Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (04 Apr 2006)
The vision is, without doubt, a lovely one: deeply humane, even compassionate. But getting from here to there may prove unexpectedly difficult. Everyday life, after all, is something that we already understand and already manage to muddle through, however gracelessly or inelegantly. We will have to balance whatever improvement we hope to achieve by overlaying our lives with digital mediation against the risk of unduly complicating that which is presently straightforward, breaking that which now works, and introducing new levels of frustration and inconvenience into all the most basic operations of our lives.
We will have to account for what happens when such mediation breaks down—as it surely will from time to time, given its origins in the same institutions, and the same development methodologies, that brought us unreliable mobile phone connections, mandatory annual operating system upgrades, and the Blue Screen of Death.
We will have to accept that privacy as we have heretofore understood it may be a thing of the past: that people will be presented with a bargain where access to the most intimate details of their lives is traded away in return for increased convenience, and that many will accept.Add this article to Del.icio.us