Archives For questions

Nokia has invited a series of geeks and gurus to ask questions as part of its Ideas Project. The questions stay up for a week; this is my week (woo!).

Here’s the question I asked:

How might mobile devices help people know and trust one another more deeply?

What do I mean?

The world of mobile app and device design is full of Pollyanna visions of how the devices will help us set up a date with our beloveds, complete with roses and limos (and fallback plans in case Cats is sold out). This vision was in General Magic‘s launch documents back in 1992.  Nobody’s yet fielded that app, but some are getting close, like Siri (which Apple just bought).

But I’m less interested in those use cases than in the ways our new, magical devices can help us tackle life’s raspier problems — like how we might all get along. Like making peace. That’s where I’m coming from in this question.

This may sound strange, but I’m inspired a bit by the Lovegety. LovegetyRemember it? Kind of a social Tamagotchi, without the high maintenance. You would code your preferences into your Lovegety and when it was close to a compatibly coded Lovegety, both would alert you that you should meet.

Ok, that’s a little weird, but what if our devices, when near each other, could sort out what we had in common? or not so much in common? And what if they could help us address those issues in a reasonable way?

How might we express what we care about?

Over the next days I’ll dive a little deeper into this topic, showing you an example of what I wish my device could declare on my behalf. Meanwhile, though, I invite you to comment on my question at the Ideas Project site (requires registration, but no tissue sample).