Calm Technology

Amber Case

Calm Technology

Filmed on October 17, 2016 at the 2016 AIGA Design Conference

The world is made of information competing for attention. People cannot interact with everyday life in the same way they interact with a desktop computer. Calm technology describes a state of technological maturity where a user’s primary task is not computing but being human. The idea behind calm technology is to have smarter people, not things: devices used to take advantage of location and proximity; haptics to help improve people’s lives instead of getting in the way; designers making apps “ambient,” while respecting privacy and security. This talk will cover how to use principles of calm technology to design the next generation of connected devices, exploring notification styles, compressing information into other senses, and designing for the least amount of cognitive overhead.

Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist: She studies how humans’ relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds. Case’s TED talk, We are all cyborgs now, has been viewed more than a million times. She’s been named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers, listed among Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30, and featured as one of Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology.

Case was the co-founder and former CEO of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri in 2012. In 2008, she founded CyborgCamp, an unconference on the future of humans and computers. Case is currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She is the author of Calm Technology: Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design.