Genevieve Bell, PhD in Anthropology from Stanford, is Director of Intel Corporation’s Interaction and Experience Research. As a cultural anthropologist, she studies how various cultures use technology. In addition to this article, she and Paul Dourish co-wrote Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing (2011). [See other Dourish entry for his bio.]
What happens when computation leaves the desktop and enters our daily practice in the “third age” (Weiser, 1991, as cited on 414) ubiquitous computing (aka “pervasive computing,” “context-aware computing”)? In this context, computer devices penetrate all our actions, so “though each device may be small, the overall effect to be achieved through the combination of hundreds of thousands of devices…can be massive” (415).