Assignement Week 6

DAY 1 – create a diary of when, why and what you use your mobile device for. Observe how others are using their mobile devices. What are the most common uses and where do you see these behaviors?

  • My use of mobile devices

I use two mobile devices on a daily basis: my smartphone and my laptop

Thursday, September 8th.

First of all, I used my smartphone in the morning to wake up, then I checked my mails/ whatsapp messages. Since they didn’t need to be answered immediately, I didn’t respond to them.

Next time I used my phone was in public transport to listen to music. It lasted about 15minutes.

I continued using consistently my phone throughout the day for messaging.

While I was in class I kept my mobile phone within arms reach and I read the message I received but responded to them only if I had to.

I also used my smartphone for reminders and alarms during the day. This way I didn’t have to carry a physical planner and always had the information at hand.

I used  my phone again for listening to music when I was walking back to my hall.

At night I went out for drinks, therefore I used my phone for calling a taxi using Grab, which is an app only available on mobile devices. I used it for gaining time (and money) because without a mobile phone I would have had to wait until a taxi came by and hail it.

I also used my phone for calling a friend back home late in the evening (via whatsapp).

As for my laptop, the use was not as consistant as for my phone. The reasing being that I use it mostly for the software which is on it (most of the software I use is not available on the library’s computers – infographic software for example). Therefore that day I brought my laptop, so that I could work during my free hours in the library. During that day I used it from 2pm until 6pm.

Furthermore I didn’t use my laptop during class,  because the class required me to take manuel notes (calculations), therefore I used a notepad.

Common uses and behaviors

Concerning others, I noticed that behaviors varied with the location. For example in the library people seemed to put their smartphones aside while working, probably wishing not to be disturbed. In this case, it seemed like the only use of the smartphone was for music and so it was rarely picked up from the table.

In the public transports on the other hand, people seemed like they were trying to kill time so they spent a lot of time on their phone, mostly sending messages, playing on their phones and/or listening to music.

I encountered a very large number of people with the Pokemon Go app open on their phone (regardless of the location, I even saw so in the library).

Lastly and this surprised to some extent, I saw quite a few people taking selfies  in the library (and not in a very discreet fashion smile), which is in my opinion quite an odd thing to do, since it’s a place to study and not really a place of entertainment.

From what I observed, regardless of the location, the most common uses for a smartphone seemed to be messaging (mostly whatsapp in Singapore), checking Facebook and listening to music.

For now these are the most common uses for smartphones but in the future, smartphone may even have more diversified uses such as paying, as we have seen with the development of Apple Pay and Android Pay

Apple pay, another future use for smartphones
Apple pay, another future use for smartphones

DAY 2 – Do not use your phone, computer or electronic device for 24 hours. Create a diary documenting and describing the difference in your behavior patterns. How did you do the things you would normally do with your phone? What other alternative behaviors did you develop? What else did you notice about the difference in behavior?

Friday, September 9th 

On this day I didn’t use any of the mobile devices I mentioned earlier (mobile phone and laptop). However, it was only partly a choice. In fact, I was on a trip abroad (on the west coast of Java, in Indonesia), therefore I didn’t have my laptop on me and I also didn’t have any cell phone service.

The only electronic device I used during that day was a GoPro (a pocket action camera, which doesn’t have any screen interface). However as it is not a device I use everyday and as I wanted to capture some of what I visited, I considered that using this camera wouldn’t be in issue for this assignement.

During that day I carried a notepad to write things down whenever I thought of something noteworthy.

The first difficulty I had was for waking up. Fortunately I shared a hostel room with a friend so I relied on him to wake me up (at a very early hour – 4am). If I had been alone it would have been much more complicated and the only solution would have been to ask the desk to wake me up at 4am by calling my room.

Then for the rest of the trip I set my phone aside in a friends bag so I didn’t have any access to it.

For taking pictures (which normally I would have done with my phone, I used my GoPro. But since a standard GoPro doesn’t have a screen, I didn’t know if the pictures I was taking were any good or not. This caused me to take much more pictures than needed. In my mind I was thinking “well I took so many, at least one is going to be good”. However this led to reduce the battery life and took a lot of space on my memory card.

The volcano of Krakatau I visited during that day
The volcano of Krakatau I visited during that day
  • Impressions 

All in all, one of the most difficult thing (and quite annoying at first) was not knowing what time it was. In fact it made realize that in a regular day I unconsciously look at my phone very often just to know what time it is. And as I don’t wear a watch, I had no other option that either ask someone for the time, or not care at all about it.

During that day, I really liked not having to worry about things such as where to find a power outlet to charge my phone or checking my mails/messages. I think it helped me enjoy my trip even more.

