This was my speech for the Emerging Communications Conference 2010.
We are now entering into an era of liquid interfaces, where buttons can be downloaded at will, and software flies through the air. Phones have been untethered from their cords and are free to colonize our pockets. They cry, and we must pick them up. They get hungry, and we must plug them in. We increasingly live on interfaces, and it is their quality and design which increases our happiness and our frustration.
The best interfaces compress the time and space it takes to absorb relevant information, and the worst cause us car accidents, lost revenue, and communication failures. We are tool using creatures. Prosthetics touch almost every part of our lives. Until recently, humans have used their hands and bodies to interface with objects. Early interfaces were solid and tactile. Now, the interface can be anywhere. This speech will discuss how the field of anthropology can be applied to interface design, and how future interfaces, such as the ones employed by augmented reality, will change the way we act, feel and communicate with one another. Topics will include non-places, time and space compression, privacy, user flow, supermodernity, wearable computing, work and play, gaming, history and prosthetic culture.
Speech originally at eComm 2010: http://america.arconf.com/2010/cyborg-anthropology.php
Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and corporate consultant currently living in Portland, Oregon. She founded CyborgCamp, a conference on the future of humans and computers. She has spoken at various industry conferences including MIT’s Futures of Entertainment and Inverge: The Interactive Convergence Conference. She’s also spoken at Ignite Portland and Ignite Boulder. She was previously a blogger for Discovery Channel and worked with Fortune 500 companies at Wieden+Kennedy, a global advertising agency based in Portland, Oregon.
Case specializes in information architecture, usability, online productivity, strategy, and ground-breaking communication methods. She utilizes qualitative/quantitative analysis and ethnographic methods in order to determine future idea/business/organizational developments. She employs anthropological methods to study the interaction between humans and computers. She is currently working on research related to participation architecture.
In December 2008, she founded CyborgCamp, an unconference on the future of humans and computers. Since then, the conference has gone global. Amber received degree in Sociology and Anthropology and wrote her thesis on mobile phones and their technosocial sites of engagement. She is available for speaking engagements, workshops, data aggregation and interface design.
Case blogs at http://oakhazelnut.com and can be found online at http://www.twitter.com/caseorganic.