Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing

Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing

B.K. Mangaraj (XLRI Jamshepur, School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, India) and Upali Aparajita (Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-220-6.ch017
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The future of pervasive computers largely depends upon culture studies of human societies. This forms a challenging field of social research because cultural differences exist across societies for a varied acceptability of ubiquitous computing in everyday lives. Hence, it is highly necessary to study various cultures and cultural phenomena that can demonstrate human need patterns, individual experiences, as well as orientations for the use of various pervasive computers. The chapter emphasizes culture as the centerpiece for the advancement of pervasive computing technology in the coming days; as culture is the key determinant of any tool necessary for human development. The study of culture in this context is highly essential, whose meaning in the anthropological perspective has been explained. Technological growth as a cultural activity has been highlighted with a necessity of a cultural approach for its sustenance. A culture-centric methodology has been presented, which will enable manufacturers at local, as well as global levels, for the design of culture-specific appliances based on such technology; depending upon of the need and choice of consumers in various cultural segments which are largely influenced by the forces of globalization.
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Culture of a society is not limited to a set of activities connected with a heritage and artistic activities; rather is made up of all the characteristics that define the society or human group, viz., traditions, beliefs, value system, ways of thinking, technology, management, behaviors, models of economic and social organizations etc. Every society assumes a societal culture which is a centripetal force binding on each individual. Even though the innate nature of culture is the continuance of the traditional customs and values, yet some change is inevitable with the passage of time. In this context, new technology influences culture, in as much as the new technology has to adapt to culture to become viable. Manufacturers of technological products are to customize their goods for different national cultures to be in demand. But, when new technology impinges our lifestyles, it certainly leads to changes in the existing national culture.

Pervasive computing represents an exciting new paradigm in human-computer interaction. The potential advantage obtained by these technologies are really tremendous, but without properly designed products and supporting infrastructure, people in a culture may not realize the full potential of these innovations. These designs should be more culture–specific in order to attract more consumers in that particular culture. The future of pervasive computing largely depends on its driver in the modern technological world. No doubt, technology is the main driver of pervasive computing, but people’s behaviour is the ultimate determinant coming from their own cultural background. Besides, some of the cultural factors stimulate the use and adaptability of technology, whereas some others act as barriers as people embrace technology in different ways and incorporate it into their daily lives. Hence, the penetration of any technology depends mostly upon the societal culture of the people who use it. It is also important to understand the purpose of human action that makes the new technology convenient for the people using it. The point to be stressed is that pervasive computing will have a distinct form of adoption depending on how people behave socially and their need orientation. As pervasive computing offers ubiquitous access to information without requiring much user effort, its needs to occur differs from society to society depending on existing social and cultural systems. Bell, Blythe, Gaver, Sengers, and Wright (2003) stress that in order to understand how users experience technologies; researchers need to find out the social and cultural meaning of technology. In other words, one needs to know what a product means to a user and what it means in particular cultural context as well as its broad impact on the social and global environment.

The present chapter aims at discussing pervasive computing in human computer interaction (HCI) perspective highlighting the cultural dimension. This is due to the fact that culture is the centerpiece of any human activity and that activity becomes not only successful, but also sustainable if it is culture-specific. As per the guidelines of UNESCO’s “World Decade for Cultural Development”, culture is not only the origin but also the vehicle of any development initiative. Any developmental initiative should be in the framework of culture for its effectiveness as well as sustenance (Mangaraj, 2000a; UNESCO, 1987). Regional factors are to be considered even if one considers success at a global level (Mangaraj, 2000b). In this context, the chapter tries to highlight cultural understanding of societies as well cultural factors necessary in order to develop culture-specific devices for information exchange. It is found that in some societies, the adoption of pervasive computing may be characterized as interpersonal and domestic and in some other societies it may be interpersonal and social. Nevertheless, there are different approaches among cultures to achieving this goal of sharing (or not sharing) information effectively. At the same time, the nature social change is mainly dependent upon social structure and economic environment of the society. Hence, the social impact can be observed by focusing on the processes of social shaping including their development, diffusion, adoption, domestication and appropriation in domestic work and public settings.

