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Video: Jan Chipchase on our mobile phones

October 21, 2007 • Mobile and Telecoms

Nokia 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. And watch for his surefire trick to keep you from misplacing your keys.

Why you should listen to him:

Jan Chipcase 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.

“A trove of mobile trivia, Mr Chipchase (actual job title: principal researcher) knows, first-hand, that burkha-wearing students in Iran cheat in exams using hidden Bluetooth headsets; that 50 per cent of the world’s women keep their phones in their handbags (and miss 30 per cent of their calls); and that most Asian early adopters who watch mobile TV ignore the mobile part and tune in from home”

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