Cutting chai, Jugaad, and Here Pheri: Towards a UbiComp for a Global community

Nimmi Rangaswamy and Nithya Sambasivan

Abstract

This paper attempts to re-imagine ubiquitous

computing and technologies for populations in resourcepoor,

digitally unstable, and diversely literate environments.

Extending UbiComp’s frame of reference to include

any ICT with a ubiquitous presence, we articulate how

technologies are adopted, accessed, used, and diffused in

three urban slums of India. We showcase important local

practices surrounding technology diffusion and their

widespread implications for entrenching ICT use through

sharing, learning, training, renewing, and extending use

and access. We do this by discussing three main processes

at the intersection of technology consumption, resource

constraints, and cultural production specific to low-income

communities in India: Cutting Chai or sharing technology

ownership and maintenance to cut costs, Jugaad or workarounds

in the face of resource constraints, and Here Pheri

or gray market activity that subvert legal business processes.

We also suggest a few design principles to provoke

new kinds of inquiry and practice in the design and

implementation of UbiComp for a global community.

Details

Publication typeArticle
Published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing
URLhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/w153t472ku025920/fulltext.pdf
Pages553-564
Volume15
Number6
PublisherSpringer Verlag
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