A personal interface for information mash-up: exploring worlds both physical and virtual


A personal interface for information mash-up: exploring worlds both physical and virtual

Book chapter in “Understanding the New Generation Office: Collective Intelligence of 100 Specialists” (book project in Japan, by New Era Office Research Center, Tokyo) , August 18, 2009

This is a Big Idea piece for a collective intelligence book project by the New Era Office Research Center, Tokyo. It is written at the invitation of FX colleague Koushi Kawamoto. The project asks the same questions of 100 specialists: Answer these four questions about an idea for a next-generation workplace:
1. Want: what do I want to be able to do?
2. Should: what should a system to support this “want” be able to do?
3. Create: imagine what an instance of this idea might be.
4. Can: how could this instance be realized in reality?

WANT: In my ideal work environment, the data I need on everything and everyone should be available at my fingertips, all the time, in many configurations that I can mix-and-match to suit the needs of any task. This includes things like:

• documents of all types
• people’s status, tasks, and availability
• audio, video, mobile, and virtual world communication channels
• links to the physical world as appropriate, for example sensors delivering factory data, or the state of the machines I use daily in the workplace (printers, my PC, conference room systems), or awareness data about my colleagues.

CAN: How can we approach this problem? Let’s consider the creation of a personal interface or instrument for information mashup, capable of interacting with complex data structures, for tuning smart environments, and for exploring worlds both physical and virtual, in business, social and personal realms. Like any interactive system this idea has two parts: human-facing and system-facing. These can be called Interstitia I (extending human interactivity) and Interstitia II (enabling smart environments).