Lee Semel (@Semel) has twitted me a video of Ignorify – a parody app that aims at letting people completely ignore the real world coz, you know, the real world is for old people and there is no reason to take your eyes off the phone 🙂
The video is really funny, and I enjoyed watching it a lot. Bu more importantly, it does embed all of the criticism that CrashAlert has received. The criticism centers on the idea that, despite the possible safety benefits, an app like CrashAlert is certainly going to encourage people to stay stuck to their phones and ignore the real world.
The big dilemma for me is that I agree with such criticism. Very much so. I do believe that current technologies have induced us to such immersion and that such trend should stop. But I also see there are situations where I end up using my phone while on the go and expose myself to such risks. Perhaps this kind of careless and reckless usage of mobile devices is gonna stop with HMDs. Perhaps not!
How to get out of the dilemma? Something that was cristal clear from the CrashAlert experiment is that move information is not better (cognitively) and people don’t prefer it either. Thus, a more advanced CrashAlert should not necessarily provide more detection features as the Ignorify video portraits. Perhaps the next version of CrashAlert should both provide alerts for short bursts of interaction while on the move, and also block the display and force the user to stop when the engagement is taking long. Or perhaps not 🙂
The discussion is open, and I love that people are coming to me with this.
Note: The video was created by the time we developed and tested CrashAlert – a funny coincidence.
- Hincapié-Ramos, J.D. and Irani, P. 2013. CrashAlert: enhancing peripheral alertness for eyes-busy mobile interaction while walking. In Proc. CHI ’13. ACM. [pdf (0.5MB)]