Teja's below post about HCI's state in 5 years and our class discussion both came to mind today when I received a Putting People First newsletter (if you haven't heard about Experientia, I find their newsletter to be a great resource of curated content that blurs the lines between all sorts of fields including literature, anthropology, experience design-- find it on their site); it made (surprisingly) reference to a BBC article that summarizes the idea of an "internet of things" -- basically connecting many forms of physical things/devices to the internet (e.g. their "smart wine rack" example, the RSS feed alert about sewage overflows, etc.) in experience design rooted not only in service but also in more intentional action (environmental initiatives), everyday life (muting the TV when the phone rings), etc.
I think HCI is going to play an extremely important role in what could be an emerging sub-industry. In terms of the sewage alert example above, for example, these are some quite innovative ideas made possible by internet connectivity that basically defy all interface and procedural guidelines set previously. Is their hub set up technically the best way to run this service? In turn, this reminds me of our survey of situated action and the impression that HCI, when experienced a certain way, can become the sort of amenable figure that changes overarching direction based on context. What rings as most important is the HCI mentality of evaluation and the practice of exploring the usability of new devices and interfaces even at their birth in order to better ensure their sustainability (I'm thinking back to my post about gestural interfaces).
Anyways, just wanted to share an interesting article and resource (Putting People First)!