Trains: the mobile hybrid space
Arrivatog.jpg

Trains: the mobile hybrid space:

I have chosen to point out trains with access to the internet as a hybrid space. The possibility to access the internet while on the move is a rather new concept here in Denmark. According to Arrivas homepage (http://www.arriva.dk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=543&Itemid=109 ), they were the first to offer free internet in trains. When a passager chooses to be online via the train’s Internet, using a mobile device, for example laptops, mobile phones or simmilar mobile devices, it will enable the person to be connected to both a physical and a virtual space. In other words the devices connected to the Internet combined with the physical space of the train creates a hybrid space.

Adriana de Souza e Silva writes in her article From cyber to hybrid: Mobile Technologies as interfaces of Hybrid Spaces p. 269:

” The enfolding of contexts (or the ”doubling of space” as defined by Scannell, 1996) which allows users to feel as if they are in two places at once, might have been studied as a feature of other media as well […], but the difference with mobile technologies is precisely the possibility of moving through space while interacting with others who are both remote and in the same contigous space via one’s relative location to other users.”

I believe De Souza e Silva’s definition is liable to my example with the train. A hybrid space is created when all the different mobile devices on the train with access to the internet is being used.

On the one hand you have the physical world with all the passengers waiting to reach their destination. On the other hand they are connected to a virtual space, which makes it possible to be connected with friends e.g.

What is even more interesting with the train as a hybrid space, than for instance a cafe is the fact that the space itself is moving and not only the mobile devices. I believe you could call this an ultra hybrid space because not only the devices but also the space in which these devices are kept is moving and thus creates a double effect.

By Anne Vigsø Bendsen

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