Everything old is new again

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Presentation by Stephanie Rieger of Yiibu at the MobX Conference in Berlin, Germany November 17, 2012.

Presentation by Stephanie Rieger of Yiibu at the MobX Conference in Berlin, Germany November 17, 2012.

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  • 1. everything old is new again designing for the futurehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ssoosay/4128397609/
  • 2. “...it takes on average 20 years for a technology to make the transition from first articulation to maturity (defined as becoming a $1billion industry)…the mouse, for example, took 30 years. “ – Bill Buxton, Principle researcher MicrosoftPatent 3522664 November 1967
  • 3. take for example the humble fax machine... (a technology that may finally have outlived its usefulness)http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattjiggins/4009310821/
  • 4. 1843 Alexander Bain The fax machine was first envisioned and patented in 1843 by Scotsman Alexander Bain... (image shown is of an 1850 iteration)Image source: Wikipedia
  • 5. 1843 1848 Alexander Bain Frederick Bakewell ...then improved on (and patented once again) in 1848 by Frederick Bakewell.Image source: Wikipedia
  • 6. 1843 1848 1861 Alexander Bain Frederick Bakewell Giovanni Castelli Then improved on once again 13 years later, this time by Giovanni Castelli, an Italian priest... Castelli’s pantelegraphPantelegraph image courtesy ITIS Gallileo
  • 7. 1843 1848 1861 1865Alexander Bain first fax service Frederick Bakewell Giovanni Castelli Then in 1865, Castelli went on to establish the first Paris public fax service... (the service worked over telegraph lines and ran between Paris and Lyon) Lyon
  • 8. 1843 1848 1861 1865 1876 Alexander Bain first fax service Frederick Bakewell Giovanni Castelli ...this was still 11 years before the invention of the telephone... (this isn’t unusual—we don’t always know the true value of a technology until a related one comes along) Photo of Bell usin g t h e t e le phone in N e w Yo r k.Image source: Wikipedia
  • 9. 1843 1848 1861 1865 1876 telephone Alexander Bain patent: first fax service Alexander Frederick Bakewell Graham Bell Innocenzo Giovanni Castelli Manzetti Thomas Six people were known to have been working on Edison “voice transmission over a wire” around the J. P. Reis time that Bell was ultimately successful in Elisha Gray obtaining the first patent. Antonio Meucci Alexander Thomas Innocenzo Johann Elisha Antonio Graham Bell Edison Manzetti Phillip Reis Gray MeucciImage source: Wikipedia - History of the telephone
  • 10. 1843 1848 1861 1865 1876 1877 telephone Alexander Bain patent: first fax service Alexander Frederick Bakewell Graham Bell Innocenzo Giovanni Castelli Manzetti Thomas telephone Shortly thereafter, a Hungarian engineer by the Edison exchange: Tivadar Puskás name of Tivadar Puskás invented the telephone J. P. Reis switchboard—which allowed for the formation of Elisha Gray telephone exchanges (and eventually networks). Antonio Meucci Alexander Thomas Innocenzo Johann Elisha Antonio Tivadar Graham Bell Edison Manzetti Phillip Reis Gray Meucci PuskásImage source: Wikipedia - History of the telephone
  • 11. almost immediately—we began dreaming up ways to move phones aroundhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/3989643653
  • 12. an example from the early 1920s A wireless phone prototype for the well- to-do lady on the town...Watch the video Courtesy Pathé Films Archive on YouTube
  • 13. ...of course it’s a bit bulky, so the lady may need a gentleman to carry it...Watch the video Courtesy Pathé Films Archive on YouTube
  • 14. telephone box wire coiled around a fire hydrant “The two ladies are using a small simple HF radio, probably a ‘Cat’s Whisker’ type. For it to work it needs to be earthed, which is why it’s connected to the fire hydrant...”Watch the video Courtesy Pathé Films Archive on YouTube
  • 15. handheld mouthpiece “The antenna (or aerial) is the wire in the umbrella...” - Explanation courtesy of Simon Atkins, an Ex-Royal Signals officerWatch the video Courtesy Pathé Films Archive on YouTube
