For the ‘Emergent Technologies’ course, I developed a prototype of a mobile application that gives your smartphone a personality!

In recent years, technological development has entered a momentum in which previously unattainable opportunities (for people without scientific backgrounds) suddenly came very close. Emergent Technologies is all about diving into a wide spectrum of these opportunities, and experimenting with them. By analogy with the film “Videodrome” (D. Cronenberg), which criticizes the modern media using a wide range of technological developments far ahead of their time, we ware asked to develop a project about imaging / simulacra in a contemporary society.

Together with the teachers (Vreys N. and J. Volders) I devised a project that denounces the time constraints and the technology that is beginning to dominate us. I therefore developed a prototype of a mobile application that has its ‘own will’. The philosophy behind the project is that the smartphone is increasingly dominating us (notification, you have to check your emails or facebook status, you have to charge me, …). The free will of the phone is not easy one to cope with, and consists of a few states of behaviour: drunk (when fully charged), hangover (in the morning), happy, angry, and includes nice extras like “give your phone a massage “. In the prototype, you could manually activate some states such as drunk (your phone tells a stupid joke), hangover (your phone starts to scream when you shake too much), massage (give your phone a massage with your fingers) and low battery (you phone calls you constantly).

With this project, I had my first introduction into the development of an Android application, in which I learned by myself how to use the device sensors and many other things. I did not focus on graphic design of the application interface, but rather on the functionality of the prototype.

Things I learned

  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Android development