Sunday, September 13, 2009

And it begins

Mobile technologies have entered the lives of some of us in a way that, looking back now, might give us the impression that all along we have been following a straight road.

However, mobile technologies, as we know them today, are the product of a number of decisions, political implications, historical contingencies and a myriad of other factors, varying in degrees of intentionality, or lack of it.

Looking at it now, for someone like me who followed this process all along the way, might give the impression that the cornerstones of mobile interaction are untouchable. Hard to imagine something else than a variation of a phone book, thumbless interaction or other basic aspects of everyday mobile usage.

That is why we decided to go outside of our box. We will be conducting a series of workshops in Vanuatu, where mobile communications are relatively recent and "desktop metaphor"-style computer interaction has also met low adoption rates. Our hope is that this will result in fresh and innovative ideas for mobile interaction.

This idea was partly motivated by a lecture I heard by Alan Kay where he quotes Marshall McLuhan: “We don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't the fish.” I think this reflects very well our ideas and intentions. We, as the fish, have a harder time to see and rethink what we are surrounded by.

(Great lecture by the way , never gets old):

This project is part of the bigger Generalized Interaction Models project, running at the Mobile Life Centre at Stockholm University.

We will try and stay away from desktop, file/folder, point and click and all these metaphors that permeate our everyday digital interaction.

1,2,3... GO!

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