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Pen and Book, 4.08.09

There are a variety of visions for how ubicomp should play out. In general, the goal seems to be a decentralization of computation, so that, in effect, all objects become "smart": self contained, smaller, and infinitely more varied offspring of the personal computer. Such objects (gadgets) tend to become more interesting, more active, and more expensive. With this project, Hunter Sebresos and I are aiming to position ourselves against this push towards smart objects. True ubiquity is not achieved through novelty, preciousness, or captivation. In fact just the opposite. This is why we have focused instead on objects that are uninteresting, inert, and inexpensive. Working with a Bic ballpoint pen and some newsprint, Hunter and I were able to explore how, through examples of ubiquity that already surround us, computational affordances might be implemented without destroying the embodied affordances that make the objects ubiquitous to begin with.