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Title: Ubiquitous computing in industrial workplaces : Cultural logics and theming in use contexts
Author: Kinder, Katherine E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 1376
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2009
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Ubiquitous computing has become a major trend in computer science research and development but there have been few accounts of what has happened when the technology has been applied in practice, mainly because most such applications thus far have remained at the prototype stage. In this thesis the aim is to explore the design, deployment and use of ubiquitous computing technologies within the specific setting of industrial workplaces in the UK. This thesis was written from a cultural anthropological perspective, and builds on insights from research examining Human- Computer Interaction, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Science and Technology Studies. Ubiquitous computing technologies in workplaces at a UK road construction and maintenance company were investigated during a two and a half year ethnographic study. The concept of 'cultural logics' is used to emphasise the fact that, even though answers to what it is that ubiquitous computing does can be found in the very specific settings of industrial workplaces, these local settings are also connected to wider 'trends' and more general developments. Contributing to the larger debate about the impact of ubiquitous computing on our lives in general, the presented findings suggest that what is new about ubiquitous computing is not the technologies themselves but what can be found in the entanglement of such technologies with wider, contemporary trends. Trends such as the increased importance of health and safety become important on the local level of specific workplaces and technologies. The research offers an 'under-the-skin' account of what happens when people and ubiquitous computing meet that is also aimed at 'informing' the design process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available