Instead of calming us, technology constantly interrupts us, says Amber Case. The Harvard researcher is an advocate of "calm technology" – devices and aids which work discreetly in the background to simplify our daily lives. Case demonstrates what this might look like below – and at the GDI International Retail Summit.
One reason for our constant distraction is the design of mobile devices, which are still conceived of as though we will sit in front of them in the same way that we did with desktop computers, giving them our complete attention. This is stressful for many people, because they aren't able to complete other tasks at the same time.
In order to reduce stress factors when dealing with technology, Case establishes eight principles for the development of calm technology:
- Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention
- Technology should inform and create calm
- Technology should make use of the periphery
- Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity
- Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak
- Technology should work even when it fails
- The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem
- Technology should respect social norms
Amber Case – one of the most influential women in the technology industry, according to Fast Company – will be speaking at the GDI International Retail Summit, 7-8 September 2017.