With our interactive technologies becoming increasingly mobile, it is ever more important to understand how technology can help people be more in control of their own mobilities. Focusing on an economically diverse emerging market, this ethnographic study explored local and regional mobilities around Bangkok, and transnational mobilities between North America and Thailand. Some communication technologies were used to stabilize involuntary mobility. In other cases, patterns of mobility were anchored by important resources (such as jobs and families) and infrastructural opportunities (such as health care or cheap housing). Digital technologies partook in vital networks of exchange, in which data and devices were borrowed, shared, and took on new meanings in an intricate ecology of use and re-use. Findings from this study provide us with ways to rethink what a "personal" device really is, and a framework for designing truly empowering mobile technologies.
Amanda Williams, Ken Anderson, and Paul Dourish. Designing Interactive Systems, 2008. February 2008. Cape Town, South Africa.