Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 671–683 | Cite as

Broken probes: toward the design of worn media

  • Miwa Ikemiya
  • Daniela K. RosnerEmail author
Original Article


This article describes the development and use of broken probes: prompted processes of degradation that produce unique identifiers with which to associate and retrieve digitally recorded histories. We offer our design and deployment of Broken Probes as a methodology for eliciting insights into how broken objects and acts of breakage may be given new life through their integration with ubiquitous computing technologies. Based on these developments, we introduce the genre of worn media—a variety of computational material with which to frame and critically examine the manifestation of wear among digital things. We end by discussing how the genre of worn media sensitizes designers and Ubicomp researchers to issues of incompleteness, impermanence, and imperfection to help account for the ethical, material, and historical terms of endurance in a digital age.


Craft Interaction Aesthetics Everyday life Social impact 



We would like to thank the participants in this research for their dedicated time, efforts, and stories.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California College of the ArtsSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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