Here’s an interesting 20 page paper examining some of the issues surround context and computing.
A few choice quotes:
“…answering the telephone has something of a moral compulsion.”
“…as much of this problem [a phone that understands context] reduces to that of building an intelligent computer.”
“…it is better to have machines which act in predictable ways so users can understand how they work” rather than unpredictable machines that ‘do the right thing.’
“A technology, like mobile phones, with its combination of voice mail, text messaging and the like, is something we dwell with in that it becomes part of the fibre of our practices and lives, even for those without(sic) reject them.” As someone who swore off mobile phones for a long time and now doesn’t know how life continued without them, I can sympathize with that sentiment.
“When people use a technology over time, and get used to seeing other people
using the technology, the actions of the technology come to be seen not as actions of technology but of the user themselves.”