Everyware : The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing

Adam Greenfield’s book “Everyware : The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing” is about to be released.

I’ve known Adam for a number of years (he was an early advisor of mine while WINKsite was being conceived), enjoying many engaging conversations over many a cup of coffee. “Everyware” is the culmination of his life experiences, thoughtful explorations, and beliefs. I for one can not wait to get my hands on my pre- ordered copy.

Last year, Adam Greenfield wrote an inspring article titled, “All watched over by machines of loving grace: Some ethical guidelines for user experience in ubiquitous-computing settings”. (On the same topic.)

Adam provided some general principles for us to observe, as designers and developers for ubiquitous systems.

    Principle 0, is, of course, first, do no harm.

    Principle 1. Default to harmlessness. Ubiquitous systems must default to a mode that ensures their users’ (physical, psychic and financial) safety.

    Principle 2. Be self-disclosing. Ubiquitous systems must contain provisions for immediate and transparent querying of their ownership, use, capabilities, etc., such that human beings encountering them are empowered to make informed decisions regarding exposure to same.

    Principle 3. Be conservative of face. Ubiquitous systems are always already social systems, and must contain provisions such that wherever possible they not unnecessarily embarrass, humiliate, or shame their users.

    Principle 4. Be conservative of time. Ubiquitous systems must not introduce undue complications into ordinary operations.

    Principle 5. Be deniable. Ubiquitous systems must offer users the ability to opt out, always and at any point.

I, for one, am sticking close and watching Adam. You should, too.

Book Description: Everyware : The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing
“From the RFID tags now embedded in everything from soda cans to the family pet, to smart buildings that subtly adapt to the changing flow of visitors, to gestural interfaces like the ones seen in Minority Report, computing no longer looks much like it used to. Increasingly invisible but present everywhere in our lives, it has moved off the desktop and out into everyday life–affecting almost every one of us, whether we’re entirely aware of it or not.

Author Adam Greenfield calls this ubiquitous computing “everyware.” In a uniquely engaging approach to this complex topic, Greenfield explains how such “information processing dissolving in behavior” is reshaping our lives; brief, aphoristic chapters explore the technologies, practices, and innovations that make everyware so powerful and seem so inevitable.

If you’ve ever sensed both the promise of the next computing, and the challenges it represents for all of us, this is the book for you. “Everyware” aims to gives its reader the tools to understand the next computing, and make the kind of wise decisions that will shape its emergence in ways that support the best that is in us.”

Adam Greenfield
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Adam Greenfield is an American writer and information architect. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1968.

Greenfield attended New York University during the late 1980s, earning a degree in Cultural Studies. By the mid-1990s, he had enlisted in the United States Army’s reserve component Special Operations Command as a Psychological operations specialist, holding MOS 37F and eventually achieving the grade of Sergeant.

Greenfield took up work in the then-nascent field of information architecture for the World Wide Web, holding a succession of prominent positions culminating in employment at the Tokyo office of Razorfish, where he was head of the information architecture department. He is probably best known for having written an “open-source constitution for post-national states” called the Minimal Compact, as well as proposed ethical guidelines for developers of ubiquitous-computing environments. He is also credited with having coined the word “moblog” to describe the practice of publishing to the World Wide Web from mobile devices, and the word “everyware” as an umbrella term for ubiquitous and pervasive computing, ambient informatics and tangible media. He is the author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (ISBN 0321384016) (2006).

He is generally considered to be a thought leader in the information architecture and user experience professions. Greenfield maintains a Web site devoted to discussions of “beauty, utility and balance across the meta-field of design.”

O’Reilly’s Nokia Smartphone Hacks Acknowledges Winksite

Winksite received a few pages of mention in the recently published “Nokia Smartphone Hacks” written by Michael Yuan. As part of O’Reilly’s famed Hacks book series, the book provides power tips to users who want to make the most out their mobile phones.

Winksite was singled out for providing mobile phone users with the ability to create their own personalized mobile portals – helping them to tame their growing collections of off-portal, user-generated content – friends, feeds and favorites.

Get it here at Amazon.

Politics to Go: How Mobile Technology Empowers Just-in-Time Politics

Today the first book that I ever contributed to came out. Its full title is “The Politics to Go Handbook: A Guide to Using Mobile Technology in Politics”. It officially launched at the Politics to Go Conference held at George Washington University.

This handbook introduces some of the latest mobile technologies, examines their current uses and political successes, considers future possibilities and challenges and offers simple how-to guides for implementing these new technologies into campaigns. The publication features ten diverse chapters of forward-thinking articles and practical guides written by 50 expert authors, totaling 131 pages of informative reading that will help you take your next campaign to the next level. The Politics to Go Handbook is available as an Adobe PDF document, and as a podcast (.MP3 format, runs 30:54, 10 MB).

Although I was not able to attend the event I had the pleasure of many conversations over the phone with Julie Barko, Editor, Politics to Go and Deputy Director, Institute for Politics Democracy and the Internet.

Here’s the official media release:

For Immediate Release, August 8, 2005
For more information: Kathie Legg
Phone: 202-994-1003


Washington, Aug. 10, 2005 – David Harper, founder of Winksite.com, will author a section in Politics to Go, a handbook on the political uses of mobile technology that anthologizes over 50 of today’s top names in technology and politics. The Politics to Go Handbook is published by the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet (IPDI) at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

“The Politics to Go Handbook will serve as a manual for using mobile technology in the political realm,” said Carol Darr, Director of the Institute, “not only for candidates, but for issue advocacy groups, nonprofits, civic groups, political consultants, lobbyists, local governments and citizen activists.”

It also draws on the experience and expertise of experts from around the globe to describe the mobile political audience, predict how mobile tech will be used in future elections and discuss any roadblocks that may occur.

The publication will be released at an event hosted by IPDI and sponsored by Wired magazine on September 13, titled Politics to Go: How Mobile Technology Empowers Just-in-Time Politics. The event will introduce some of the latest mobile technology techniques, examine the current uses and political successes of mobile technology and discuss future possibilities and challenges. It will feature a gadget lab and sponsor display area. Two panels of visionaries, analysts and practical implementers will discuss these issues and facilitate an open question-and-answer dialogue with the audience.

The Politics to Go report release, panel discussion and hands-on event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2005. Breakfast will be served. The event is free and open to the public.