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Digital lives trends - April 2010


This trend book about digital behaviours has emerged from presonnal thinking, based on reading, observations and findings on the web during the past year. This trend book aims to identify, explain and illustrate the main trends that are shaping the world of digital behaviours. In this exercice, I have limited myself to the perimeter of behaviours I know about, i.e. those happening in the western countries. Beside the fact that these trends are here illustrated within the context of digital behaviours, they are not restricted to this context.

A finite world

Between 1970 and 2002 forest cover has dwindled by


source : The Guardians

USA's consumption footprint is



A finite world

16 119

endangered species in 2006

person, In Ethiopia the figure is 2ha

source : WWF UK

source : IUCN

End of oil ressources around


source :

A finite world

More than the physical limits of the globe, instantaneous communication provides a panoptic view of the world and reveals the boundaries. ÂŤ Speed is the greatest factor of emprisonment. Âť P. Virilio

Data is at the core

Within our finite sphere, the digital revolution, that has started 20 years ago, has rapidly increased

Google alone has already indexed

8 billion pages and over10 million books and over

add 1,5 to 2 millions new publications each year.

Data is at the core

inter-connections and inter-dependencies between actors and contributes to develop an immaterial economy.

Rather than disqualifying the capitalist system, the sub-prime crisis is more relevant as a symbol of the

effects of the growing immaterial economy over reality.

The ongoing

Data is at the core

indexation of existing knowledges and objects increases even more the weight of data and their effects over reality.

Data is at the core

ÂŤ These new technologies try to make virtual reality more powerful than actual reality, which is the true accident.The day when virtual reality becomes more powerful than reality will be the day of the big accident. Mankind never experienced such an extraordinary accident. Âť P. Virilio

Renchanted matter

Even if the ongoing digital indexation clearly continues the disenchantment of the world, data have great values.

One of the main outcome of the last crisis is a

collective understanding that our environment is escaping us.

Data are

Renchanted matter

«Except scientific people, nobody really understand the objects we use ; (...) we just ‘count’ on them. On the other side, the savage knows incomparably better his own tools.» M. Weber about ‘disenchantment’, In Politic as a vocation

potentially unalterable

accessible from everywhere at any time

and this almost for free for the end user.

... Data Vaudoo powers

Other beliefs

Knowledge Identity

Magical powers


Spiritual effects


principle of MATTER re-enchantment

principle of disenchantment


So, if the world is running out of raw matter Data are the core of an infinite added value And matter remains the body of interaction with data VISION : Matter is tangible data. MISSION : In a world animated by data, data will be visible by eyes and editable by hands.

Dwellers’ guide SMALL PRODUCERS


Raw charm


Data body language

+ 1


Invisible man’s paradox Ghost in a wall


Target : Web addicted teenagers


Vision of apocalypse Theory of western civilisations’ collapse Major economic system failure «We are the collateral victims of the progress.» P. Virilio

Fear of a multipolar world

Since the 2008 economical crisis, the capitalist model has lost part of its legitimacy. While western civilisation is as fragile as an empty shell, some fears the accident.

As people’s life record moves now online, the computer screen has become the Alice’s mirror. A potential black out would make anyone amnesic, with no access to his/her memory.

«Accident» means «what is coming», and there is no way to prevent things of coming. To avoid immaterial memories to be cutted off, we need tracks of events in shape-memory material.

Plaid memoire Imagine a peripheric device connected to your computer that would print out your digital life biorythm and produce a piece of cloth from which to read your personal history as you would browse a photo album or a biography.

Target : Perfection seekers


Personal data monitoring

Myth of the perfect body

Safety scanner Permanent surveillance

In the western world, geopolitical and sanitarian threats are in everyone’s mind. Consumption has become a weapon to lead a holy patriotic fight.

While digital world grows, frontiers between fiction and reality blurs each day a bit more. Thus, eachone seeks to build oneself’s self defense.

When environment becomes too complex to remain safe, stakes are to avoid what may harm one’s self. In other words, the stake is now to extand one’s immune system to identify what ensure one’s identity.

Scanning second skin Imagine a device as a prosthesis that knows you and scans the goods that surround you, in order to help you make the right choice according to your immune system, your allergies, your ideological engagement, your feelings of the day, ...

Target : Urban editors


Human nature to urban nature

Information noise

Designing co-existence

Nature driven as a factory

More than half of the world population now lives in condensed urban environment. Visualizing the activity of city dwellers in live becomes a key issue to live in the real time city.

One’s moves, one’s actions, one’s interactions feeds a live and collective database about trafic. But without a proper interface, these cities of data remain only stories, invisible cities.

