Adam Greenfield to be Nokia’s new Head of Design Direction

adam_greenfield.jpgAdam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, will be moving to Helsinki in August and begin his new role as “Head of Design Direction with Nokia’s design staff, with a remit for the service and user interface domain.”

I’ve been reading Adam’s blog since Charlie Schick pointed me to this particular post a little over a week ago arguing that today’s social networks fail to grasp the entire gauntlet of human emotion associated with relationships and that’s why he uses none of them. The knock on XFN for making you declare whether your relationship to an individual is positive or negative is a valid point, but I would argue that with Chris Messina’s ideas of simply using XFN to identify people you know and then build services around that data you remove the complexity associated with having to declare your relation to another person.

The terms that classify your relationship to a person often can’t be put into words, much less a check box on FaceBook, but that bond can be represented by the activities you do together. If Bob and I work at the same place then that defines as coworkers. If Bob and I hang out outside of the office then that defines us as friends. If Bob and I play football every Thursday at the park then we’re sportsmen. And so on, and so on.

“Imagine having to update your feelings about everyone you know in three axes, in anything approaching real time!”

How about imagining ubiquitous computing being smart enough to know that if Bob is no longer coming into the office he is not my coworker, but if we still hang out at the pub then we’re friends? How about one day in the future having bio sensors attached to my body that notice the increase in heart rate and moisture in my palms every time I see some one I fear or want to shag?

[Video: Adam speaking at LIFT 2007]

  • Ben

    Hello ?

    I am dazzled by the lack of critical thinking … or actually no by the embracement ( is that even a real word ) of new technologies without thinking one step further.

    Social networking and the emergence of exciting new mobile technologies might be pretty neat and kewl ( and I know how to spell cool ), but I wouldn’t just welcome any new technology with open arms before being aware of the risks that come with it ( and there are always risks )

    The question is if networking and intersecting every aspect of our live with the great matrix ( the internet, governement and company databases and so on )
    or if we want to retain a certain degree of freedom .

    My mobile provider know knows exactly when I am where unlesss I leave my mobile at home or pull the battery. I wouldn’t want my handset maker to know who I know and what my relationship is to them.

    We are not insects. We don’t need a Hive mind.

    I could go on for ages on this subject, but I’d rather discuss specicif points then write a philosophical monologue

  • Ben

    …. little edit

    the question is if networking and intersecting every aspect of our live with the great matrix ( the internet, governement and company databases and so on )

    /edit starts here

    is a good thing

    /end edit

    or if we want to retain a certain degree of freedom .

  • Andrew

    Who cares that much about social networking sites? The only people who really use them a lot are the people who treat them as a popularity contest anyway.

    Is this the guy we should be pestering about the S60 Touch interface? I’m guessing not.

  • Stefan Constantinescu

    Social sites are not important right now, but identity and more to the point who you are will be a critical element in defining the next generation of the internet.

    And @Ben: Every invention since fire has had its pros and cons, lets focus on the good things first while still keeping the malicious uses in the back of our mind.

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