Mobile Playflow

You drooled at the announcement. You figured out where you would get the money from, maybe even had an argument with your credit card about your desire. You marked the days off on your calendar. You took the day off work or at least told your clients you were faintly indisposed for the day. You stood in line with your sleeping bag and a camp stove. Hours later you walked out with a lovely black shopping bag which enclosed a black box which enclosed your one true love, at least on June 29th of this year.
Now what are you going to do with your delicious, lovely, new iPhone?
No, don’t show me how it maps directions to Google Maps, my Nokia N95 can do that with the onboard GPS. No, don’t show me the two handed keyboard technique you have developed, as we both know that a teenager can kick your two handed technique with one thumb.
Show me what are you going to create with your iPhone on your iPhone. Don’t look at me like a deer in headlights.
Don’t tell me you don’t use your mobile or cell phone for creative acts. I know you do. Ok, so you can’t afford an iPhone right now, or you love your Blackberry or Treo inordinately, or like me you are a Nokia fan, or you have the free clam shell phone form your carrier, or, or, or…
You do use your mobile device for more than just phone calls, I know you do. Now how are you going push your device? Pull it? Create with it?


In a online survey conducted last year for my master thesis, 187 of you told me how you use your mobile devices. Some of you before the survey told me in person be it at SXSW or in London that you just have a very modest mobile device and it doesn’t do much, but you do take notes to remind yourself of an idea you had while commuting to work. One of you, a fashion designer, with a free handset from your carrier, sends text messages to yourself all day as you walk the streets of your city noting what works and what doesn’t in the street fashion parading by you. One of you, a computer programmer, likes to take snaps with the camera on your phone, save it for later to print, and then make abstract lyrical drawings and watercolors from the camera phone photos.
Many of you call yourselves to make notes on ideas for designs or a project. More than a few of you take photos and send them to Flickr or your blog of the world as you encounter it. Some of you wish for a mobile device not with mini Office applications, but with mini Adobe applications. Some of you already have SSH or Putty on your devices and are accessing your servers from your mobile, much to your own chagrin whilst on holiday.
Maybe you are aware of how your mobile device has enhanced your creativity be it in your workflow or playflow. Maybe you still think of that mobile or cell phone in your pocket or purse as just a phone, but no, we both know that is not true.
As of 2006, nearly one fifth of you, 1.17 billion people, use a computer, be it laptop or desktop, to access the internet. [http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm] As of 2004, one third of you, 1.7 billion, had a mobile device that made phone calls, could text, and access data in one form or another. It is predicted that half of you will have a mobile device by 2010.
Maybe you grew up with a sketchpad or a computer as the tool to unleash your creative play which in time became your passion and now your career, right now some kid somewhere is you but not with a sketchbook or a computer but with a mobile device creating. That kid is dreaming of color, form, sound, movement, letter forms, code, transforming local space and more, much more. That kid is making art, design, sound, code, video, photos, songs, or projections with that mobile.
Maybe you have a computer and a mobile device and a digital camera and a dvd camera and… Maybe that kid just has a mobile. Maybe that kid’s mobile has a small camera, maybe not. Maybe that kid will write poetry. Maybe that kid will record sounds and create a sound scape. Maybe not. Maybe that kid or adult or whoever where ever will take the constraints of that mobile and create something that will knock your socks off.
Now what are you going to create with your delicious, lovely, new iPhone?