Friday, June 21, 2013

Paying Attention to Attention

Blur is a popular metaphor for the human information environment, as new electronic media, information, entertainment and social connectivity compete for our attention everywhere.

Sometimes, we need help to stay on track.

video

Rather than tout electronic entertainment features with inherently distracting playlists and phone connectivity, Mercedes calls our attention to the task at hand.

This commercial is an effective demonstration of distracted driving.

Lulled by a popular song, the driver begins to day-dream, conjuring an alluring companion.

Sensing his loss of concentration, the automobile intervenes.

Warned by the assist signal, the driver snaps to attention and the companion resolves into an alert passenger who is paying attention to the road. Is the passenger the driver's best friend who happened to be riding with him? Or, is the passenger the embodiment of the driver alert system? Could be both, we don't know.

The commercial demonstrates the everyday phenomenon of "looking away" in modern information environments, and the importance of staying on task when attention matters most.

   Copyright © 2013 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

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