posted by pantopicon on Thursday, June 12th, 2008
Microsoft moves to patent technological means to enhance or enforce good manners on people with respect to their ways of using technological devices. Think of it as the digital ’service’ equivalent of the no-smoking sign.
First it was the family, the home where children received their basic education in terms of norms, values, good and bad manners. Then it became the school’s job. Now technology steps into the equation as well …
Let us hope that people find more poetic ways and means of getting the message of good manners across than showing a dialog box message on the screen of your electronic gadget. Will your cell phone whisper to you “don’t shout”? or increase the volume on the other end so you don’t start screaming in the first place? Context awareness of technology is one of the - if not the - primary prerequisite for smart behaviour. Linking social values to the concept of smart is one way to enhance user experience not merely for the user but also his/her surroundings (human/natural/physical. It is important to note however that these values are often culturally defined or biased.
For those interested in more experimental/poetic ways to influence people’s behaviour when using for example mobile phones, check out IDEO’s Social Mobile Phones ’shock-therapy’ project by Crispin Jones & Graham Pullin.