FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Nomadic Technology

How could mobile, collaborative games and related groupware for business change the way we interact? Adriana de Souza e Silva, a Senior Researcher in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, is studying how that might happen. Her 2004 PhD dissertation explores...

[H]ow mobile communication technologies, with a focus on cell phones, have an active role in creating new types of communication and social networks in a hybrid space formed by the blurring of borders between physical and digital spaces. It analyzes the transference of social places from cyberspace to hybrid spaces. Nomadic technology devices are responsible for producing new social networks in a space that interconnects the physical and the virtual due to their users’ perpetual mobility ... Nowadays, the constant connection to virtual spaces, allowed by new mobile communication technologies, transforms our social spaces, as well as the projection of our imaginary places in urban spaces..."
We've spoken already about how the use of cell phones is changing how people react to their physical environments. But de Souza e Silva's work illustrates just how profoundly technology can affect our sense of place. Telecommunications -- both the technology itself and its constantly falling cost -- has steadily compressed distances as it has progressed. If you're over the age of 40, you likely remember a time when making or receiving a long-distance call was a really big deal. Today, we e-mail folks from all over the world and hardly give it a second thought.

We've reached the point where we can carry nearly all the information we'll ever need with us. What we can't store on a laptop, PDA, smart phone or personal media center we can easily download from an increasingly ubiquitous wireless Internet connection. As long as we're connected and armed with our devices, precisely where we are almost doesn't matter. Our growing understanding of this development will ultimately redefine the way we work, play and interact with others.

Source: Clippings.reblog