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Table of Contents
Jeffrey Soar
Varuna Godara
Chapter 1
Varuna Godara
Pervasive computing is trying to make the dreams of the science fiction writers come true—where you think of some type of convenience and you have... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computing: A Conceptual Framework
Chapter 2
Varuna Godara
The need for more and more flexibility (in terms of time and location) in business operations, contextbased services, decentralization of business... Sample PDF
Pervasive Business Infrastructure: The Network Technologies, Routing and Security Issues
Chapter 3
Deo Prakash Vidyarthi
The proliferation of the capable mobile devices has given the opportunity to utilize these devices for various purposes. The mobile devices being... Sample PDF
Computational Mobile Grid: A Computing Infrastructure on Mobile Devices
Chapter 4
Mark J.W. Lee
This chapter investigates the use of mobile digital technologies for learning, or mobile learning (mlearning), across a variety of education and... Sample PDF
Mobile and Pervasive Technology in Education and Training: Potential and Possibilities, Problems and Pitfalls
Chapter 5
Gaya Prasad
Microorganisms are ubiquitous in their presence. They are present in air, soil, water, and all kinds of living creatures. Varieties of microbes have... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing for Microbial Forensics and Bioterrorism
Chapter 6
Jonathan G.M. Pratt
This chapter presents the major findings of case study research investigating uncritical assessment of an institution-wide learning management... Sample PDF
Falling Behind: A Case Study in Uncritical Assessment
Chapter 7
Yvonne Lee, Martin Kornberger
In the rapidly changing digital marketplace, firms increasingly try to look for new ways to acquire, engage, and retain their consumers. In doing... Sample PDF
Strategizing in the Digital World: Aligning Business Model, Brand and Technology
Chapter 8
Helena Halas, Tomaž Klobucar
This chapter explores the influence of pervasive computing on companies and their businesses, with the main stress on business models. The role of... Sample PDF
Business Models and Organizational Processes Changes
Chapter 9
Te Fu Chen
To date, identifying barriers and critical success factors (CSFs) and integrating business model in implementing e-business for SMEs, have not been... Sample PDF
The Critical Success Factors and Integrated Model for Implementing E-Business in Taiwan's SMEs
Chapter 10
Lawan Ahmed Mohammed
The change in physical structures of computing facilities into small and portable devices, or even wearable computers, has enhanced ubiquitous... Sample PDF
Security Issues in Pervasive Computing
Chapter 11
Grace Li
Pervasive computing and communications is emerging rapidly as an exciting new paradigm and discipline to provide computing and communication... Sample PDF
Deciphering Pervasive Computing: A Study of Jurisdiction, E-Fraud and Privacy in Pervasive Computing Environment
Chapter 12
Reima Suomi, Tuomas Aho, Tom Björkroth, Aki Koponen
Accurate identification of individuals is a cornerstone of any modern society. Without identification, we cannot recognize the parties of different... Sample PDF
Biometrical Identification as a Challenge for Legislation: The Finnish Case
Chapter 13
Antony Glambedakis
This chapter sets out to inform the reader about the impact of pervasive computers in aviation passenger risk profiling. First is an overview of the... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computers in Aviation Passenger Risk Profiling
Chapter 14
Penny Duquenoy, Oliver K. Burmeister
There is a growing concern both publicly and professionally surrounding the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues and Pervasive Computing
Chapter 15
Phillip W.J. Brook
This chapter explores the implications of knowledge sharing in an era of pervasive computing, and concludes that, perhaps counter-intuitively... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing and Pervasive Computing: The Need for Trust and a Sense of History
Chapter 16
Patrice Braun
In view of the fact that women are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, this chapter examines business skilling in the... Sample PDF
Advancing Women in the Digital Economy: eLearning Opportunities for Meta-Competency Skilling
Chapter 17
B.K. Mangaraj, Upali Aparajita
The future of pervasive computers largely depends upon culture studies of human societies. This forms a challenging field of social research because... Sample PDF
Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing
Chapter 18
Genevieve Watson
Pervasive computers cover many areas of both our working and personal lives. This chapter investigates this phenomenon through the human factors... Sample PDF
Outline of the Human Factor Elements Evident with Pervasive Computers
Chapter 19
Kalawati Malik
This chapter analyses the impact of computer and video games on the development of children. First introductory part of this chapter informs its... Sample PDF
Impact of Computer and Video Games on the Development of Children
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