University of Maryland

BODYWARE: Information Systems in the Age of Augmented Body and Enhanced Mind

December 4th, 2012 by

19th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2013)
Chicago, Illinois, USA (
15-17 August 2013

  • Paper submission Starts: January 4, 2013
  • Paper submission Finishes: February 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST
  • Notification of acceptance: April 22, 2013
  • Conference: August 15-17, 2013, Chicago, Illinois

As the major trend towards a hyperconnected world continues to connect anything anywhere anytime as everyware (Greenfield, 2006), novel devices are being integrated into human bodies as bodyware. New interfaces that read bodily movements, physiological indicators, human emotions and brain waves have become increasingly commonplace, creating unconventional interfaces and entirely new experiences, which were not available before. Recent advancements in neural signaling, cognitive science and biomedical engineering have been integrating information technology artifacts into human bodies. These ?cyborg? information systems are aware of their bodily context, extremely personalized for embodying individuals, ultimately adaptive to physiological responses, and may anticipate individual intentions with bodily mediation. This phenomena calls for new challenges for humanity in general, and for the information systems field in particular.

How are we to understand the advent of bodyware? Are we moving towards a controversial future called the technological singularity (Kurzweil, 2005)? A study by Dotov et al. (2012) that applies Heidegger?s (1962) ideas to cognitive science suggests that, when a tool is skillfully used, it really becomes like a part of the user. With the advent of bodyware, one could take Heidegger?s analysis to the next level given that these tools really do become part of us on a physical level. For example, some people have already chosen to be ?chipped? so that they can pay with their credit card using a microchip that has been surgically implanted in their upper arm (?Barcelona Clubbers Get Chipped?, 2004). Should we explore the role of bodies and bodyware in a hyperconnected human experience, as the post-phenomenology of Ihde (2001) suggests? Are our everyday experiences with bodyware increasingly in line with the Latourian analysis of technological artifacts in Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 2005)?

Integrating mobile and networked devices into human bodies as bodyware to augment the human body and enhance the human mind challenges the traditional understanding of the information systems discipline. How might the fundamental paradigm shift of considering information technology ontologically as part of our physical bodies change information systems as a discipline? What would happen to our understanding of IT implementation if we were to consider all the ramifications of implementing IT not just in our organizations but also into our own bodies? How do we conceive of the ?IT artifact? differently as these types of systems evolve, and possibly enter more into our life and our more conventional environment of organizational settings?

Our minitrack provides a forum for scholars to discuss and reflect on future prospects for the information systems field in light of the advent of bodyware. In this minitrack, we are interested philosophically reviewing, discussing and reflecting on bodyware as cyborg information systems and reflecting on how they can relate to the information systems domain and discipline in the future. We invite conceptual, theoretical and empirical papers that discuss philosophical aspects of bodyware in relation to information systems in general. Hence we are open to papers from all information systems domains, with different research paradigms, methodologies and levels of analysis.

Mini-track chairs

Deniz Tuncalp
Faculty of Management, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Mary Helen Fagan
Department of Marketing and Management, University of Texas at Tyler

Instructions for authors and more information about the conference is forthcoming on the conference website at


Barcelona clubbers get chipped. (2004, September 9). BBC News. Retrieved from

Dotov D. G., Nie L., & Chemero A. (2010). A Demonstration of the Transition from Ready-to-Hand to Unready-to-Hand. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9433. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009433

Greenfield A. (2006). Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing. Berkley, CA: Peachpit Press.

Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and Time. (J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Trans.) New York, NY: Harper & Row. (Original work published 1927)

Ihde, D. (2001). Bodies in Technology. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press.

Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Singularity Is Near. New York, NY: Viking.

Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.