For a city to be smart, all citizens ought to be taken into account as an agent of the system. The stake of 5th screen is to make city pulse tangible on its walls, readable and editable by itself.

Urban semaphore Imagine to be able to interact with the walls, to shape the urban public space. Not like an architect or a designer who would create something new and specific. But like the wind blows into the leaves of a tree, your presence, your movements, your speed or the amount of data you carry with you would blow onto the faรงades of the city and become one of the ghost of the city.

Target : Broadcasted netizens

The invisible man’s paradox

Multi-identity Virtual worlds addiction Invisibility Droit à l’oubli


«Don’t tag me in this photo» Transparency

Privacy paradox

Personal data

The ideology of online worlds is to offer everyone the gifts of ubiquity and invisibility. But the cost of ubiquity is the sell of one’s personnal informations.

Immaterial informations now ought to be protected by anonymity, as much as real identities would. But erasing one’s online private information equals to perform an amputation of one’s personal history.

In a self-branding attitude, each footprint one may leave online becomes a chapter of a biography. More than being invisible again, heteronomity is the key to personal identity management.

Co誰dentity Imagine a support like a business, that would allow you to introduce yourself through your upt-to-date Facebook profile, or your Likedin profile, or any of your virtual identities made tangible.

Target : Relationship epicurians


Cult of ÂŤ faitiches Âť

Cult of libido

We are animals

Object of desire

Cult of uniqueness

Fantasy of telepathy and telekinesis remains the quest of the sixth sens for communication. But complex communication systems still fail to carry real emotions and feelings.

In the immaterial economy world, a thing is valued by the amount of times it has been shared. Crafted goods gain value because they cannot be reproduced & keep emotional bounds to their origin.

Sometimes, the smell of a perfum may provoke more emotional bounding than a phone call. Like in vaudoo incantations, any object may become a direct polysensorial remote communication tool.

Vaudoo relique Imagine an altar on wich would be displayed things or stuffs that relatives would have offered to you. And imagine that by holding anyone tight or talk or carry, you would be able to share these actions with the owner of the puppet.

Target : Producer class


Open source platforms

Bands funded by their fans

Together we can

Flash mob Vs Fab lab Time square = art square

Peer to peer lending

At the age of service, workers owns their production tools and have access to distribution channels. A new class of empowered citizen emerges, the producers class.

But the degre of complexity of one’s personnal production is limited by one’s mastered competences. Realizing more complex and rich features requires to gather and extend the collective ABC of 2.0.

After production & distribution, the participative economy urges the system to rethink property rights. Collective will goes beyond local and leads to find new standards for an open economy.

Crumbs economy Imagine a place where neighbours of the world village could purchase things buy bartering to each other social units. It would mean for instance that you could buy bread with your cell phone in return of renting minutes of your car; and a month of french bread would mean 200 km of your car for your baker.

Target : Casual gamers


Wifi culture

Tactile dimension

Body-data interaction

Pervasive connection

Intuitive movement interaction 6th sense

Casual gaming business grows, with new older customers and new learning/teaching practices. Quality of game is less connected to the qualitative immersive 3D than to the social interactions.

There is no more need to learn user interfaces builded upon the standards designed 30 years ago. Data now react to our own body movements instead of waiting to be activated through keyboard.

Soon, online gaming will even be freed from consoles, through direct interaction between players. After the playstation code, here comes the data body language; gestures are new keys.

Life blog choreography Imagine than any of your movements may update your status online, or be a mean to play with a remote friends somewhere else.

Target : City Breakers


Global warming Solidarity economy

Zero impact way of life

Couch surfing

Slow travel Paris greaters

In a finite globe, traveling means looking for heterotopies ; it is first of all a state of mind. In a world full of stuffs and people, any of them is a potential ressource for the next move.

As soon as things are connected, nothing remains unreachable and everywhere becomes  inside . Exotism relies less on a geographical distance than on the remoteness from one’s personal routines.

In a finite world, travelers are not explorers anymore, but dwellers on the move looking for stories. The world is a ruin, full of meanings and histories, that can be decoded like a record.

Tales of thing Imagine a service attaching stories to objects, landmarks or monuments with RFiD tags. Traveling at home or abroad with your phone would allow you to read such stories on the go. Or even to leave your own story edited in a real printed out tag.

Dwellers’ guide SMALL PRODUCERS

Data body language


Raw charm

Matter is tangible data

Invisible man’s paradox

Ghost in a wall



Thank you. Marc Chataigner -


Trendbook 2010 about digital lives, data, mobile living, collaborative consumption, online identity and privacy.