Giving A Human Face To Internet Kiosks

from the hi-there dept

We’ve had stories in the past about mobile phone owners in rural villages who basically act as the communications hub for their village, walking around the village and selling small amounts of time on the mobile phone. Does the same concept work in a big city as well? A grad student decided to test out the idea with internet access. She made an “internet in a box” device and walked around trying to get people to use it. It sounds like a tablet PC disguised in a box, with a wireless connection, and the ability to attach it to a person (a shoulder strap?). There are a few things I don’t quite understand about the article. I’m not really sure how this is any different than an internet kiosk – besides being slightly mobile and having a person standing over you while you use the machine. Maybe some people like to use the internet while someone is staring at them, but it would probably be annoying or disconcerting to many (inlcuding me). Also, I’m not sure why a special “box” was created for this. What’s wrong with just using a laptop or a tablet PC? I guess, the point is that it’s more of an experiment/art project than a look into how such a system is useful.

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