Technology & Communication:
Possibilities for Extending Electronic Media
With a Sense of Immediate Reality in their Applications
by Dr. Takao Ichiko
Department of Informatics, Faculty of Engineering
Quite a few years have passed since the "information network
society" was adapted to become a wide-ranging lifestyle spreading both the
personal and social spheres of life in the post-industrial age. However, we
have not yet been able to concretely draw a blueprint for such a society.
Surely, many kinds of possible individual images have been shown by the IT
(information technology) sector but our actual society can be slightly
different from theirs or can even be confusing. Presently, the fallout caused
from our recent so called "lost 10 years" after the collapse of the
economic bubble in
Recently, there have been many kinds of obstructions found
covering almost all aspects from the widespread, social to personal sphere of
the world, especially in
2 IT Basic Impacts on Educational and Social Environments
Quite a few years have passed since "information network
society" was advocated to become a wide-ranging lifestyle spreading both
the personal and social spheres of life in the post-industrial society.
However, we have not yet been able to concretely draw a blueprint image for
such a society. On the other hand, we experienced with negative factors in the
network society. Surely many kinds of possible individual images have been
shown by the IT sector but our actual society can be slightly different from
these or can even be
confusing. Where can these exist now? Are there any blueprints, especially in
For many years advanced countries have learned to suffer and wait
for the next generation phase from the current worldwide viewpoints. Not only
the business sector, but also our educational and daily life suffers. In a
sense, the effects of our recent so-called "lost 10 years" after the
collapse of the economic bubble in
Let us assume we have a typical example in
Mobile phones are surely assumed, from the viewpoint of pragmatic use, as one of the most powerful examples of electronic media with a sense of immediate reality playing a main role in the IT applications. This largely revolves around the viewpoints of both higher broadband speed and higher quality data communications on information network environments including the current Internet and Intranets. It can be pointed out that people, especially younger people can possess, for the first time in history, their own personal address and free communication tools on their mobile phones, which are going out from Japanese homes and from conventional enterprises. So far the organization itself has been more prominent than individuals according to Japanese concepts and culture. Including younger people, Japanese people can find liberties through such electronic media based on IT technology, and have an opportunity to play various kinds of roles with less tightly couple constraints. At the same time, it can also be predicted to be bankrupt within a few years according to national finance.
institutions in a society such as: family, home, enterprises, schools or
classes will have cause to fall without any means of protection. These reasons
are widely pointed out to be both local and wider spread including in the
finance sector. The status has already been making progress. About 20 years
ago, we were positioned in a wonderful economy based on the traditional financial
Moreover, it may not
be long before people will not need to possess personal computers but from
public terminals, connect to the world. For example, public-use personal
In the final part of this section, the author summarized some items relating to basic IT impacts on educational and social environments, as follows. What kinds of matters will be primarily brought to us with the advancement of IT?
#1. From humans or material mobility in the real world to "abstract mobility" based on information mapping; ex. human behaviors and activities are becoming much quicker, and then can be amplified and extended on an intelligent and/or physical capability basis.
#2. "Information cost" to be remarkably reduced; ex. anybody can participate in more joint ventures in the reconstruction of information environments not only on a large scale or capital basis.
#3. "Information productivity" to evolve and increase both on individual and organizational sites; ex. economic trends both in investments and consumptions can be greatly influenced and changed.
#4. "Information transitional states and phases" to be widely affected in personal, group, and mass communities; ex. mutual relationships between each other such as instructor/ students, enterprise/customers, and so forth have changed greatly. Then, even middle layers can be merged into any situation, at the same time producing new coordination.
#5. The sovereign powers in any region, to be greatly shifted, or distributed for "information initiatives;" ex. reciprocal dynamics can be changed at large and terminal users or beneficiaries can be predominant over their predecessors.
#6. Widely "integrated intelligence and know-how" can be more available on both local and public connections in any information environment; ex. open policies and concepts can be more advantageous and secure than closed ones.
