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Divining a Digital FutureMess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing$
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Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015554

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015554.001.0001

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Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing

Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing

(p.9) 2 Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing
Divining a Digital Future

Paul Dourish

Genevieve Bell

The MIT Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of Weiser’s classic article in Scientific American (1991) that laid the foundations for a research program in ubicomp, then turning its attention to the balance between past, present, and future embedded in conventional discourses about ubicomp. Of particular interest is the central conundrum posed by the fact that Weiser’s vision of the future is not only by this point an old one but also an extremely North American one. The chapter addresses the following questions: First, how should we understand the relationship between ubicomp’s envisioned future and our everyday present? Second, what influence does this have on contemporary ubicomp research? Third, what motivates and explains the remarkable persistence as well as centrality of Weiser’s vision?

Keywords:   ubicomp, research program, Weiser

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