–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

something during my presentation

Recently in an article by Kevin Cheng of OK-Cancel, he ponders “Does Communication Everywhere Improve Communication?”. Of course it doesn’t … but it can be fun! …


So I found recently during my presentation with Robert Reimann (see my part of that presentation here) at the 2005 IDSA National Conference.

I was giving my presentation on the history of interaction design, when I hit my slide about social mediation.

Social Mediation slide

Suddenly something flashes on my screen (just my screen because I was in dual monitor mode that looked something like this).

Presentation slide with Bluetooth dialog

Blown up for your benefit you’ll see that someone in the audience sent me a photo from their PHONE! via bluetooth (a standard for connecting devices wirelessly over relatively short distances unlike Wi-Fi or Wi-Max):

blueTooth dialog blown up

Now, before we all go crazy with all the security issues (I had to accept the file before it was sent) I thought this was awesome! I mean what can be more interactive than that. AND the guys from the Motorola mobile device design team were in the room, and since the person was using one of their phones they were tickled pink! But seriously, I loved this type of interactivity with the audience. It was previously unheard of and quite the little crowd pleasure, too.

But I bet everyone is wondering whether or not it is worth it. I mean Kevin’s question is still there. Is there really such a thing as being TOO connected? While I do think that we all have to figure out what the real ethics of all this connectivity is, I don’t think we’ve figured out how we can take advantage of it yet. I love being connected. My friends find it a bit annoying as my phone goes off whenever I get a new e-mail. Of course I coudl put the phone on vibrate and no one would be the wiser. Maybe that is partially the answer–transparancy. But I do think that we are still in discovery and I’d rather make a whole lot of mistakes than turn the whole damn thing off. I’m sure the answer is in the middle for sure. But I don’t know what the middle is yet. Just having fun trying to find out.

[Note: The part of the presentaiton I was giving, since it might be hard to see, was about a web site called BluetoothFlirt.de. A program that allows people who have bluetooth enabled phones to find each other and then flirt without giving away their identities. I have also heard of another bluetooth phone game where people in a movie theatre get to play 20-questions with each other, the point is usually to find the one person who is leading the questions. Too fun!]

(Thanx to that audience member who felt inspired enough to participate in my presentation.)

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