#7. Newly expressive "electronic media tools" and activity manners and/or styles, to be developed and diffused on the basis of viewpoints and value added theories; ex. traditional family based units to social structures may be more adaptive for the next generation phase.
#8. Conventionally "deep-rooted constraints" including space-time dimensional factors, to be extraordinarily overcome and more controllable; ex. many kinds of handicapped matters can also be extraordinarily overcome and gradually integrated to create a new worth based on value-added theories and principles, or sometimes merit/demerit situations, strength/weakness and so forth can be reversed.
#9. From one dimensional utilitarianism to "more multi-dimensional and higher quality principles", to be explored with an introduction of intelligence using electronic media; ex. what is QOL (quality of life) can be pursued with the diffusion and use of deeper knowledge and higher intelligence.
#10. Basic "media literacy" is strongly needed to process information properly and be expected to extend an affluent daily life with higher QOL; ex. classical abacus base literacy, computer literacy, and network literacy to new media literacy can be discussed as one of the most important fundamentals for ordinary life.
3 Concrete Case Studies
The author so far has been engaged in research works for realistic IT technology applications through electronic media in cooperation with many R & D members and related specialists, who belong to newly developed communities (ex. electronic village, software park etc.) with more interactive communications in a more literal environment. As suggested in the previous sections, IT technology is needed to be discussed further for us to be able to make use of it as much as possible. This can make our daily life more fulfilling and help create smoother communications in communities while being more feasible given reduced constraints of space/time dimensions, and even traditional customs and manners.
Also in Japan, advanced basic infrastructure environments such as: XDSL, CATV, and FTTH (fiber optics based) are oriented toward a higher speed broadband network which has been seriously discussed and facilitated step by step around some restricted areas in the larger Japanese cities. More advanced mobile phones oriented toward the next generation are also in preparation and experimental, which are strongly expected to grow into the next generation phase in the near future.
The author has been
assuming that it is more important to set a formal definition of issues or
problems and for their R & Ds to be conducted not only from an integrated
viewpoint of technologies but also from an integrated viewpoint of their
applications including non-technological considerations. Let us be reminded
that an interactive computer graphic system which enabled a direct smooth
communication on a display surface through a light pen was quite similar to the
conventional prototype of the pen and paper in
At first, a real-time
interactive system could be assumed as "a magic box" in which people could
make use of more than 2 dimensional media. These were available as a man-made
machine interface for smoother communications directly and without the
troublesome alphanumeric codes or texts based input or output in a one
dimensional manner. How about now? Mobile phones are expected to be an entry
point into an "electronic maneuver" on information network electronic
environments, in addition to original pagers up to the current voice, e-mail,
and image data solutions. Here the author would like to discuss one of the most
important matters on the current issues and problems from the viewpoints of
primary impact of mobile phones on the information society (cf. the previous 10
items) rather than from the viewpoint of replacing the mobile phones with cash,
tickets, or any other useful cards etc. What kinds of situations have occurred
Of course it is no
exaggeration to say that many various kinds of situations can be found in
The author would like
to contribute in some way to smoother communications and also to the
forthcoming, higher quality communities through electronic media and IT technologies,
ex. self-emancipation and assertion, how to be connected, newly formed sympathy
and belief etc. Also in
Familiar communications tools, such as the telephone or fax machine needed more than 100 years for a high diffusion rate. Those communication tools, which were facilitated with computer based IT technology and electronic media are not as immature as the standard telephone. Moreover it is not necessarily oriented towards non-specialists in general, but strongly restricted to related specialists or for “power users”. It should be noted that “software” is one of the most important factors in order to prevail their utilization and diffusion (See Figure 2). As a matter of that, related papers stating that have already been published (Ichiko, 1997). Mobile phones are currently one of the most typical communication tools which are excessively diffused. However, it cannot be said that non-specialists make the most use of electronic media except for voice phone capability. As an example in case studies, computer based reading, which means reading an e-book on a desktop or laptop, has been researched with some kind of tool assistance which included a mobile phone in progress. The activity of reading a book can be assumed as intellectual telecommunications between the author and readers and/or audience to have a variety of information on electronic media. Since the beginning of the R & Ds, some differences between paper and electronic media in books (referred to in Figure 3) were studied from a basic and essential viewpoint (See Figure 3). At the same time e-books had been studied with an introduction of mobile phone inter-communicable buffering medium, which could be expected to be a "mobile e-book"．Figure 4 shows a typical result for practical applications of famous Japanese literary works (See Figure 4). It may also be assumed that the reader with a mobile e-book will be able to interactively communicate positioning an intermediary role so that one can be situated between the real world and the virtual world, including cyberspace on the electronic media. As a result, a mobile e-book reading was relatively more impressive with its sense of immediate reality and became more concentrated having continuous easy access to information network environments as compared with conventional reading. Of course, a few research items should be continued to be studied, including some extensions of page free concepts and dynamic images introduction, etc.
