Nimmi Rangaswamy and Nithya Sambasivan
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.
In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing
Publisher Springer Verlag