  • 16. the simplest solution was of course to distribute the phones throughout our environment (a solution that remained useful for more than 100 years!)Public phone booth: Lancaster county Pennsylvania
  • 17. in a pinch, you could also build a portable booth a mobile phone center for reporters in 1960s ChicagoCopyright: Popular Science - via modernmechanix.com
  • 18. Finally, after twenty years of experimentation(and the invention of microprocessors) we ended up with this.... 1983: the $3,995 DynaTAC the first mobile telephone that could connect to the telephone network without the assistance of a mobile operator
  • 19. ...which was released about the same time as this. 1984: the Apple Macintosh the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface
  • 20. ...the following ten years were pretty much devoted to finding ways to combine these two concepts.... +
  • 21. ...until in 1993, IBM and Bell South released the world’sfirst smartphone: the Simon Personal Communicator... ooh, rounded corners…
  • 22. Simon was not just the first device to combine a portable computer with a phone...it also incorporated many concepts that are now standard on mobile devices... clock touchscreen calendar virtual keyboard address book electronic sketchpad email handwriting recognition text messaging predictive text input
  • 23. Simon’s creators also envisioned the concept of apps to personalise and extend the device’s capabilities + Accounting Music Player Camera Version 1.0 Version 1.1 Version 1.0 cartridges designed to fit Simon’s PCMCIA slotArtist’s rendering based on photos from “Before iPhone and Android came Simon”
  • 24. Simon retailed for $899 and sold about 50,000 units until it was discontinued due to a combination of “...technical limitations, product delays, a world-class corporate meltdown, revolving-door management, and bad business decisions...”Source: “Before iPhone and Android came Simon”
  • 25. Simon’s apps were designed to be installed directly onto the device...yet around that time scientists at Xerox PARC were experimenting with a slightly different approach...Courtesy Xerox PARC press archive
  • 26. “ The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it…. - Mark Weiser (1991)http://www.flickr.com/photos/armaggeusa/3176297283
  • 27. To further explore Weiser’s predictions of the implications of ubiquitous computing, PARC developed an office based context-aware networked computing environment, and a device they called the PARC TAB.Courtesy Xerox PARC press archive
  • 28. The TAB was designed to be carried or worn at all times.Its size, weight, and features were specifically intended to promote casual, spur of the moment, computing. Name: Marge Eldridge Office: [ ] Ext: 518 Manager: chorded keys enabling basic Manages: 25/1/94 14:39 @ [ 461770] one-handed navigation “ 14:41 @ ” 14:41 511 462983 “ 14:42 @ ” 14:45 touch screen + stylus
  • 29. This level of portability (unheard of in 1993) was made possible by several key design decisions. constantly connected to other Tabs and computers through a series of infrared communication hubs tiny processor = TAB applicationssmaller, cheaper & run on a user’s (far more lightweight more capable) (terminal-style) added benefit: desktop system device contextual awareness (e.g. location, interactions with other devices, data and applications accessed)(apparently, researchers at Euro PARC were Mac based and developed ways to use and prototype Tab applications on a Mac)
  • 30. This environment also enabled experiments in “intimate computing”. One of these was a context- aware application prototype called “Forget-me-not”. Name: Marge Eldridge Office: [ ] Ext: 518 Manager: The app was designed to Manages: 25/1/94 14:39 @ [ 461770] serve as an “external “ 14:41 @ ” 14:41 511 462983 memory prosthetic”, “ 14:42 @ automatically gathering data ” 14:45 (from the TAB or other devices operating on the network). This data could be used by participants to easily Manages: track and recall important 25/1/94 14:39 @ [ 461770] aspects of their lives. “ 14:41 @ phone date time person 1 call number person 2 dialledForget me not: Intimate computing in support of human memory
  • 31. 1983 1984 1992 1993 today todayMotorola IBMDynaTAC Simon PARC TAB Apple Macintosh ....the iPhone, Facebook and cloud computing were still close to 20 years away...