Furthermore, there are additional examples shown in the research. This is an attractive teleconference with the general purposes of communicating feasibly in a realtime manner with an introduction of higher quality software on a broadband network. A conference form can be extensively applied in a wide range of personal to social communities, and various kinds of world-wide applications with a sense of immediate reality for daily life, newly educational to advanced business activities should be applied. Here, many specialists and non-specialists, including artists have come together for these experiments and many have contributed to analyzing and solving some typical issues and/or matters for smoother communications. Figure 5 is an example of teleconferences over distances in these experiments (See Figure 5). Not only are there so many time delays that any mismatchings of human behaviours and intelligence but also unfamiliar impressions, as compared with those on a direct face to face basis, could not be found over distances. To acquire smoother communications with higher quality, dynamic images, and hyper sounds there could be various attempts from different angles and directions. Human beings were a little surprised at such a circumstance with a sense of immediate reality. The compact systems could be obtained by extending a conventional real communication space with pen and paper through electronic media so as to be developed into a connection with a higher speed network. They will be easier to use in less time and even non-specialists will be able to use such electronic media for smoother communications with greater productivity on collaborative drawing over distances (See Figure 6).
Some of the concluding remarks are referred to for extending electronic media with a sense of immediate reality applications.
author could present some tentative results of case studies researched in IT
technology and electronic media with IT basic impacts on educational and social
environments. In particular, he has been engaged in this research work for many
years, under the current situations that more than a few research applications
have been making progress only from the viewpoint of technological feasibility
and that there is not enough follow up after the fact. In a severe sense,
confusion will become dominant, especially in
The author would like to thank the R&D colleagues, including undergraduate students and members of the research institutes for their advice and cooperation during this research project.
Ichiko, T. (1991) : An Advanced Software Paradigm for Intelligent Systems Integration; John Wiley and Sons, Inc.(ed B. Soucek)
Ichiko, T., Yamamoto, M., Hanano,
M. (1994) : Teleeducation
Based on Images in Multimedia Computing Environment; Proceedings at the IEEE
International Conference on Robot and Human Communication Roman 94,
Ichiko, T. (1995) :
Possibilities for Extending Handwritten Character Recognition on a Multimedia Computing
Environment in Education; Proceedings at the International Symposium on Human
Interaction with Complex Systems,
Ichiko, T. (1997) :
Conceptual Software in Hypermedia Environment-Cooperative Learning in
Electronic Distance Education; USA AACE (Association for the Advancement of
Computing in Education) Site 97,
Ichiko, T. (1999) : Interactive Teaching and Learning at a Distance in Science Education Research ; Proceedings at the International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics Volume Ⅶ, Baden Baden (pp42-46).
Ichiko, T., Yamamoto, M., Kawamura, Y., Hanano, M. (2001) : Advanced Multimedia Telecommunications using a High Speed Broadband Backbone Network beyond all Aspects of the Current Internet (Revised); International Journal of Computers &
Education, Volume 37 (pp211-224).
Kurozumi, T., Ichiko, T. (1989) : Targets and Results from Phase One and Two of the Fifth Generation Computer Systems Study; International Journal of Future Generation Computer Systems, 4 (pp307-325).
Research works at Department of Informatics, Faculty of
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