Ubicomp Ethical Guidelines

November 18, 2004

Adam Greenfield of the Boxes and Arrows weblog writes: All watched over by machines of loving grace: Some ethical guidelines for user experience in ubiquitous-computing settings:

If ubicomp applications are rushed to market and allowed to appear as have so many technological artifacts in the last thirty years - i.e. without compassionate attention to the needs and abilities of all sorts of human users, without many painstaking rounds of iterative testing and improvement in realistic settings - then they will present those users with a truly unprecedented level of badness.

Imagine the feeling of being stuck in voice-mail limbo, or fighting unwanted auto-formatting in a word processing program, or trying to quickly silence an unexpectedly ringing phone by touch, amid the hissing of fellow moviegoers - except all the time, and everywhere, and in the most intimate circumstances of our lives. Levels of discomfort we accept as routine (even, despite everything we know, inevitable!) in the reasonably delimited scenarios presented by our other artifacts will have redoubled impact in a ubicomp world.

It's a long, interesting article. Do read it if you're interested in the future development of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp), whis may be closely related to the RFID privacy discussions frequently referred to in this blog.

Posted by andersja

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