Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Embargo Date

2-22-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies

Department

Information Management and Technology

Advisor(s)

Marilyn P. Arnone

Second Advisor

Tiffany A. Koszalka

Keywords

ambient intelligence (AmI), creativity, emergent learning, human-centered computing (HCC), information and intelligent systems (IIS), wireless grids

Subject Categories

Library and Information Science

Abstract

Wireless grid and ambient intelligent (AmI) environments are characterized as supportive of collaboration, interaction, and sharing. The conceptual framework advanced for this study incorporated the constructs of innovation, creativity and context awareness while offering emergence theory -- emergent properties, structures, patterns and behaviors -- to frame and investigate a wireless grid enabled social radio application which was theorized to be potentially transformative and disruptive. The unintended consequences and unexpected possibilities of wireless grid and smart environments were also addressed.

Using a single case study, drawing upon multiple data collection methods, this research investigated the deployment and use experience of WeJay, an application incubated through the Wireless Grids Innovation Testbed (WiGiT), from the perspective of beta trial participants. Guided by the broad research question -- Do wireless grid enabled applications, such as WeJay social radio, add to the potential for new and transformative outcomes for people, information and technology when deployed in an academic setting? -- this empirical study sought to: a) learn more about the launch experience of this first pre-standards wireless grid enabled application among WiGiT members and selected Syracuse University students and faculty; b) understand how this application was interpreted for use; c) determine whether novel and unexpected uses emerged; d) investigate whether wireless grid enabled environments fostered innovation and creativity; and e) elicit whether a conceptual relationship was emerging between wireless grid and AmI environments, focusing on context-awareness and ambient learning.

While this early stage of diffusion and first user sample was a key limitation of the study it was also the core strength. Although challenged by the state of readiness of WeJay, study findings supported the propositions that WeJay fosters innovation and creativity; that novel and unexpected uses were generated; and that the theorized relationship between wireless grid applications and embedded awareness does exist. Recommendations for enhanced tool readiness were made and embedded smartness was found to be both desirable and beneficial. This research makes a contribution as a bridge study for future research while having theoretical and methodological implications for research and practice. Social, emotion/affect, and human-centered computing (HCC) dimensions emerged as rich areas for further research.

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Open Access

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