Amen, Cameraphones are awesome social software devices!

From Donald Norman - C | Summit 2004 - The Human Side of Cameraphones:


The cellphone is a new platform. When Norman wrote “The Invisible Computer” he suggested that computers would cease to be the center of the mediated environment. We can buy, sell, read books, control the AC, run the bath water, use it for the subway…we can do everything. There was a lot of talk about how it’s too complicated, but it’s not easy to make something simple. It’s really hard. The way to do something simple is to let it do one thing really well. If you give multiple options, you need to specify what you want it to do. To make it simple, you’ll have to hire a huge team of social scientists…not technical people. The computer industry has learned this lesson, but perhaps the telecommunications industry hasn’t yet. Context…immediacy makes a huge difference. Even with analog photography, a large portion are never developed, others are never picked-up, others are not viewed, most of the rest are viewed once and stored. There is a very small number of people who actually organize their pictures. Consumer Marketplace This is very different from high-tech. This market is paradoxical: it’s very slow and conservative, but very fast and trendy. When a device takes off, and is adopted quickly, it’s 10 years. People are often proud of the fact that they’re not technologists. Norman asserts that it’s all about emotions. Carl’s talk was interesting. “Men thing the cameraphone is good for memos, and women think about it as a mirror…” Most of the killer apps have to do with enhancing social interaction.


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