Computing on the Edge – Pervasive Displays for a Small Island

Alan Dix

Computational Foundry, Swansea University, Wales

Keynote at Eighth ACM International Symposium on Pervasive Displays (PerDis), Palermo, Italy,  12-14 June 2019



In a rural community your neighbours know your business before you do.  Why then would you need public displays?  For ten years I lived and worked on Tiree, a small island in the North Atlantic off the western coast of Scotland.  Six hundred and fifty people are spread over a land area greater than Manhattan. Although it is impossible to keep a secret, it is also very hard to share information deliberately.  Indeed, when the island youth worker was asked what was the greatest difficulty of her role, he said, “letting people know about events”.  The talk will present a number of communication technologies deployed on the island from SMS and offline mobile technology, to forms of situated public displays … albeit not all of the kind that are common in PerDis.  Many were developed in connection with Tiree Tech Wave a regular maker/meeting event that brought together technologists, designers, and artists to understand the unique challenges of computing at the edges.  I will discuss some of the special issues of designing technology in and for remote communities as well as reflecting on more general lessons for pervasive displays anywhere.

Keywords: pervasive displays, rural communities, information sharing, data architectures, ubiquitous computing




island game

Alan Dix 11/4/2019