Technology Heirlooms? Considerations for Passing Down and Inheriting Digital Materials

Proceedings of the 2012 SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (CHI 2012) |

Published by ACM

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Material artifacts are passed down as a way of sustaining relationships and family history. However, new issues are emerging as families are increasingly left with the digital remains of their loved ones. We designed three devices to investigate how digital materials might be passed down, lived with and inherited in the future. We conducted in-home interviews with 8 families using the devices to provoke discussion about how technology might support (or complicate) their existing practices. Sessions revealed families desired to treat their archives in ways not fully supported by technology as well as potential tensions that could emerge. Findings are interpreted to detail design considerations for future work in this emerging space.