I very much enjoyed the ubicomp paper by Di Salvo this past week. It had an explicit political tone which brings up a lot of important questions about the technologies we create. When and where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line? What does the power structure around this tech determine? Etc.

I wanted to post this video I saw today of a little kid wizard playing with the TV. It’s adorable, give it a watch.

I immediately thought of ubicomp and how cool it could be for kids to play with their environment with this sort of interaction. All the things toys that could be placed in a space could react to the cues providing ample opportunity for entertainment and learning. Imagine the opportunities if the star mural on the wall engaged someone this young instead of a video game. The implications on the future, especially with children, are endless.

Of course, the implications are endless. Where does this lead? What does the internet of things become for someone this young? We already live in a world where children are given devices at a young age and are subsequently glued to them as they develop. What about automation? We’ve seen the impact of robots doing the lifting and computers doing the deciding on auto industry. What skills could ubicomp render moot?

In my mind ubicomp is a slippery slope. I’m not sure I am ok with a WALL-Esque dystopia of slovenly unskilled self-centered society hell bent on ignoring the harsh realities of life. Yet, I can imagine so many other opportunities beneficial to our ability to learn and better society. The design of these technologies is highly dependent, as Jeff has often said, on us. Creating the right thing for the right reasons is super important.

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