The Future of Looking Back (Anglais) Broché – 28 septembre 2011
Description du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
What will we leave behind in this new digital age? As digital technology takes an ever-increasing role in our lives, one question is how we’ll manage our collections after we’re gone. What takes the place of shoeboxes full of pictures and dog-eared record albums? Get an inside look at Microsoft researcher Richard Banks’s thinking about how we might manage the digital artifacts and content we’re creating now—and how we might pass on or inherit these kinds of items in the future.
About the Microsoft Research Series
At Microsoft Research, we’re driven to imagine and to invent. Our desire is to create technology that helps people realize their full potential, and to advance the state of the art in computer science. The Microsoft Research series shares the insights of Microsoft researchers as they explore the new and the transformative.
Biographie de l'auteur
Richard Banks is an interaction designer in the Microsoft Research Socio-Digital Systems group, part of the Computer Mediated Living group in the Microsoft Research Cambridge facility. He works primarily on the design of new user experiences for people’s everyday lives.
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The author extends these discussions in several ways, detailing ways we can record our lives online by contributing to social sites such as Facebook (will Facebook even be around in 50 years?), using a GPS based system to keep track of everywhere we go, another app to keep track of the music we listen to, the movies we watch, another one to record the weather we experience every day. We can now do 3D records and recreations of the people we know, the objects we treasure, what will we come up with next?
But for me the most telling vignette is his telling of looking through 200 photos left by his grandfather in an old suitcase. Those photos told a story of his grandfather that he'd never known. And he contrasts the impact of those 200 photos with the ~ 200,000 photos that he expects to leave behind. It seems that the more we leave behind, the less meaning there is per momento. Maybe we should concentrate on a few well chosen momentos, rather than a hopelessly large collage.
The author's commentary and discussion are based on a mix of personal observations, comments about other people's experiences, references to various digital devices (some implemented and others experimental), and speculation about potential new digital devices. Each chapter ends with a brief "Design challenges" section that poses rhetorical questions to stimulate the reader's thinking about the topics and ideas explored in the chapter. The author does not use footnotes in the text, but provides a References section at the end of the book with citations to references listed for each chapter.
The book is a thoughtful and occasionally evocative exploration of how we reminisce, preserve memories, and transmit and receive personal legacies. It explores serious and deeply personal topics in a manner that is fairly down-to-earth, relatively jargon-free, and readily understandable to readers without any particular level of training or experience with digital technology.
And that is what Richard Banks' The Future of Looking Back is all about.
As the tactile gives way to the digital, the way we experience our past is changing - in some ways for the better, in others for the poorer, but mostly in ways unknown. Banks explores the implications of the digital world for the way we interact with the artefacts of our past. It is an interesting read moving steadily from insight to insight with an easy mix of hard analysis and personal reflections. Written as part of the Microsoft research program, The Future of Looking Back charts some of the design opportunities and challenges the development of the next generation of technologies - as such it will appeal both to those with an interest in designing technology as well as those, like me, who are curious about how technology influences our way of living.
Don't expect any earth-shattering revelations or an exciting journey through a high-tech mythical future. Instead, Banks lays out a plausible and pragmatic vision for technologies that seem in most cases just a matter of years, or perhaps months away. This is a book that won't appeal to everyone, but it is an intelligent and thoughtful exploration of an important subject that has largely escaped attention.
Banks creates an amazingly readable analysis of how we use objects to remember. From photographs to journals to data to video and more, we gets us to consider what makes meaningful artifacts for reminiscence and viewing a life. He sprinkles the end of his chapters with thought-provoking questions on how we might plan and execute creation, collection, storage and use of these objects.
Working at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK, he could certainly have produced a hard-to-follow, complex technical tome. Instead, its 141 pages (plus supporting references) are clear and concise. He divides the subject into the nature of the objects we use to remember, the hows and whys of reminiscence, and new and pending tools for doing so
The only thing that stopped me was a series of design questions at chapter ends. I was compelled to think about how I deal with my pictures and other paper and digital objects.
I hope he has a follow-up book. It could deal with examples of designing and executing the big, honking collections of objects we can produce. Getting them so that they will be useful for ourselves and others is a whole other matter. I bet he has categorized, sorted and prioritized his digital life.
In the end of each chapter, design challenges are fantastic and provide a quite peek into Bank's designer brain.
This book is certainly good read.