Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Near-Term Vision for Everyware: Synthetic Serendipity

Stories as the source of vision ...

"In “First Fictions and the Parable of the Palace,” I provided an overview of everyware’s roots in early depictions of ubiquitous computing by Mark Weiser and others. I also considered the critical role of user experience in the coming world of everyware and described some of the challenges we face in designing everyware / lifeware user experiences.

In this and the next installment of my column, let’s look forward from the present day, using stories by well-known science fiction authors as the source for vision or concept scenarios that describe some possible experiences of living and working with everyware. While these concepts are clearly speculative, they help define the boundaries of the potential scope of everyware—in both the near-term and distant future. Though these stories may lack the metaphoric and literary significance of Borge’s “Parable of the Palace,” their visions shed light on everyware’s likely implications for design within more concrete contexts. I’ll review only the elements of the stories that are most relevant to designing everyware. (For the curious, I recommend reading the stories in full.)
Everyware in the Near Term

Vernor Vinge’s entertaining short story “Synthetic Serendipity” [1]—first published in the IEEE magazine Spectrum in 2004—presents a near-term future that is fully permeated by everyware. The narrative is from the perspective of a high-school student named Mike, who likes to play games.

Everyware in the Near Term

Vernor Vinge’s entertaining short story “Synthetic Serendipity” [1]—first published in the IEEE magazine Spectrum in 2004—presents a near-term future that is fully permeated by everyware. The narrative is from the perspective of a high-school student named Mike, who likes to play games."    (Continued via UXmatters, Joe Lamantia)    [Usability Resources]

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