• Rob

'We Don't Know if it's Good, Bad or Otherwise'

According to a recent study by San Francisco-based Common Sense Media, 38% of babies

under 2 use tablets or smartphones, up from 10% in 2011.

“The bottom line is that it’s so new we don’t know if it’s good, bad or otherwise”

“She loves it,” says Lucia Madueno, a 37-year-old Brooklyn mother of two who works in finance. Every time she sees the iPad she goes for it. She can unlock it with her little finger — and I don’t think I showed her how to do that.”

On the bus last week, I sat next to a mother and her son in his pram clutching an Android phone. He held the device in one hand and scrolled down stroking the screen with one finger, seeing which video was next to watch before selecting it. I said hello to the woman and asked how old the son was and mentioned it was amazing to see him operating the phone so naturally. She agreed and it was never like that when she was young.

I wonder to what extent can I can design for the future generations when working on a project such as Mixed Reality? I can research previous examples by designers, theorists analysing the technology and critical thinking, consult with specialists and work with end users. But I question what actual empathy can I have with future generations when they’re brains have been shaped and programmed in such an utterly different way to my own experience.

2020 Rob Farr

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