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Seeing the Invisible Jeffrey Heer Peter Khooshabeh Group for User Interface Research Computer Science Division University of California Berkeley Berkeley CA 94720 1776 USA jheer pkhoosh cs berkeley edu Abstract In this article we attempt a closer examination of the notion of invisibility as it has been used within the ubiquitous computing community We seek to tease apart various understandings of invisibility as an emergent attribute of technology use examining what true invisible technology might be in what ways it is beneficial and how it might be designed for We propose a theoretical model consisting of two complementary concepts invisibility inuse the experience of direct interaction with artifacts and tools largely free of conscious monitoring and infrastructural invisibility the capacity of physical organizational or technological infrastructures to become tacit in the thoughts and actions of human actors Underlying our approach is the belief that invisibility is fundamentally a phenomenological human construct an experience of being in the world that is socially and psychologically created by humans as they go about their various activities 1 Introduction The last decade has witnessed the emergence of ubiquitous computing a research effort seeking to make technology disappear for it to become invisible or fade into the background Some researchers address these goals more or less literally embedding computation into the environment and attempting to make humancomputer interaction less apparent or more calm and natural Other researchers treat this metaphorically talking about designing technologies that fade into our conceptual background the goal being the construction of tools that we work through rather than work with Still others conflate both these approaches Mark Weiser referred to invisible technology as that which is so imbedded so fitting so natural that we use it without even thinking about it 20 Satyanarayanan 15 interprets invisibility as a complete



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