Interaction Tyneside January 2012

While concept videos about future technology would have us believe that everyone is in their 20s (and at an airport), the reality are far different. This month's two talks had a common theme on technology and ageing: John Vine in relation to banking and cheques, and Lynne Coventry on mobility.


  1. John Vine: The Joy of Cheques
    John Vine's research focused on elder people and finances (it's worth noting that the research was not tied to any bank in particular). Through the research the team noted that cheques were a particular service worth focusing on. 
  2. Remember the days of "don't forget to put in only and the line after"? Cheques (known earlier as bills of exchange) became enforced in the UK by legal act in 1883
  3. But the rates of use have been dropping since the 90s.
  4. However, a huge percentage of elder (80+ people) use cheques [I missed the stat, sadly]. Based on this, the team carried out interviews and workshops with elder people on banking and cheques.
  5. It's easy to forget how far we've come in terms of finances. When discussing the role of chequebooks with elderly women, it turned out that most of them as young women in the 60s had struggled to be granted the privilege of such a thing:
  6. And cheques are rather hard to replace, in some respects:
  7. Cheques allow a degree of flexibility (unlike bank cards, which caused interesting situations both in remote Australian islands and in India — as studied by the second speaker Lynne Coventry
  8. Thinking through to the futures, what Vine suggested from the study was that we might think about maintaining some of the physical features of these objects, and even consider how we could have cheques without banks ….