  • 32. when working with technology it’s easy to believe that if something is cool, useful or in some way “superior” it will inevitably thrivehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/remedios/66912941
  • 33. “ ...you’ll never hear someone spontaneously express a wish for a ubiquitous house or city. There are days, in fact, when it can seem to me that the entire endeavor has arisen out of some combination of the technically feasible and that which is of interest to people working in HCI. - Adam Greenfield, Everywarehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/dodoorg/5023608260
  • 34. ...no matter how cool it may be...many technologies, ecosystems and conditions must align before an invention enters the lives of “normal people”.1937 1962 1971 2012 40 years of innovation including the growth of “The Electrocular” the microprocessor, the Internet, the web, something network data protocols, display technologies.... normal people will use :-) Google’s Project Glassuse of reflector sights in Virtual reality gogglescockpits during World War II Dr. Ivan Sutherland University of Utah
  • 35. It’s worth remembering as well that “normal people” don’t actually have to use a technology for it to impact their lives...1937 1960 1962 1971 2012 40 years of innovation including the growth of Gilbert “The Electrocular” the microprocessor, the Internet, the web, something Klopfstein, a network data protocols, display technologies.... normal people French test-pilot will use :-) creates first HUD system for use in Google’s commercial Project Glass aviationuse of reflector sights in Virtual reality gogglescockpits during World War II Dr. Ivan Sutherland University of Utah
  • 36. ...the most useful and widely deployed implementations may also turn out to be relatively mundane...1937 1960 1962 1971 1988 2012 Gilbert “The Electrocular” BMW implements the something Klopfstein, a first HUD-integrated normal people French test-pilot telematics will use :-) creates first HUD system for use in Google’s commercial Project Glass aviationuse of reflector sights in Virtual reality gogglescockpits during World War II Dr. Ivan Sutherland (modern day version shown) University of Utah
  • 37. “Technological revolutions haveseveral interesting properties.First, we tend to overestimatethe immediate impact andunderestimate the long-termimpact.Second, we tend to place theemphasis on the technologiesthemselves, when it is really thesocial impact and cultural changethat will be most dramatic.”– Don Norman, Drop everything you’re doing http://www.flickr.com/photos/jordanfischer/61429449
  • 38. learning how to use a new technology is one thing...http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcfrog/4692750598
  • 39. making space for it in our lives is anotherhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/krossbow/4509414056
  • 40. even when the value proposition should appear obviousBell telephone advertisement in National Geographic, 1958 - via Modernmechanix
  • 41. this not only makes it tricky to market new products...it can also prevent those who design and develop them from imagining something completely new...
  • 42. From futurists to product designers...we can’t help but insert bits of the present into our dreams of the future... telecommunication in the year 2000 ...as imagined in 1910Utopia: The Quest for the Ideal Society in the Western World
  • 43. ...and re-imagined in 1956Scientific American, 1956 - via Modernmechanix
  • 44. Home of the Future:as imagined by Disney Imagineering, MIT and Monsanto in 1957
  • 45. The home of the future looks futuristic and is entirely made of plastic! -1957-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 46. ...the interior however is designed to feel familiar, with a “normal” looking piano and dining room... -1957-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 47. The recurring selling point however is plastic. There are plastic countertops, (motorised) plastics shelves and a “luxurious” set of plastic cups, plates and dishes. (Monsanto’s involvement obviously had something to do with this, but plastic was also the modern substance of the day). -1957-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 48. In the bedroom “the lady of the house” has her own private plastic boudoir. On the counter is a speaker phone, complete with ultra modern push buttons instead of a rotary dial. (Note how lovingly the wife stares at the phone while speaking to her husband. On the one hand it’s charming that multitasking as you speak wasnt yet socially acceptable but it also kind of -1957- sad that 50 years later, we still spend a lot of time staring at our phones.)Watch the video on YouTube
  • 49. The man of the house has the pleasure of shaving in his ultra modern bathroom—fashioned out of one giant piece of pre- moulded plastic. There’s also a “built-in” razor. (The razor is corded and hardwired to the wall :-) -1957-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 50. The future of shopping: as imagined in 1969
  • 51. The lady of the house browses a selection of tempting offers via video display. -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 52. Push-buttons and dials are used to control what appears on the display... -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 53. She then uses another device to key in her choice of purchase. (It was hard to imagine at that point that devices might just “talk” to each other). -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 54. (To prevent social embarrassment...) the husband receives an itemised list of his wife’s purchases. -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 55. ...which he carefully inspects... -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 56. ...he then prints a copy of the order and uses a touch screen and stylus to sign in approval. -1969-Watch the video on YouTube
  • 57. but mixing old and new isn’t all bad...
  • 58. sometimes it may be exactly what we needhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/davilla/3363343340
  • 59. The “old” brings with it familiar metaphors...http://www.flickr.com/photos/mujitra/6778948371
  • 60. ...and provides a commonconceptual framework.familiar gesturesays “I get howto use this...”
  • 61. ...transforming something alien into something that feels magical, yet familiar enough that you can see yourself using it. so many wires...run away! almost like shopping at Nike :-)Courtesy Makerbot Industries Blog and on Flickr
  • 62. “Successful products are precisely those that don’t attempt to move user experiences significantly, even if the underlying technology has radically shifted. In fact the whole point of user experience design is to manufacture the necessary normalcy for a product to succeed...” - Greg Borensteinhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ducdigital/2892313560
  • 63. with nothing familiar to hold on to it’s maybe not surprising that some ideas never quite make ithttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/302869583
  • 64. but metaphor and familiarity only go so far...