I noted that I found myself quite a number of times tapping my shorts’ pockets to see if I had my phone and then remembering that I had left in my friend’s purse. This gave me mixed feelings, on the one hand I felt very liberated and free but on the other hand I also felt quite vulnerable.

Assignement Week 5 – Part 2

Part 2) Based on the lecture on Place, Location and Ubiquitous technology, post an example of a product, service or design concept and post it on OSS.

I think an area in which there is still a lot to do concerning Ubiquitous Technology and Wearable Technology is the health sector. Smartwearables which enable you to monitor you health aren’t really widespread as of now.

Of course you find wearables such as FitBit, and Nike plus, but these are made to monitor your efforts and your basic physiological factors (Cardiac activity) but it doesn’t take care of more in depth problems. Furthermore, most of the time this type of wearables are only met for personal use (or shared with friends, but that’s it).

Fitbit watch, monitors your heart rate
Polar heart rate monitor







Some wearables exist for people over 60 years old, or any person with history of cardiac problems in the family. It consists of a cardiac monitor connected to the patient’s phone. In case of an unusual heart rate, the nearest hospital and the family would be alerted.  This would be a stress relief for the family and could be especially useful for the elderly who live alone.

This system exists on the markets but is only available in the US and is pricey.

Heart rate monitoring system

But then again, why stop just at cardiac monitoring. You could imagine a dozen micro-wearables, all connected to the phone of the patient, which would all monitor a different aspect of the patient’s physiology.

Micro-wearable located on the patient’s body, connected to a smartphone application

The application on the patient’s smartphone would collect all the data and send an alarm/notification if there is anything unusual. Therefore, the app would have to be calibrated beforehand with the different specialist who cover the patient’s health (cardiologist, GP, etc..)

New system of biosensors that can keep track of people’s health by analyzing the chemical composition of their sweat (University Of California-Berkeley / Stanford University – School of Medecine) 

You can find more on the example given above by clicking on this link: (

Basically what this product does is analyze your sweat. In fact the metabolites and electrolytes found in sweat carry a lot of important information on the patient’s health (diseases, drug use, athletic performance). And the major advantage is that it is non-invasive, no needle is needed.


Assignement Week 5 – Part 1

The fourth chapter of Jan Chipchase’s book Hidden in Plain Sight deals with how we interact with what we carry. The notion of range of distribution is quite interesting in particular here in Singapore because it is very different from what I’m used to in France. For example leaving your belongings on a table, while you get your food is something that is very common here, whereas you would never do it in France (even on a campus food court). But then I guess it goes as a whole with the general feeling of security or insecurity of the country you find yourself in. Although risk of theft in France is not as high as in other countries, it can still occur, which is why people tend to hold on to their belongings wherever they find themselves.

The author mentions predictive shipping in this chapter, giving the example of Amazon which could send you products based on your previous purchases or search inquiries. I don’t necessarily think that it is a bad idea, because we know that big companies already do monitor everything that we do, so we (as consumers) might as well gain something from it as. And since we could have the possibility not to accept it, the risk for us consumers is very low. It is the company who would be the most at risk and would have to create very robust algorithms to know for sure the product they are sending us is something we would most likely to keep and therefore buy. This would however redefine completely marketing and advertisement strategies.

Another example of predictive shipping could be for medicine, say you look online at the symptoms for a cold or a flu on a dedicated website, a medicine manufacturer detects it thanks to an algorithm and sends you, with the approval of a doctor, the appropriate medicine.

Predictive shipping of medicine

Lastly, in regard with what the author says about modern technologies, in particular smartphones and cloud based services, I feel like our mind is more at ease when we go somewhere. When travelling for example, before you had to go through the trouble of printing your embarkation card and carrying throughout your journey, which can be stressful when you have many flights in a short period of time. Now everything is on your phone, you just need to have enough battery at the time of your flight, but that’s another issue.

Most companies now accept digital embarkation cards

Q1) In the chapter, the author mentions location based mobile data, and how they can allow us to “venture out in the world with a near-total lack of awareness”, but he only seems to view it as an advantage whereas this in my opinion can be a problem. This process inhibits our ability to make decisions on our own, we rely on information posted by someone else and therefore we miss out on what could be a great experience (wondering in a restaurant and being amazed by their food).

Q2) The triumvirate Money-Keys-Phone concerns today’s society, but I would like to know how it would have been 40 or 50 years ago for example, when there weren’t any mobile phones. For example did people carry around a textbook with the phone numbers of everyone they knew, or did they just not communicate as much as we do now ?