MAS.960: The Electronic Lens: Rethinking the Pedestrian Experience

Artboard 1

How can governments and civic institutions become more responsive and offer better services to urban citizens and visitors through use of mobile, wireless, location-aware technologies?


In this Design Workshop, we designed, implemented, and tested a prototype electronic lens that provides pedestrians with immediate, on-the-spot, geographically and temporally contextualized information about the attractions and resources that a city offers. The electronic lens was implemented on a mobile phone/PDA platform, taking advantage of location and orientation awareness to offer a very simple, intuitive interface. We used the city of Barcelona as a test location.


This Workshop was relevant to students with interests in location and orientation-aware technologies, in interfaces for the mobile pedestrian, in urban information systems, and in electronic augmentation of pedestrian experience. We was concerned not only with some challenging technological and interface design issues, but also with the broad conceptual exploration of the idea of the electronically augmented pedestrian and related social and cultural issues, and with the particular conditions and opportunities of Barcelona - a notably pedestrian-oriented, tourist-friendly, Mediterranean city. Our guiding image was that of the Electronic Ramblas.