Urban Interfaces

Besides the hurdles of technology and funding, innovative infrastructure faces another obstacle, the fear of the new and unknown, the man who scoffs “text messaging is not a valid form of communication” as he bitterly googles “the way thing used to be” on his iPad Touch.

How do we configure our systems for success in our imperfect cities as well as break the mental barriers formed by resistance to change.

The Heathrow Airport ULTra transit system is a recent example of medium scale infrastructure with an integral ubiquitous computing system made accessible to any individual regardless of ability or desire to utilize emergent technology.  The system superficially appears to be a standard linear rail system with single personal cars that miraculously anticipate your arrival.

If we look past the transit interface’s surface, deep into the mechanics of the system itself,  It becomes apparent that only the veneer is familiar.  The cars work in a non-linear distributed network that optimizes the achievement of an individual’s transit goals through digital processes.  Infrastructure designed like the ULTra Sustainable Personal Transit and the Los Angeles REDcar make cutting edge technology accessible to the masses by packaging the interface into familiar terms for the user.

For more information about ULTra Sustainable Personal Transit, please see http://www.ultraprt.com
ULTra Sustainable Personal Transit referred to me by Therese Tierney, REDcar Team Member and Colloquium Speaker.

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