Pervasive Fatigue

The ideas for Happy Packages could be great or they may stink, but hell it’s a research project and that’s what Thought Pie are meant to be finding out. Either way, no matter how good the implementation and delivery, something we’ll have to be wary of is Pervasive Fatigue.

The Situation

People who are constantly bombarded with repeated Bluetooth requests every time they walk past Co-op’s Bluetooth gopping device are slowly or possibly very quickly going to get annoyed with the vibration in the pocket requiring their attention. It’s just bad etiquette to interrupt someone with something un-expected and then probably ask them again the next day. So if during their personal time, while a client is choosing a sandwich, they’re re-asked to about downloading something, are we providing them with some very simple and mostly detrimental choices, get it, ignore it or turn their Bluetooth off.

Either option is going to be painful to the project, because as the Pervasive group mind map diagram shows, certain media should be subtle and intelligent. If someone’s who’s already downloaded the Application is repeatedly prompted to “Accept the incoming transfer” when they were thinking about which sausage roll to buy from Greggs, they’re gunna’ be pissed off and a little more worn with the whole idea.

A Parallel

To re-enforce the idea of fatigue, imagine work experience tea-boy who keeps forgetting how many sugars you take, and each morning will interrupt you anywhere and everywhere to ask. Not only is he tiring you each time, he’s meant to be (within reason) intelligent about the situation so should remember, the same way people will assume a digital device knows what you’ve got already.

The Issues

Unfortunately, the technology surrounding Bluetooth isn’t always going to know who has what without extra programming, so keeps searching for new connections and asking them to download some content. Which presents us with the problem of Digitally Fatiguing our users.

This clearly brings up the wider questions and solutions, is there a situation where Bluetooth Gopping won’t completely ruin a fragile relationship people might have with the technology already? Is the best way to interact with people over Bluetooth using loads of P.R (Pervasive Relations) or maybe if there were certain zones where people walked into to get content?

3 Replies to “Pervasive Fatigue”

  1. Possibly…They are going to work better where people visit less regularly…..
    Heritage sites, racetracks, ‘Days Out ‘places…….

  2. So the application might lend itself better to somewhere where people people will pass through for definate and possibly only a few times, eg, at a castle, visitors entrance.

    But then on a site that has a higher frequency, we’ll require the Bluetooth to be a bit smarter.

  3. “With very simple scripting, the pusher can avoid hitting the same device multiple times with the same message. Only the really simplest pushers just blast stuff out – unfortunately, they are probably the majority.”

    – Eamonn O’Neill (

    Which requires either the Client to be caching the data locally or for it to be connected to the internet and reporting on it’s use constantly.

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