Social communication technology researcher
I work in the Human Experience and Design (HXD) group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge UK. You can see how I got here in my bullet-point biography.
I research how the affordances of technologies interact with language, social action, and Internet culture.
I've written about vernaculars of technologized interaction in contexts such as video calling and video messaging in personal relationships, ambient audio technologies to support independent living, IRC openings and non-responses, social media in the workplace, crisis memes, and error mascots. I am currently interested in social device ecologies and engineering culture. I am on the Editorial Board (Communication Technology) of the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Communication.
I am also a passionate advocate for digital access, freedom, and privacy.
Social order is a practical achievement
Human Computer Interaction
Design resources, not features
Amplify ALL the memes!
Math may not be my strength
Baharin, H., Viller, S., & Rintel, S. (2015). SonicAIR: Supporting independent living with reciprocal ambient audio awareness. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 22, 4, Article 18, 1-23. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2754165. Abstract Sonic Atomic Interaction Radio (SonicAIR) is an ambient awareness technology probe designed to explore how connecting the soundscapes of friends or family members might reduce the isolation of[…]
[PDF: 15 April 2015] Updated 15 April 2015 to include new applications and revise the format. As part of my research into how Skype Qik is being used in the wild, I’ve been looking into the larger space of social mobile video. The ‘infographic’ above (for want of a better term) is a first and very[…]
Rintel, S., Harper, R., Watson, R., and O’Hara, K. (2015). ‘Me For You’: Lessons About Everyday Video Messaging From Skype Qik. Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems; Workshop on Everyday Telepresence: Emerging Practices and Future Research Directions. [Format: Draft PDF] In this position paper we outline the opportunities and challenges of pure asynchronous video messaging as[…]
Rintel, S. (2015). Omnirelevance in technologized interaction: Couples coping with video calling distortions. Pp. 123-150 in R. Fitzgerald & W. Housley (Eds.). Membership categorization analysis: Studies of social knowledge in action. London: Sage. | Format: Draft PDF Abstract The concept of omnirelevance in Membership Categorisation Analysis refers to participants invoking categories that reflexively treat the understanding of particular interactional moments[…]
My Special Issue of The Electronic Journal of Communication / La Revue Electronic de Communication (EJC/REC) has now been released as free and open access. Many of the articles (including mine) have embedded images and video that have typically been difficult to include in traditional outlets and are still surprisingly rare. There is certainly scope for more embedded[…]
I was a guest on 612 ABC Brisbane’s Eat The Week show hosted by Rebecca Levingston. We talked about Jibo, attempted to break a world record, listened to P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air”, and discussed various topics in the week’s news. Loads of fun! The Guinness World Record we attempted to break was for the[…]
This is the text of the email I sent to members of Electronic Frontiers Australia on Saturday 26 April (edited slightly for style). I stepped down as Chair and as Board Member at the monthly Board Meeting Sunday 27 April. — G’day all EFA members, I am writing with some bittersweet news. Due to a new job,[…]
With Angela Daly, Swinburne University of Technology There has been plenty of technology-related legal activity in the European Union this month. Last week the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that data retention regulations, as they currently stand, are not in accordance with EU law and the European Parliament voted in favour of[…]
I commented in the Canberra Times on the ACT Police conducting a public Q&A forum via Twitter. I said that: “[…] police PR is very difficult given we typically interact with the police only in times of trouble/crisis, so I’d say this was rather successful.” “Answers to more difficult questions got ‘well it’s complicated’ responses,” he said.[…]
I represented Electronic Frontiers Australia on the ABC consumer affairs show The Checkout. In my “If I Could Say One Thing” segment I discussed ways of dealing with Internet tracking by advertisers and third parties. Here is the script, including links: Hi, I’m Dr Sean Rintel, Chair of digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Australia. I could[…]