Familiar Stranger and Digital Patina

a crowded train platform, familiar strangers, image: intel-research.net

Anne Galloway‘s on a roll these days. Until this Fall, I can’t say exactly why I find her posts about Intel Research Lab Berkeley’s Eric Paulos’ work so highly relevant just now. I can say that it’s very heartening to find an affinity with someone so smart and forward-thinking.
What the hell am I talking about? First is the social phenomena of the Familar Stranger, the people that you (don’t) meet/ when you’re walking down the street/ the people that you (don’t) meet each day. Second is Paulos’ interest in what he calls a “digital patina,” a layer of information, laid over a physical space that communicates what/who has come before. Paulos suggests RFID technology might make this possible.