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Touchtalk is an investigation into new forms of messaging and devices. It is being undertaken as part of the 'new communications genre' theme in the Socio-Digital Systems Group. In particular, Touchtalk builds on several years of user studies research that have demonstrated again and again that there is a potential need for people to communicate and express in new ways. This research has also shown that users want various mixes of communication channels to achieve their goals, and do not believe any one messaging medium will satisfy their needs. Communications channels are, in their view, merely tools, and the more tools they have, the greater richness of their expressive power they will have in their finger tips.

The way that the Touchtalk project is progressing is though building a 'prototype engine'. This will allow us to experiment with, and experience the use of, various new forms of messaging and messaging technologies. The Touchtalk prototype engine will also allow explorations on messaging forms that piggy-back on current messaging services.

Touchtalk will not only enable us to define new mobile terminal functions, but will help deepen our understanding of communication behaviours for all kinds of infrastructures and technologies. This will include wireless and fixed, person-to-person and person-to-place; some emotional and others purely rational. It is project that attempts to create a set of new communications genre, which is why it is part of this theme in the Socio-Digital Systems Group.


Richard Harper
Steve Hodges
Rachel Eardley