Ubicomp4D: Interaction and Infrastructure for International Development-The Case of Urban Indian Slums

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  • 1. UbiComp4D : Infrastructure and Interaction for International Development Nithya Sambasivan | UC, Irvine Nimmi Rangaswamy | Microsoft Research India Ed Cutrell | Microsoft Research Bonnie Nardi | UC, Irvine The Case of Urban Indian Slums
  • 2. It’s a planet of slums
    • World population: 6.7 billion
    • No. of people below $2.50 a day: 3 billion
    • No. of non-literate: 1 billion
    • No. of people in slums : 1 billion
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • Accelerated poverty
    • In hypercities and megacities
    • Acute shortage of resources
    • Ubicomp can play a role here
  • 3. Ubicomp Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 4. Ubicomp Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • Traditionally for wealthy western audiences
    • Weiser’s vision
      • invisible, seamless, ubiquitous computation
    • Messy “Ubicomp of the present” [Bell & Dourish]
  • 5. Rethinking Ubicomp – Ubicomp4D
    • Understanding use and appropriation of tech in low-income contexts is critical
    • Ubicomp4D is the application of ubiquitous computing in addressing poverty-related issues
    • Low-cost, robust technological solutions
      • in resource-constrained environments
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 6. In this talk.. Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • Ethnographic findings from slums of Mumbai and Bangalore, India
    • Reimagining Ubicomp toward development
    • Design considerations for Ubicomp
  • 7. Concepts
    • ICT4D and millennium development goals
      • Health care [Sherwani et al] Agriculture [Gandhi et al] Education [Kam et al] Livelihoods [Jenson et al]
      • User innovations: Calling Practices [Sey] , sharing [Burrell] , Small Business: India [Donner] , Social networking: Jamaica [Horst & Miller]
    • Infrastructure : a vision of infrastructure that can be physical, social and interpersonal installations [Mainwaring et al]
    • Information Ecologies : system of people, practices, values and technologies in specific environments [Nardi]
    • Communication Ecologies : processes describing people communicating with others through extended social networks [Tacchi]
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 8. Methods Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • Ethnography
      • Participant observation
      • Semi-Structured interviews
      • Surveys
      • Photo Diaries
      • Profiles of technology use
    • Context
      • Habitats 3 (Mumbai 1 Bangalore 2)
      • people 32 (25 women 7)
      • self employed ,services
      • secondary to no schooling
      • migrants
  • 9. Research site: The Slum Ecology Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • External Geography
      • Metro-core
      • Assorted habitats of main roads and small alleyways
    • Dynamic Commercial space
      • Assorted enterprises and services
    • Domestic Space
      • 100-200 sq feet, partitioned, open doorways
    • Communal Space
      • Play grounds
      • Water Taps
      • Street corners
      • Door steps
  • 10.
    • Infrastructure
      • Disruptive
      • Discontinuous
      • Unstable
    • Usage
      • Communication
      • Entertainment
    • Devices
      • Nokia 2600 Phone/radio
      • Phone Camera
      • Cable TV/VCD
      • Fridge/ Blender
      • Home PC
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009 Technology landscape
  • 11. Vignette 1 : Kannama shared Work Phone
    • Kannama, 70, widow
    • Shares a Nokia 2600 with
    • son and daughter-in-law
    • Mobile is work-phone
      • Work efficiency
      • Constant connectivity
      • Status updates
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 12. Vignette 2 : Shabnum: Rich Mobile Use
    • Shabnum, 27, single mother of 2
      • Support artiste with national TV
    • All-purpose Mobile Phone
      • Always on
      • Expanded memory
      • 100 Songs
      • 4 Movies
      • 50 photos
      • Alerts and notifications
      • Her life-line
      • Her bodyguard
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 13. Vignette 3 : Pushpa’s Mediated VCD
    • Pushpa, 31, mother of three, domestic worker
    • Movies and music everyday
    • Husband is tech operator
    • Son mediates VCD use
      • Proximate intermediary
    • Their father usually operates these devices. I don’t know how I can watch movies without their assistance
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 14. Socio-Technical Ecology
    • Family
    • Peer
    • Friends
    • Experts
    • Business partners
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
    • Oral/ graphic
    • Communal
    • Semi-private
    • Shared
    • Mediated
    • Managed
    • Phone
    • TV
    • VCD
    • Radio
    • Print
    • PC
    Dynamics Technology
  • 15. Re-imagining Ubicomp for Development
    • Aspirations incorporate the technological dream
    • Despite resource deficits, they heavily consume ICTs
      • However, still plagued by poverty
      • Turn the consumption into a resource
    • Ubicomp builds good user experiences anywhere/everywhere
    • ICT4D is a social, economic, cultural, infrastructural, political
    • Multi-disciplinarity
    • Ubicomp4D: between grounded-ness and proximate future
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 16. Design considerations: Infrastructure Automation is not always the answer
    • Human mediators often inexpensive , more usable than automation
    • Enables ground checks and tech diffusion
      • e.g., DigitalGreen and StoryBank projects
    • Reinforces social networks
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 17.
    • Electricity failures , technology obsolescence
    • Seamful design [Chalmers and MacColl]
      • Beyond beautiful
    • Delay-tolerant networks [Aoki & Ho]
    • Asynchronous design
    • Tolerance of heat and dust
    • Design for interrupted use, non-use
    Design considerations: Infrastructure Design for Disruptions Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 18.
    • Instead of introducing new technologies, build upon the existing
    • Mobile phones are great
      • But , inexpensive large displays, phone projectors, computer-TV
    • Interlinking can add to computational power
    Design considerations: Infrastructure Create low-cost technologies Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 19.
    • Information handling is oral
      • informal , fluid, and negotiable exchange
    • Literacy levels are diverse
      • Build for non-literacy
      • Visual and auditory modalities
    Design considerations: Interaction Design for orality and literacy Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 20.
    • Multi-purpose spaces, objects, technologies
    • Cramming objects
    • Design must accommodate uses
    • Design for appropriation
    Design considerations: Interaction Multi-purpose design Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 21.
    • Security : Contextual handling
    • Tightening security may be disruptive to daily lives
    • Design : Multiple user profiles
    • Location can undermine/encourage usage
      • Communal places are opportunistic locations
    Design considerations: Interaction Community Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 22. Conclusion
    • Presented technology usage in slum communities
    • Creative appropriation of ICTs
    • A starting point is collaboration with local and grassroots partners
    • Ubicomp for a global community
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009
  • 23.
    • Questions?
    Ubicomp4D, Ubicomp 2009