Available position in Olso about tangible computing

Timo told me that there is an available PhD position at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design for his Touch Project:

A PhD in Touch Radio Frequency IDentification is a wireless technology that is is currently finding applications in the replacement of barcodes in supply chains and logistics. This cheap and potentially ubiquitous technology is likely to influence the interactions we have with many products and services. The Touch project therefore looks at user-centred applications of the technology. A PhD is now available as part of the project.

Touch is interested in developing user-centred applications and services: assessing ways in which the technology might be used in everyday life in useful, fun and non-invasive ways. The growing integration of RFID readers in mobile phones enables simple interactions between phones and physical objects with a ‘swipe’ or ‘touch’. In Japan there are around 10 million people paying for tickets and other services with ‘wallet phones’ and near field communication. These applications in ticketing and retail are the first areas to emerge as mass-market uses.

An initial exploratory period will develop specific research questions and application areas. Touch will look closely at social practices around mobile use and RFID. How does the increasing digitalisation of physical objects affect identity, culture, play, and issues of social transformation. Are there areas of everyday physical activity that would benefit from network intervention? Are there networked, online activities that could be supported by interactions with the physical?

The project will develop a number of practical investigations of the relationship between the digital and the physical. In particular looking at shifts in advertising or marketing, retail activity, public and civic services, gaming or play, and issues around personal, social and communicative uses. Through the design of digital and physical artefacts, applications and prototypes, the project will build a body of knowledge around near field interactions.

The PhD will work on specific themes within the project. This will require self-initiated research, as well as collaborative development with other designers, an anthropologist, software developers, the mobile industry and user groups. Applicants should have a design background and be able to demonstrate knowledge of social, tangible or mobile interaction design. Applicants are encouraged to submit a diversity of themes and approaches within these areas.

The fellowship is provided by Institute of Design, AHO, Oslo, Norway, and has a duration of 3 years, starting date early to mid 2006. The yearly salary amounts to NOK 292.000.

Deadline for applications: Postmarked no later than 22 March 2006.

Applications should be sent to: Attn: Timo Arnall / Interaction Design Oslo School of Architecture and Design Maridalsveien 29 0175 Oslo Norway

Questions or submissions via email to timo.arnall [at] aho.no

Knowing some bits an pieces about the project that Timo explained to me, this seems to be a tremendous opportunity!