Karen Cham

Design Consultant


Designing 5G UX for MEC in the FOG

5G is not just faster 4G, it has a range of communicative capacities which telecoms engineers cannot anticipate, and Karen is part of a project that aims to iterate the testbed itself as part of the R&D cycle.

Due to mobile edge computing and network slicing, 5G could provide :

• 1 Gb per second simultaneously to many workers on the same office floor providing a real time personalized data driven proprietorial cloud on location based virtual machines

• several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections for wireless sensors providing realtime responsive environments for IoT and autonomous systems, including everybodys favourite de jour – vehicles

This is a layer of mediation and networked interaction that has never been envisaged before, with all the attendant issues that come with it, from effective service design methodologies, to privacy, security and ethics and data management. In terms of human factors, this is equivalent to a dimensional shift from 2D to 3D.

Karen made electronic installations and glass plate holograms before she made anything for the web or a touchscreen (1994), so she has always thought spatially about UX, as a multiplatform and mixed reality experience, but the digital component has thus far been 2D embedded IRL as they say, with invisible signals bringing the only true third dimensionality that needed to be accounted for. Through its dimensionality, 5G promises 3D rhizomatics, in the Deluezian sense, or to coin her own phrase, opportunities for ‘rhizometric’ design, because of course, the revolution will not only be ‘ceaselessly established connections’, but intelligent, evolving and quantifiable in realtime.

5G offers an expansion of the networked and node materiality of the digital into the physical. It will of course, connect to us properly next, and we will find ourselves nested at the centre of a quantified, embedded and ubiquitous complex evolving biosynched UX feedback loop. This talk explores what type of products and services 5G promises, and anticipates the problems and potentials of designing UX for MEC in the FOG.

Professor of Digital Transformation Design/ Design Consultant

About Karen Cham

Karen is currently Professor of Digital Transformation Design at the University of Brighton; University Lead for the research theme ‘Connected Futures’ and Academic Lead of the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton (DCCB) and a Women in Games Ambassador.

Karen has 24 years experience in human centred digital transformation design for Next Gen, including iOS, Android, Windows, Cloud, Xbox, Playstation, Drones, sensor tech, biometrics inc. eye tracking, facial recognition, EEG, EMG, GSR digital audio and video, MIDI, haptics, holography, stereoscopy, AR, VR, computer vision, neuro-marketing & neuro-gaming machine learning, predictive analytics, big data, automatic signal recognition, cognitive and sentient systems and AI. Clients have included Playstation, Diesel, ITV, Which?, Top Shop and EY and Karen also has MoD clearance for the Defence Simulation & Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Karen's research concerns design and complexity; designing for Persuasion, Emotion & Trust (PET) and ethical singularities in IoT, robotics and immersive environments. To this end, she currently works on quantifiable cognitive UXD design patterns, and establishing a Catapult Data Privacy, Ethics & Nudge research lab. Karen also co-leads the 5G Testbed SME innovation programme, exploring Next Gen computing products and services that iterate the testbed itself, in collaboration with 5GIC at the University of Surrey as part of the Governments 5G Strategy.