Globicomp-doing ubicomp differently: introduction to the special issue

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (Impact Factor: 1.52). 08/2011; 15(6):551-552. DOI: 10.1007/s00779-010-0336-2
Source: DBLP


The bulk of the research community’s work to date has been focussed on the so-called ‘developed’ world— contexts where there are already well-established technical infrastructures and digital resources. These contexts have users who have relatively high level of computer literacy, typically have a high degree of textual literacy and have undergone a formal education. Examples include sophisticated ‘smart’ homes with digital noticeboards and even interactive fridge doors [3]; embedded technologies for amusement parks [2]; and, cities and urban dwellers with time to, ‘‘marvel at mundane everyday experiences and objects that evoke mystery, doubt, and uncertainty. How many newspapers has that person sold today? When was that bus last repaired? How far have I walked today? How many people have ever sat on that bench? Does that woman own a cat? Did a child or adult spit that gum onto the sidewalk?’’ [1]. But pervasive digital technology is no longer the preserve of the developed world. The ITU reports that in the developing world, some 68% of people have access to the cellular network [4]. Furthermore, 90% of the world’s population, and 80% of its rural population, live within range of the cellular network. Therefore, there are hundreds of millions of users, and billions to come in the next 5 years, in places like India, China, and Africa, whose first, and perhaps only, experience of computing will be in the


Available from: Gary Marsden