Genevieve Bell and Paul Dourish suggest that the age of ubiquitous computing is not characterised by seamless, tidy, integrated experiences but rather a messier world of ad-hoc solutions.
“We have suggested that our failure to notice the arrival of ubiquitous computing is rooted (at least in part) in the idea of seamless interoperation and homogeneity. The ubicomp world was meant to be clean and orderly; it turns out instead to be a messy one. Rather than being invisible or unobtrusive, ubicomp devices are highly present, visible, and branded, but perhaps still unremarkable in the sense explored by Tolmie et al. Ubicomp has turned out to be characterized by improvisation and appropriation; by technologies lashed together and maintained in synch only through considerable efforts; by surprising appropriations of technology for purposes never imagined by their inventors and often radically opposed to them; by widely different social, cultural and legislative interpretations of the goals of technology; by flex, slop, and play.”
Link: Yesterday’s tomorrows: notes on ubiquitous computing’s dominant vision (ics.udi.edu, 240k PDF, via)