upon entering a park in shanghai, there was a signboard with a compact set of information for park visitors. on the top, there’s a picture and a phone number of the person to contact should anything happen in the park. below, highest/lowest temperature of the day & other relevant phone numbers are listed. its a nice gesture but at the same time it is difficult to imagine how this set of information can be useful for park visitors in practice. it would take a lot of forward-thinking for anyone to predict the usefulness of these numbers & save them for future use upon seeing this information.
many location-based mobile services are subjected to play around the similar threshold of adoption, from service discovery to engagement to actual usage. often it is also about how to transform the linearity to an encompassing, opportunistic space: the physical sign board which broadcasts information at a set node vs. an information broadcast available in a larger area such as a park.
chinese public parks are very vibrant, always full of engaging & engaged activities – encompassing all age groups, be it tai-chi practice, playing chinese chess, singing practice, kite flying, dance performance, or caligraphy with water.
on a sunday afternoon in shanghai in march 2008.