Shared Encounters pp 179-195
Exploring Digital Encounters in the Public Arena
In this chapter, we explore the types of encounters that technology enables. We consider the differences between digital and nondigital encounters through two pilot studies carried out in the city of Bath, United Kingdom. We investigate how technology can be appropriated for shared interactions that support conscious (or unconscious) social encounters, and highlight the importance of space and the role of place in providing temporal and spatial mechanisms facilitating different types of shared encounters. Here, we apply a method based on intervention through “sensing and projecting” Bluetooth names and digital identity in the public arena, and describe initial observations about people’s reaction toward the projection of their Bluetooth names in public. In particular, we note the significance of constructing socially meaningful relations between people mediated by these technologies. We discuss initial results and outline issues raised in detail before finally describing the ongoing work.
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