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Futures in the making: practices to anticipate ‘ubiquitous computing’


  • Sam Kinsley


This paper addresses the discourse for a proactive thinking of futurity, intimately concerned with technology, which comes to an influential fruition in the discussion and representation of ‘ubiquitous computing’. The imagination, proposal, or playing out of ubiquitous computing environments are bound up with particular ways of constructing futurity. This paper charts the techniques used in ubiquitous computing development to negotiate that futurity. In so doing, it engages with recent geographical debates around anticipation and futurity. The discussion accordingly proceeds in four parts. First, the spatial imagination engendered by the development of ubiquitous computing is explored. Second, particular techniques in ubiquitous computing research and development for anticipating future technology use, and their limits, are discussed through empirical findings. Third, anticipatory knowledge is explored as the basis for stable means of future orientation, which both generates and derives from the techniques for anticipating futures. Fourth, the importance of studying future orientation is situated in relation to the somewhat contradictory nature of anticipatory knowledges of ubicomp and related forms of spatial imagination. Keywords: anticipation, anticipatory knowledge, future, spatial imagination, technology, ubiquitous computing

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Kinsley, 2012. "Futures in the making: practices to anticipate ‘ubiquitous computing’," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(7), pages 1554-1569, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:7:p:1554-1569

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