An extension of our HomeNote work points to the possibility of sending richer, image-based messages from mobile phones to situated displays in the home. The Digital Postcard project is exploring a number of different concepts which will allow friends and family to "push" images and text into the home from outside the home. Not only will these prototype devices allow people to send MMS messages to be displayed in the home, but people in the home can scribble and send messages back through the device.
Initially we are exploring concepts designed for two places in the home: the mantelpiece and the kitchen wall.
The mantelpiece version of this concept emphasises the display of both image and text together from an MMS message. It is about giving pride of place to a message from family and friends expressing affection. Here, new messages come in replacing the old ones. Touching the screen allows people in the home to make simple acknowledgement of the fact that a message has been received and has been appreciated.
The kitchen version is more informal in design and emphasises collections of MMS messages that can be organised, navigated through and so on. In addition, we envisage more interaction through and around these messages and so allow for richer scribble input back to the sender of messages to the Postcard device in the kitchen.
This project explores the notion that similar technologies must be designed differently for different places in the home. Designing with a sensitivity to place, and not only the physical aspects of place, but also its social and moral aspects, is a central concern of our group.