Our world is made of information that competes for our attention. What is needed? What is not? We cannot interact with our everyday life in the same way we interact with a desktop computer. The terms calm computing and calm technology were coined in 1995 by PARC Researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown in reaction to the increasing complexities that information technologies were creating.
Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user's primary task is not computing, but being human. The idea behind Calm Technology is to have smarter people, not things. Technology shouldn't require all of our attention, just some of it, and only when necessary.
How can our devices take advantage of location, proximity and haptics to help improve our lives instead of get in the way? How can designers can make apps “ambient” while respecting privacy and security?
This talk will cover how to use principles of Calm Technology to design the next generation of connected devices. We'll look at notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead.
Technology shouldn’t require all
of our attention, just some of it,
and only when necessary.
Calm technology makes use of our
peripheral attention, allowing us
to be aware of more things with
less cognitive overhead.
Empowering the Periphery
A calm technology will move easily from the
periphery of our attention, to the center, and back:
Things in the periphery are attuned to by the large
portion of our brains devoted to peripheral (sensory)
processing. By placing things in the periphery we are
able to attune to many more things than we could if
everything had to be at the center. Thus the periphery
is informing without overburdening.
- Weiser, Brown, The Coming Age of Calm Technology
I. Examples of
1. A technology should inform and encalm
2. Make use of the periphery
Two Principles of Calm Technology
1. Machines shouldn't act like humans
2. Humans shouldn't act like machines
3. Amplify the best part of each
Design for people first
but doesn’t need
The Roomba Robotic
LUMOBack Smart Posture Sensor
Buzzes you when
you exhibit poor
1. Haptics vs. auditory alerts (haptic compass)
2. Light status vs. full display (on/off)
3. Positive or negative tones (home electronics)
4. Transparency (inner-office windows)
Create ambient awareness through
Privacy is the ability
not to be surprised.
How can we design for privacy?!
1. Temporary Solution (Privacy by Design)
2. Longer term Solution (Data Ownership)
Privacy by Design: Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. Information & Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada. http://www.privacybydesign.ca/
Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare
do this well.
Expose privacy controls with every
piece of content that can be created
Half of privacy is perceived
The idea of privacy is socially created and
attached to behavioral norms.
Behavior can change when norms change.