  • 65. Golly gee...with a contraption like this, my wife could spend the whole day shopping! Good thing I still have to approve all those purchases! many new technologies requirefeatures to (implicitly) alleviate social angst
  • 66. Source: Wikipedia In 1982 GRiD Systems Corp. released the first clamshell style laptop. The GRiD Compass 1100 cost $8,150, yet that’s not why it failed to catch on...
  • 67. “It was designed for business executives. And...one of the biggest obstacles, we had for selling the product was the fact—believe it or not—that it had a keyboard. Business people, who were in their 40s and 50s, didn’t have a computer or keyboard in their offices. It was associated with being part of the secretarial pool. And so youd put this thing in their office and theyd say, "Get that out of here." It was like getting a demotion. They were really uncomfortable with it.” – Jeff Hawkins speaking at the Computer History Museumhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ducdigital/2892313560
  • 68. according to anthropologist Genevieve Bell a technology must have the potential to impact us in three ways to cause social angst... (or as she calls it “moral panic”Women and children first : technology and moral panic
  • 69. it has to changeour relationship to time... http://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/2882556082
  • 70. it has to change our relationship to space...http://www.flickr.com/photos/shokai/4678255766
  • 71. ...and change our relationshipto other peoplehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/misbehave/2352753067
  • 72. ...changes in our relationship to time and spacedon’t come along nearly as often as they used to....
  • 73. the phonograph suddenly made it possible to hear the voices of the dead...http://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/7400339252
  • 74. “...it is really flying, and it is impossible to divest yourself of the notion of instant death...“ – The Railway Journey: The Industrialization of Time and Space in the 19th Century the advent of the railway caused intense fear of death... (above and beyond that caused by horrific accidents)Train wreck at Montparnasse, 1895, Wikipediahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/puuikibeach/7400339252
  • 75. ...it also caused what the Lancet medical journal then termed “nervous fatigue”...
  • 76. “...even the elementary concepts of space and time have begun to vacillate. Space is killed by the railways, and we are left with time alone.“ – German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)http://www.flickr.com/photos/svensson/601272668
  • 77. shifting time and space may now seem somewhat mundane...
  • 78. ...but changes in ourrelationships with people will likely cause angst for many years to come
  • 79. ...so what can the past teach us about designing for the future?
  • 80. we often talk about the future as if it will arrive, fully formed on our doorstep one fine morningPublic domain: Space colony art from the 1970s
  • 81. residential smart card entry 4G alreadyold, organically formed overtaking 3G neighbourhoods ...and the stories we tell city-wide wi-fi contactless Octopus smart card but the future is already here... smart grid and the old all jumbled up environmental monitoring with the new... paper map from the hotel http://www.flickr.com/photos/milo_riano/4336541309
  • 82. the success of the products we designwill be defined not merely by thetechnologies we invent... http://www.flickr.com/photos/preetamrai/5438199316
  • 83. Rate of acceleration/deceleration of technology adoption by country but by the cultures that choose to welcome them...Research by Intel measures the rate at which technology adoption exceeds (or fallsbelow) expectations for the country’s level of GDP. Rates have been averaged acrossthree technologies: mobile phones, PC’s, and internet users.
  • 84. which brings us back to the humble fax machine... a technology that now gathers dust in all but one “modern” culturehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mattjiggins/4009310821/
  • 85. ...Japan
  • 86. culture of handwritten documents warmth & personality instant visibility tech literacy: 1/5 of the population is over 65 use of seals instead of signatures for official transactions in Japan, fax machines still thrive in the home and at workSource: Japan and the fax: a love affair http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/55026589
  • 87. But culture isn’t just about them... (these people we call “users”)
  • 88. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz oncedefined culture as “...the stories wetell ourselves about ourselves. “ http://www.flickr.com/photos/leweb3/6498812861/
  • 89. The more technology surrounds us,the more all of us will play a part indefining these stories... http://www.flickr.com/photos/leweb3/6498812861/
  • 90. ...the future will not just be definedby the next big invention—it will bealso be defined by our ability todream beyond existing ones. http://www.flickr.com/photos/leweb3/6498812861/
  • 91. “...innovation is not about doing somethingnew out of thin air. It is about forgettingthat what you are doing is old.- Dawn Nafus, anthropologist http://www.flickr.com/photos/keepwaddling1/3048726936/
  • 92. scontact uat hello@yiibu.com Presentation deck available @ http://www.slideshare.net/yiibu many thanks to the amazing photographers on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 @yiibu thank you http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinou/453593446