The Net in the Park

Antonio Rizzo, Elisa Rubegni, Erik Grönval, Maurizio Caporali, Andrea Alessandrini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Ubiquitous Computing, Pervasive Computing, Physical Computing, Everyware, Tangible User Interface, and the Internet of Things all share the same viewpoint—a viewpoint that sees computers, phones, and game consoles as no longer being the only devices in our environment deemed worthy to embody computation and be connected. Each of these approaches focuses on slightly different aspects of the features and potentialities of the enabling technologies (i.e., Physical Computing focuses on the growing power of microcontrollers; IOT on the increasing influence of tagging systems; Everyware on the pervasiveness of the web through wired and wireless connections, etc.) We understand and place more emphasis on the similarities then the differences among these approaches, and at the same time, we try to address specific human activity issues by exploiting these new enabling technologies and visions. In the paper, we present a project, Wi-roni, that addresses two issues: in-person communication and the added value of being in a given location when accessing a given content. To this end, we considered in some detail the possibilities of three of these enabling technologies: ultrasound sensors, MEMS, and mash-up of Internet application. These technologies were chosen based on the nature of the human activity, and not vice versa. In Wi-roni, an Urban Architecture project located in the La Gora public park in Monteroni d'Arbia, a small village in the province of Siena (Italy), we developed two interconnect solutions: Wi-wave, a column for accessing web audio content in public spaces, and Wi-swing, a children’s swing that tells stories while swinging. These devices represent both the concrete grounds from which to begin to address the abovementioned human activity issues and the playground in which to explore the new, emerging interaction modalities that the enabling technologies could allow.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-59
    Number of pages9
    JournalKnowledge, Technology and Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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