I would like to pick up Dimitris's last point and mention emergent
technologies which so far have not really entered the discussion-namely "The
internet of Things" combined with the Semantic web. I believe that these
technologies using passive RFID and intelligent tagging will eventually
create the bridges between physical and virtual, making urban hybrid
environments a de facto everyday experience. Much of the blue sky research
in mobile interaction is into emotional gestural and natural language
interfaces-seamless interaction will come sooner than we think. The issues
then will be around personal freedom, cognitive overload, trust and data
access- not to mention the type and quality of content.
2010/10/14 Dimitris Charitos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Dear YASMINers,
> Firstly, I would like to thank those who have so far contributed to the
> discussion for their very fruitful ideas and critical approach. I will
> respond below to some of the points made and also add a few more thoughts
> mine on the discussion topic.
> Katharine suggests that "we are finding it difficult to move beyond
> the rhetoric and to really respond to the challenge of how to engage
> with these hybrid cities as designers and how to understand the new
> behaviours that are emerging in these layered spaces".
> I very much agree. Indeed, we have not yet seen many systematic studies
> and/or models of designing such hybrid spaces for supporting the hybrid
> spatial experiences of those who will act within them and inhabit them.
> Some very relevant references on the subject are:
> . Adriana de Souza Silva's earlier work as well as her new book:
> e Silva, Α. & Sutko, D., (eds.), «Digital Cityscapes: Merging Digital and
> Urban Playspaces (Digital Formations)», Peter Lang Pub Inc,
> . Yianna Vogiazou's "Citi Tag" project (Knowledge Media Institute,
> Open University, UK) and her "Designing for Emergence" book
> . "Shared Encounters" (edited by Willis, K.S., Roussos, G. Struppek,
> M., Chorianopoulos, K., Computer Supported Collaborative Work series,
> These publications attempt to tackle the issue of designing hybrid spaces
> and experiences and I am looking forward to reading Richard Coyne's new
> which I hope will shed some more light onto this issue too.
> Katharine also suggests that "...For sure I carry a device with me
> that augments the space. But the screen is still my interface; it
> rarely spills out into the city."
> But when we are using a location - based system/application, is the
> interface limited just within the context of the screen? When we are
> interacting we may move around in physical space in order to trigger events
> or read/write information onto space. In this sense, physical space is a
> part of the context within which we interact and which is supporting
> navigation and interacting with geo-located information. So in my mind it
> may also be considered as an aspect of the interface that we experience. As
> J.L Gassee's suggests: the interface is "the cognitive locus of
> (if I remember his words correctly).
> Indeed, I agree with Katharine that we are yet a bit far from a situation
> where a significant part of the built elements that comprise our physical
> environment may be movable and may respond to our actions. This is of
> feasible but yet very complicated and expensive, but it is a matter of time
> until these systems become more affordable and are implemented within our
> everyday environments. And as Martin suggests, the lag in having these
> changes being implemented in the urban everyday context is normal. But when
> these technologies will become widely available and we will be accustomed
> their use, it will be in a ubiquitous manner and Martin suggests (like
> lobsters in the pot.....) and this is exactly why we need a more critical
> approach to the matter and a more through understanding of the impact of
> use of these socio-technical systems before they become a part of our
> everyday reality. This is where Tobias', Molly's and Katharine's thoughts
> are very useful into shedding some light onto the social and political
> impact of hybridizing the urban environment. (Tobias very rightly suggests
> that "You can achieve the most effective control, if there is an illusion
> no control: If you create a dispositive, where participants / citizens have
> the illusion to be authors / explorers of reality, it is much easier to
> control the space and the people within.")
> Recently I have been a member of the evaluation committee for the PhD of
> Socrates Yannoudes the subject of which is very interesting and very
> relevant to this issue. Socrates, if you follow the discussion I would urge
> you to post your view on the subject.
> > In the discussion on hybrid spaces, an earlier post from Martin and
> > Dimitiris (20 July) talked about 'The synchronous experience of a
> > mobile spatial interface and of the non-mediated physical environment,
> > a hybrid spatial experience, material (space determined by material
> > elements) and immaterial space (determined by digitally produced
> > representations) are merging'.
> Molly askes here if "we can we isolate specific examples of where they
> actually have merged? Off handheld devices?"
> I believe that augmented reality systems are close to what this merging
> be. The exact mapping of digitally produced and updated content onto
> physical space in a manner that the user can intuitively experience is
> closer to a "merging" of spatial elements which determine the spatial
> experience than a location-based system where the user needs some cognitive
> effort to mentally join the spatial representations in a "hybrid" spatial
> experience. Even in the last case though, some experiments we have
> (at the NT Lab of our department) have shown that users do experience a
> "hybrid" sense of space.
> Some very interesting examples presented by Martin, Molly and Tobias have
> been very useful at illustrating the points made, thanks very much for
> these. These examples illustrate very well the need for a less disjointed
> hybridity, connecting the inside with the outside, the tangible object
> (bench) with the ethereal, immaterial network (wi-fi connection) etc. This
> reminds me of a very relevant point made by Dimitris Papalexopoulos in a
> message he send in this discussion (30th of July) where he stresses the
> significance of BRIDGES being made between the physical and the digital:
> "BRIDGES between the physical and the digital are discrete elements
> disposing of certain autonomy in their conception and internal structure".
> These bridges are indeed a very important element of designing hybrid
> spatial experiences. More soon.....
> Best wishes
> Dr. Dimitrios Charitos
> Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Media Studies
> National and Kapodistrian University of
> e-mail: vedesign at otenet dot gr
> URL: www.media.uoa.gr/~charitos <http://www.media.uoa.gr/%7Echaritos>
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Professor of Digital Creativity
De Montfort University
IOCT/Art and Design
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