Re-Conceptualizing the Mobile Phone

de Souza e Silva, A. (2006). Re-Conceptualizing the Mobile Phone: From telephone to collective interfaces. Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 4 (2), 108-127.

Abstract: interfaces change our relationship to space and create new social environments via media art and pervasive games. This paper conceptualizes mobile phones as beyond two-way voice communication technologies, envisioning the mobile device as a social collective medium instead of a private personal technology. It addresses three central research questions: (1) What are the characteristics of mobile phones that differentiates them from traditional fixed phones? (2) What are some current uses of mobile interfaces that transform them into social collective media instead of private two-way voice communication devices? (3) What are the possible future developments of the mobile interface that these characteristics might lead to? Taking into consideration that new meanings for new interfaces are culturally and socially created, the paper addresses the emergence of social mobile networks created via mobile technologies. These networks emerge when cell phone use shifts from mobile telephone to a type of micro-computer, location aware device and internet connection interface.