Something important is missing!
We spend hours gripping and staring madly into our personal devices: our smartphones, tablets, ereaders.
But the difference between our collective devices – like a TV or radio – and our personal devices is that it can be impossible for people around us to know what the heck we are doing when we are on/in our personal devices.
This is the wormhole we appear to disappear down to those around us when we use these devices.
I could be ordering the shopping or looking at pRon, chatting with my brother or filing an urgent report to a client, reading a book or dicking around in a casual game.
The context that was native to single format devices like a newspaper is missing in this multipurpose world.
And from a relationships point of view, this really matters.
We sit in collective shared spaces physically, entirely disconnected and ignorant of where the others are, each in their own personal wormhole.
How does that influence our relationships? What is it like to be sat near someone and yet have no idea where they are and what is going on for them? Is that colleague in a meeting replying to something urgent or playing online Scrabble?!
Personally from experience I think this can be a source of friction, a flashpoint and a place where both/ all parties can feel aggrieved.
The context is missing.
These devices have faces but no facial expressions!
It got me wondering what simple design solutions could solve this problem.
Could my iPhone use coloured lights on its reverse cover to give a sense to others of whether I am working, playing, reading?
Could your tablet sing or ding to indicate aurally what kinda activity you were up to?