Claire Rowland is a user experience designer and researcher with a particular interest in service design for ubiquitous computing. She is currently the service design manager for AlertMe.com...
Victor Wu reviews Mobicase 2010
Among the the particular cases he describes in this "whirlwind", he notices a sharp disconnect between academia and industry: "It was obvious that the conference was designed to bring academia and industry together. I think all the papers were from university researchers. All the panelists and keynote speakers and invited speakers were from industry. But unfortunately, this caused some disconnect. In some panels, it was obvious they were losing the audience. And when an audience member brought up a good point, the panel didn't understand, because they were thinking purely from a relatively short-term, business point of view. Researches often think much longer-term, not just five or ten years out. I'm not sure if there is a way to rectify this problem. Not sure if this is a problem at all. But for sure I noticed a sharp disconnect."
The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming intereting in mobile: "In the past, computers were the nodes of a network. They had addresses and identities. Today, people have addresses. We are first class citizens of the network. We are the social graph. In the future, individual objects will be connected. The Internet of Things. Tor mentioned this. He says all things will be tagged. I believe this. However, people will still be important. Ultimately, objects are not social. Objects are not alive. Objects belong to people. So, people have addresses and identities are ultimately important, and will remain important."
People will always remain important, yes, but there will be more and many machine to machine interaction loops beyond human control. For what does it mean if everything, everybody and every space becomes a set of qualities? A car is a set of qualities, a person can be described as a long set of qualities, a park can be described as a set of qualities. Before the Internet of Things, humans decided these lists and sets of qualities. After the Internet of Things it will be a mix of entities deciding this, and in this mix are the protocols, algoritms and code that inform the databases what is data and what is noise.
What is the role of objects in this process? They can give clear signals, they can also be difficult and confusing. What if the ashtray on the table tells you in the movie that is triggered on your mobile phone by the rfid tag that it actually wants to stop being an ashtray and aims to become a champagne glass? How are you going to explain without hurting its (its?:) feelings that this is very difficult with a form like that?
These questions form the core of new educational set ups that are being designed in Council settings.