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Mobile Nation

The Mobile Nation Conference kicks off tonight with a little meet & greet at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Posters have been up around school for some time now, but to be honest, I haven't heard all that much about the event details. Luckily the website fills in the blanks:

OCAD, the Mobile Digital Commons Network, and the Canadian Design Research Network host the Mobile Nation international conference, exploring the emerging field of mobile experience design. Mobile Nation investigates design methods for locative technologies, devices and games, showcasing international research, design, and engineering.

Mobile Nation invites designers, engineers, and creators to explore the potential of these platforms in cultural industries, architecture, educational content delivery, way-finding, and advertising. Participants will share expertise with WiFi, Global Positioning System (GPS), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency ID tags, intelligent garments, ambient media applications, and geo-locative gaming.

If you continue to explore the website, the event looks like it has the potential to be amazingly interesting. Aside from the live demonstrations and workshops involving new technologies, there is also an impressive list of artists, designers, researchers, and generally interesting people scheduled to give talks focusing on a number of different issues concerning mobile experience design. From mobile gaming, to rapid prototyping, to electronic textiles and reactive garments, there seems to be an expert from every technological field scheduled to speak at this thing.

So what's the catch? Unless you're an OCAD student or faculty member, there's an admission fee, but the general student price is actually significantly lower ($25). Still, with all the speakers, demos, and workshops scheduled, I have a feeling this could prove to be very worthwhile for anyone interested in mobile technologies and experience design. Of course, you could always just make your best effort to dress up like an art student and claim to have forgotten your OCAD student card... but I have a feeling they might just catch on after a while. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Mobile Nation Conference kicks off tonight, March 22, 2007 at 7pm and runs all weekend (March 23-25) at OCAD (100 McCaul St). Check the website for programme details.


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