge from and are sustained by the embodied practices of the people who populate and inhabit the spaces in question. Spaces are not neutral, and their complex interpretive structure will frame the encounter with pervasive computing; as, by the same token, the opportunities afforded by new technologies allow for a reinterpretation and reencounter with the meaning of space for its inhabitants. Fundamentally, the experience of space is coextensive with the cultural practice of everyday life.

I highly recommend reading this paper, although quite conceptual at times , and to savour their thoughts on for instance the importance of ‘seamful’ design (as opposed to seamless computing), “allowing technologies to make boundaries and seams visible”.

(Last year, Bell and Dourish wrote another very good paper together which provided a people-centred critique of the current ubiquitous computing paradigm.)

Download paper (pdf, 173 kb, 18 pages)

(via Peter Dalsgaard)