FutureCom will explore future trends in Telecommunications, with a specific focus on the increasing use of Internet technologies. FutureCom will study these trends and envision future communication services. The approach adopted is one where technology is not seen in isolation from its social setting. Rather a more integrative, multi-disciplinary perspective will be brought ot bear on the evolution of communications services, their societal drivers, and the requirements they will place on the heterogeneous communications infrastructure over which they are delivered.
General research questions are:
- How do we realise future communications services and infrastructure that whilst reflecting changing individual and societal preferences can be effectively managed to ensure delivery of critical services?
- How can we capture information relating to social interactions between users and harness this information to guide the development of communications services, exhibiting high levels of usability, that can promote sustainability of communities?
- What models, processes and tools can be specified that will allow users of communications services, as individuals or social groupings, manage aspects of their interaction with each other as facilitated by those services?
In order to answer these questions the focus will be on examining the social shaping of technology in particular instances and the role of users as players in giving form to innovations through active appropriation (e.g. users as “prosumers”). Design scenarios will also be developed along with the creation of prototypes for further evaluation.
UL IDC will engage in 2 levels of actity on this project, one involving conceptual and empirical work on issues of appropriation and user led innovation, and one on a more technical and design level, examining new forms of media selection and choice.
The IDC team will work closely with the NUIM Sociology group on new media and social forms and appropriation issues.
Duration: 1 November, 2007 -> 31 October, 2011
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