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Mobile Community Design
Research and design information for mobile community developers.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Phones Implanted in Teeth

OK, I promise to get back to publishing research papers shortly, but I saw this really thought-provoking announcement from a few years ago.

It's a prototype input-ouput audio device implanted in a tooth. You get it installed at the dentist and it allows communication with a phone or other communication device. It's meant to be more of an art project, but clearly we are going to build new communicative abilities into our bodies eventually. People are already complaining about feeling naked, cut-off, or unsafe when they leave their mobile behind. Eventually we won't want the possibility of not being able to immediately connect to our social networks.

"The design builds upon the current form of replacement surgery, such as artificial joints, to produce the first commodity based in-body product. A micro-vibration device and a wireless receiver are implanted in the tooth during routine dental surgery and sound is transferred from the tooth into the inner ear by bone resonance, converting digital signals to audio. Sound reception is totally discreet enabling information to be received anywhere and at anytime, whether it is City traders receiving stock market information in the cinema or spin-doctors sending information to politicians as they are interviewed."

Wireless Tooth Phone

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Visual Ruminations

I've been looking into movement patterns in social spaces, re-use of space, physical trails and spatial structure of ad-hoc social networks.

Here's a photograph of social use of a public space in a mall. Send me your thoughts on this if you're in the mood.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Common Mobile Group Actions

I've just finished shortening a paper for publication at CTS'05 in St. Louis (anyone else going?) The paper had to be shortened and this was one of the diagrams that didn't make it in.

I've been thinking about how there are broad categories in mobility. Every activity groups do while on the move is different, but there are similar things that people do in different circumstances. Perhaps viewing mobile group behavior from this perspective will show areas that we are concentrating too much on or types of mobile actions we are neglecting. Perhaps common classes of actions have similarities across diverse situations? I'm not so much trying to artificially categorize mobility as to show common areas in the ethnographic research.

Here is my first attempt at a taxonomy of this. Please send me any comments, corrections, thoughts, etc, or post them to the discussion forum.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Group Usage of Trash Cans

The Intel researchers have really been outdoing themselves recently. First they had the familiar stranger investigation and now they're working with augmenting trash cans (link below) used in public spaces. They're adapting the concepts of technology/cultural probes to the urban environment. Be sure to check out the Observation section and watch the video under Artifacts. The research methodology used here is very cutting edge.

Jetsam Project and the corresponding research paper:

Urban Probes: Encountering our Emerging Urban Atmospheres
Eric Paulos and Tom Jenkins
ACM SIGCHI, April 2005
pdf