Bridging communications across the digital divide
Blake, Edwin H.
Tucker, William David
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Connecting people across the Digital Divide is as much a social effort as a technological one. We are developing a community-centered approach to learn how interaction techniques can compensate for poor communication across the Digital Divide. We have incorporated the lessons learnt regarding Social Intelligence Design in an (abstract) device called the SoftBridge. The device allows information to flow from endpoints through adapters (getting converted if necessary), and out to destination endpoints. Field trials are underway with two communities in South Africa, disadvantaged deaf users and an isolated rural community. First lessons learned show that we have to design user interfaces that allow users to understand and cope with delay (latency) as a necessary consequence of our approach.