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Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing

Overview

Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is the label for a "third wave" of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of ...

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Overview

Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is the label for a "third wave" of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, ubicomp is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS
devices, wireless networks, and "smart" domestic appliances. In Divining a Digital
Future, computer scientist Paul Dourish and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices that have emerged--both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience.Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors' collaboration, the book takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically.
Dourish and Bell map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubicomp around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262525893
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 537,627
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Dourish is Professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and in
Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of
Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction (MIT
Press, 2001, 2004).

Genevieve Bell is an Intel Fellow and the Director of Intel's first user-focused research and development lab, Interactions and Experiences Research.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: The Myth and Mess of Ubiquitous Computing 1

I 7

2 Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing 9

3 Making Room for the Social and Cultural 45

4 A Role for Ethnography: Methodology and Theory 61

II 91

5 What Lies Beneath 95

6 Mobility and Urbanism 117

7 Rethinking Privacy 137

8 Domesticity and Its Discontents 161

III 185

9 Reimagining Ubiquitous Computing: A Conclusion 187

References 211

Index 245

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