Thesis 48

Those developing everyware may have little idea that this is in fact what they are doing.

Given how conventional a component system may appear before it is incorporated in some context we'd be able to recognize as everyware, we're led to a rather startling conclusion: Relatively few of the people engaged in developing the building blocks of ubiquitous systems will consciously think of what they're doing as such.

In fact, they may never have heard the phrase "ubiquitous computing" or any of its various cognates. They will be working, rather, on finer-grained problems: calibrating the sensitivity of a household sensor grid so that it recognizes human occupants but not the cat, or designing an RFID-equipped key fob so that it reads properly no matter which of its surfaces is brought into range of the reader. With such a tight focus, they will likely have little sense for the larger schemes into which their creations will fit.

This is not an indictment of engineers. They are given a narrow technical brief, and they return solutions within the envelope available to theman envelope that is already bounded by material, economic, and time constraints. Generally speaking, it is not in their mandate to consider the "next larger context" of their work.

And if this is true of professional engineers, how much more so will it apply to all the amateurs newly empowered to develop alongside them? Amateurs have needs and desires, not mandates. They'll build tools to address the problem at hand, and inevitably some of these tools will fall under the rubric of everywarebut the amateur developers will be highly unlikely to think of what they are doing in these terms.

Everyware. The dawning age of ubiquitous computing
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing
ISBN: 0321384016
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 124
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