Centre Director oskar_juhlin.jpg
 
Oskar Juhlin was born and raised in Norrbotten. After training to MSc in Civil Engineering, he was fed up with technology and began studying the history of ideas and philosophy at Stockholm University. Eventually he came to the "Theme T" at Linköping University where his interest in technology was awakened again. He received his Ph.D. in the knowledge sociology with a special focus on the engineers who worked on the development of ITS (Intelligent Transport System). In the thesis he came in touch with SRA which then financed a postdoc position at a location of his choice. He chose the center for interdisciplinary research at Gothenburg University, but worked at the same time on the newly launched Viktoria Institute in Gothenburg.

"It was uplifting to get into the IT research," exclaims Oskar Juhlin! "There are two things that inspired me - the creative practice and the particular type of social science research, focusing on detailed empirical studies of people's lives, which is so appreciated in this area."

Oskar Juhlin has stayed in the scientific community ever since. He has a keen interest in research and is glad that the possibility exists. He thinks research fit his disposition.

"I am a bit demanding and "ferret-like," says Oscar with a laugh. "Perhaps one could say that I am over-interested. It was amazing to find this place for me, and when I started my PhD studies, I felt that almost everyone was like me."

Mobility studio
In 2000, he began to build his own research group " Mobility Studio " at the Interactive Institute. The first funds for the five-six-strong group came from SITI, and the group has been externally funded ever since then. Now the group includes ten researchers and is a an integral part of the Mobile Life Centre. There are researchers from Stockholm University and the Interactive Institute.

" We have a clear user-oriented perspective in our research," emphasizes Oskar Juhlin. "It's people and their needs that will determine. People want to have fun, they seek the good life and entertainment. And that contributes to our research."

In the early 2000s, Oskar Juhlin were brought together with Kia Höök and Lars Erik Holmquist by Professor Bo Dahlbom, IT University of Gothenburg. This was the beginning of what now is the Mobile Life Centre.

"We wanted to engage in idea-based research that may not be so theoretical," explains Oskar Juhlin. "It is about developing technology that is close to the users. What people are doing and how they are doing it has always interested me."

The trio sought and obtained money from SSF for their research, and eventually began to call their joint operations Mobile Life. And 2006 the co-operation was crowned with success when it was appointed a so-called Vinn Excellence Center. Oskar Juhlin is currently director of the Centre that brings together researchers from many different disciplines. Together with partners from leading companies technology companies the Centre aims to predict what future mobile technology by inventing tomorrow's products today.

" I think it is fantastic to be researchers in IT. We like all technology. But I'm the one who most contributes with the social science perspective," says Oscar .

Mobile Life Centre puts the focus on users and can provide companies with strategic knowledge of the mobile life. The Centre will contribute to the actual technology transfer. The Centre has become one of Europe's two leading centers in the mobile area.

Oscar Juhlin is currently working on a book together with Barry Brown, visiting professor at the Mobile Life Centre. The book is intended to be manual - a programme method  - for social science researchers who want to engage in the area of ​​technology for pleasure. And he looks forward to hand over leadership of the Mobile Life to Annika Waern - then his own research can get more space.

"I have a responsibility that the Centre will contribute to social change. I have contributed a societal perspective to our activities," underlines Oskar Juhlin.

New challenges
Very important to Oskar Juhlin is to promote Europe's leading role in the commercialization of applications in the are of Internet of Things. This calls for a strong emphais on consumer orientation and new needs.

"We are good at technology in Europe, but we are prepared to take this ball? Europe could become a leader, but the signs is not promising," says Oskar.

However, there are positive examples - Nokia is a good role model in Europe according to Oskar. They are really interested and are open and creative with a strong focus on consumer needs, even if they are going through a challenging period. There are also many exciting new Swedish companies in the entertainment sector.

The earlier so successful Swedish innovation system is now the bottleneck. Oskar says that it is unfortunate that the state is currently thought to be both the client and the first buyers - it favors only existing businesses solving parliamentary formulated the "problems". In these contexts, the focus is more on environmental issues than on human needs for entertainment.

"In the governmental area there is no interest in "boredom" as a common problem. We see stress as a problem worthy of policy discussions where we possibly have a joint responsibility. But boredom is seen as both private and irrelevant. Actually, perhaps I should start the Swedish Institute for Boredom Research, says Oskar Juhlin with a laugh

 This interview in Swedish