People's representation of Ubiquitous Computing

Now that Ubiquitous Computing is somehow becoming a reality (somehow because applications are still at the prototype level), it's interesting to find a paper about how people's preconception about it: How do users think about ubiquitous computing? by K. Truong, E. Huang, M.M. Stevens and G.D. Abowd (all from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta) taken from the CHI2004 proceedings:

As ubiquitous computing technology migrates into the home environment, there has been a concurrent effort to allow users to build and customize such technologies to suit their own specific needs. Many tools have been built to enable users with little or no programming knowledge to build such applications. Despite the de-emphasis on programming, however, these tools are often device-centric, rather than user-centric. In this paper, we investigate how people describe and conceptualize ubiquitous computing applications and technology. We examine how people naturally express ideas for novel applications to build conceptual models upon which to base future interfaces for creating ubiquitous computing applications. (...) In this paper, we present a study that examines how users express their ideas about ubicomp applications, specifically for the purposes of capturing events and information in the home for future access. Our study results include a breadth of ideas for ubiquitous capture and access applications suggested by potential users of ubicomp application design interfaces. Based on the content and expressions of these ideas, we derive a set of conceptual models to inform the future design of interfaces that enable end-user ubicomp application design and creation.

Why do I blog this? I like this conclusion:

we believe that most people tend to conceptualize ubicomp in terms of human needs, situations, and tasks rather than devices and interactions between devices.

Besides, we're thinking about writing something about this issue with Fabien, like how CatchBob! users dealt with the uncertainty due to some problems with the game (location accuracy, drawing issues...). It's an issue also addresses by teams like Benford's or Chalmers'.