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From clumsy to graceful: interfacing in the age of ubiquitous computing

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing

I’ve recently started reading Everywhere: The Dawning of the Age of Ubiquitous Computing It’s a collection of theses posturing on the forms, interfaces, implications of an era where computing power is woven into the fabric of our everyday existence. There are some interesting theories and examples in the book and although the author doesn’t try to explain the concepts or put forward exactly how it will all work, look or fit together, it certainly makes me stop and think about these exact points.

Particularly interesting for me is trying to grasp how we will easily interact with this pervasive computing power all around us. There are so many technical hurdles that we currently experience when dealing with and designing for the few computing interfaces we currently use that the notion of having an easy and invisible interface to virtually everything around us is mind boggling. But it excites me greatly and I want to be a part of it. I’ve often looked at the current interfaces we have to deal with and felt that they are simply not satisfactory. They lack to wealth of communication the humans manage to convey so effortlessly to each other. I’ve also felt that we limit ourselves to visual paradigms that are fixed in the limitations of the technology and often we simply continue with those paradigms even if the limitations of the tech are lifted.

I personally can’t wait to explore 3D immersive technologies or reality overlays that brim with relevant time and spatial data and that allow us to interact with them without having had years of technical experience to understand their workings.

I await the time when technology fades into the woodwork and becomes part of the furniture.

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