2008-09-29

InterMedia 10 Year Jubilee

InterMedia, the research center where I am based, celebrated its 10 year anniversary last Thursday. It was a really nice event, with a few talks, as well as an exhibition demonstrating some of the technologies and research developed by the center. I was particularly interested in a few mobile technologies that were presented. Two of them used GPS phones to turn public spaces into interaction points. I'll have to describe these in more detail later - but one embedded audio texts at coordinates around the city - so walking into a particular space with your phone gets a text playing. The designer stated that there were no real learning goals, but it's easy for me to imagine creating learning interactions with the technology.

One funny anecdote -- totally relevant to mobile technology interactions -- During one of the talks, the speaker's computer began "ringing," and the presentation slide was interrupted. He was receiving a Skype call. Anyway, the speaker declined the call, and the computer began ringing again. This repeated one more time, and the audience continued to laugh. It was a funny moment, raising questions of privacy and what it means to be available for communicating - is it rude to answer a computer call in front of others? I made sure my phone was on silent. It turned out that the skype caller was in fact the next speaker - trying to connect to give his talk remotely.

--rolf

*EDIT - Reading this again, it really doesn't seem to be that funny. You'll just have to trust me.

2 comments:

  1. It's funny! (one of those situations where there are no rules to fall back on so people have to improvise).

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  2. He should have answered and pretended like he was an answering machine... ;)

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