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Micro mobility – I want to break free

6th November 09

Posted by Ben Malbon

Posted in mobile, technology

(Posted by Richard Schatzberger, Director of Creative Technology, BBH New York)

We spend a lot of time thinking about how now you can do things when you step away from the confines of your desk — tweeting in the supermarket, replying to email on the escalator. But what about when you are sitting in one of those comfy sofa’s or ergonomic Steel Case chairs? How does mobility come into play when you are in a fixed location?

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I recently started using Apple’s Magic Mouse and have found myself leaning back in my chair and just using the touch functions to navigate. It’s an oddly liberating feeling to move your hand and mouse away from the desk and still be in control.

I have also spent the week with the Motorola Droid and by far my favorite feature is the dock that sits on my bedside table. I am no longer fumbling for my iPhone to check the weather in the morning to decide what to wear before I get up. I can now retreat back under the covers for a few extra minutes of sleep as, right there in my peripheral view, I can see that it’s “56 degrees and cloudy”.

And, right now I am sitting with my headphones on as I write this, but I would much prefer to be untethered and have a sound laser wrap the sound around my space rather than having a device wrapped around my head–allowing me to move slightly to hear the conversation rather than removing an object from my body.

Mobile phones have untethered us from objects plugged into walls and wires so we can run jump and call at the same time, but we do live and work in a society where people sit in single locations for large amounts of time. I like to think of the new technology as a way to enable 7.1 Dolby Surround… for everything. Surround screens, surround data, surround interaction.

Micro mobility requires design for all our senses and subtle changes in the environment, rather than distinct I/O control giving people a new type of freedom in the locations they spend most of their time.

If you could unhook or liberate one thing that is sitting close to you right now, what would it be?

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