Jan Chipchase @ LIFT Asia 2008

In this session, focused on mobile technologies, the first speaker was Jan Chipchase. His "Future Social" presentation relied on examples of technology use behaviors to show trends that both disrupt these behaviours and generate new social practices. He basically used cases from his field study and personal experience. Example 1: In a study about how people react to head mounted displays in Tokyo and New York, they hired actors to simulate various use cases to test their social feasibility

Example 2 (Co-presence): people sit in a café, opened clam-shell cell-phone next to the tea mug, to check updates (messages, IM) and also for women sitting alone as a way of sending a social signal to others that they are currently occupied.

Example 3: mobile phone headset held in the hand for 2 purposes: cutting the microphone from ambient noise and tells other people that the person want to be quiet.

Example 4: in a UK café, the manager did not want people to use a laptop, if it's the case, the manager have different strategies to encourage people stop using it (cleaning next to the customer...). When people dot lots of things that are not appropriate, there's a lot of signage that is appearing. Signage is interesting because it shows where society wants to go and who defines authority

Example 5: secret use: it's common in Korea to see school kids watching mobile TV for example secretly with the phone in a case on their desk.

New trends based on Jan (and his team)'s work: - more and more of what we use if "pocketable" (fit in the pocket) carried into context where people do not necessarily anticipate their use. So it provokes behavior leakage from one context to another. So it leads designers from Nokia to ask within what time frame does what stuff become pocketable and what services can be accessible from that device. - serial-solitarity: it's always easier to design something for sole use rather than shared use (although there is a big buzz about youtube, etc.). What this means that we see more and more people in the same place, doing the same things but apart. - real-time associations: technologies enable to ease the answering of questions one have, to make what Jan referred to as "real time associations" of people, things, what people does, etc. - tech literacy/age: technology is use more and more at a younger age - boundaries between work/other things are blurring. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain these boundaries. - speed of change/hours: adoption of services/devices in lots of countries, volume of devices created, etc. - invisible technologies: pocketable is a step towards more important miniaturization: we're going to not see a lot of technologies; because they disappear in the infrastructure. And when technologies disappear, the emphasis on social cues to make then explicit is even more and important.

And the conclusion of his talk was, simply,: "I have way more questions than answers, that's what we do"