Nokia principal researcher Jan Chipchase’s investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. Along the way, he’s made some unexpected discoveries: about the novel ways illiterate people interface with their cellphones, or the role the cellphone can sometimes play in commerce, or the deep emotional bonds we all seem to share with our phones.
Jan Chipchase can guess what’s inside your bag and knows all about the secret contents of your refrigerator. It isn’t a second sight or a carnival trick; he knows about the ways we think and act because he’s spent years studying our behavioral patterns. He’s traveled from country to country to learn everything he can about what makes us tick, from our relationship to our phones (hint: it’s deep, and it’s real) to where we stow our keys each night.
Jan’s discoveries and insights help inspire the development of the next generations of phones and services at Nokia. As he puts it, if he does his job right, you should be seeing the results of his research hitting the streets and airwaves within the next 3 to 15 years.
The TED conference has published its video of the talk by Nokia’s “user anthropologist” Jan Chipchase in March this year: