Reading Response 2

I am responding to Mark Weiser's concept of Ubiqitous Computing (page 64).

Weisner envisioned a world where technologies "disappear" and "weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguisable from it". The smartphone accomplishes the latter, enabling us to access information wherever and whenever. However, instead of disappearing into the background of our lives, smartphones actively shape the way we live. Apps demand our attention and make staring at phones a part of our daily lives.

AR could bring us closer to Weiser's idea of Ubiqitous Computing by integrating our technology with the real world, and reclaiming our attention from smartphone screens. This hardware startup Humane (https://hu.ma.ne/) is making some kind of AR device that overlays the functions of a smartphone onto the physical world, so that you don't need to take out a physical screen. They aim to "put us back in touch with ourselves, each other, and the world around us." This sounds nice, and it could be a good step forward towards remedying screen reliance. However, I am always uncertain about new "game-changing" technologies because it is hard to predict the potential consequences. For example, I never would have thought about how being able to record music would change music from an activity that all people do to a practice reserved for the talented (page 91).

As somebody who wants to create and bring new things into the world, I wonder how to do my due diligence and think through consequences in an extensive and effective way. Is it enough to include diverse stakeholders in your design process? What sort of knowledge, research, and practices should any ethically-minded designer be aware of?