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Shape of Things to Consume whole text

Shape of Things to Consume whole text



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Published by Ian Miles
Book on innovation of new consumer information technologies
Book on innovation of new consumer information technologies

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Published by: Ian Miles on Jun 20, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Shape of Things to Consume
Delivering Information Technology into the Home
University of Sussex
University of Sussex
PREST, University of Manchester 
 Originally published by Avebury in 1995ISBN 1 85972 052 8This text is copyright © A. Cawson, L. Haddon and I. Miles 1995It may be copied or downloaded for personal use, but not sold.Contents Preface 
The Shape of Things to Consume
Delivering Information Technology into the Home
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6 
Chapter 7 
 The impression is often conveyed in popular writing about electronics and the‘information revolution’ that the pace of change is break-neck, and that a torrent of innovations is about to swamp us and force us to change the way we go about our dailylives. Many journalists writing about this technology, for example, become excited by itspotential, and assume that because something is
possible, it will — almostinevitably — happen. The same excitement can affect company management, and lead tospeculative deal-making in anticipation of rapid changes in markets. What can happenlater, however, is that newspapers find another set of issues, and that, after an initialflurry of excitement, in which firms seek to ‘position’ themselves in relation to theexpected direction of change, it often happens that more realistic views come to thesurface, proposed mergers are called off, and expectations of rapidly developing marketsare scaled down.This seems to be exactly what has happened in 1993-4 with the writing about‘convergence’ and the development of ‘information superhighways.’ The efforts of USvice-president Al Gore to publicise the opportunities for economic growth afforded byinformation technology (IT) coincided with some important technological advances,notably in the area of digital compression technologies and telecommunicationsswitching. Suddenly major deals were being announced between telecoms companiesand cable TV operators in the US, the European Union was setting up an expertcommittee (the Bangemann Committee) to ensure that Europe was not left behind, andJapanese policy-makers were reportedly worried that the Americans had leap-froggedtheir previous advances in IT.But how does anyone
that these new markets will develop so quickly? Whatevidence lies behind the view that consumers will be queuing up to get onto theinformation superhighway? Will ‘multimedia’ remain as what John Sculley of Appleonce called a ‘zero-billion-dollar’ industry, or will it reach the dizzy forecasts producedby the IT consultants?This book examines in detail, for three new consumer IT product areas, how theproducers of technology developed their ideas about consumer preferences, and how thisknowledge shaped the design process of the products. We show, in the case of Prestel,for example, how an earlier outbreak of ‘techno-optimism’ led to the view that largenumbers of consumers would begin to get their information from computers via the

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I tried linking to this book, which I posted in an earlier incarnation under my MILESIAN identity: it doesn't seem to display and I may try later: Shape of Things to Consume whole text
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