ENTRIES TAGGED "ubiquitous computing"

Wearable intelligence

Establishing protocols to socialize wearable devices.

The age of ubiquitous computing is accelerating, and it’s creating some interesting social turbulence, particularly where wearable hardware is concerned. Intelligent devices other than phones and screens — smart headsets, glasses, watches, bracelets — are insinuating themselves into our daily lives. The technology for even less intrusive mechanisms, such as jewelry, buttons, and implants, exists and will ultimately find commercial applications.

And as sensor-and-software-augmented devices and wireless connections proliferate through the environment, it will be increasingly difficult to determine who is connected — and how deeply — and how the data each of us generates is disseminated, captured and employed. We’re already seeing some early signs of wearable angst: recent confrontations in bars and restaurants between those wearing Google Glass and others worried they were being recorded.

This is nothing new, of course. Many major technological developments experienced their share of turbulent transitions. Ultimately, though, the benefits of wearable computers and a connected environment are likely to prove too seductive to resist. People will participate and tolerate because the upside outweighs the downside. Read more…

Comment

The inevitability of smart dust

Why general purpose computing will diffuse into our environment.

it's not fog... it's smoke... by Guilherme Jófili, on FlickrI’ve put forward my opinion that desktop computing is dead on more than one occasion, and been soundly put in my place as a result almost every time. “Of course desktop computing isn’t dead — look at the analogy you’re drawing between the so called death of the mainframe and the death of the desktop. Mainframes aren’t dead, there are still plenty of them around!”

Well, yes, that’s arguable. But most people, everyday people, don’t know that. It doesn’t matter if the paradigm survives if it’s not culturally acknowledged. Mainframe computing lives on, buried behind the scenes, backstage. As a platform it performs well, in its own niche. No doubt desktop computing is destined to live on, but similarly behind the scenes, and it’s already fading into the background.

The desktop will increasingly belong to niche users. Developers need them, at least for now and for the foreseeable future. But despite the prevalent view in Silicon Valley, the world does not consist of developers. Designers need screen real estate, but buttons and the entire desktop paradigm are a hack; I can foresee the day when the computing designers use will not even vaguely resemble today’s desktop machines.

For the rest of the world? Computing will almost inevitably diffuse out into our environment. Today’s mobile devices are transition devices, artifacts of our stage of technology progress. They too will eventually fade into their own niche. Replacement technologies, or rather user interfaces, like Google’s Project Glass are already on the horizon, and that’s just the beginning.

People never wanted computers; they wanted what computers could do for them. Almost inevitably the amount computers can do for us on their own, behind our backs, is increasing. But to do that, they need data, and to get data they need sensors. So the diffusion of general purpose computing out into our environment is inevitable. Read more…

Comments: 2
Four short links: 29 November 2012

Four short links: 29 November 2012

Internet of Zings, Public Domain Alternate Universe, Web Engineers Tools, and Dashboards for All

  1. Is It The Internet of Things? — we’ve moved from “they ignore you” to “they laugh at you”. Next up, “they fight you”, then finally the earless RFID-enabled location-aware ambient-sensing Network of All wins. (via BERG London)
  2. The 2012 We Could Have Had — list of famous and interesting works which would have entered the public domain had we not had the 1976 extension of copyright law.
  3. Web Engineer’s Online Toolbox a list of online, Web-based tools that Web engineers can use for their work in development, testing, debugging and documentation.
  4. Indianapolis Museum of Art Dashboard — everyone should have a HUD showing the things they care about. (via Courtney Johnston)
Comment
The secret is to bang the rocks together

The secret is to bang the rocks together

Arduino is a building block for the world to come.

Every so often a piece of technology can become a lever that lets people move the world, just a little bit. The Arduino is one of those levers.

Comments: 9
Four short links: 6 April 2011

Four short links: 6 April 2011

Timelines, Hardware Pilgrimage, Ubiquitous Play Computing, Eye-Tracking

  1. Timeline Setter — ProPublica-released open source tool for building timelines from spreadsheets of event data. See their post for more information. (via Laurel Ruma)
  2. Return to Shenzhen Part 1 — Nate from SparkFun makes a trip to component capital of the world. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for geeks. a special market that dealt exclusively with bulk cell phones. That’s right, you could buy a pile of cell phones. [...] This market was truly amazing. It was one of most dense I’ve been to, shoulder to shoulder with very little standing room. Every device imaginable was available (checkout the pile of iPads) and people were literally negotiating a spot price minute by minute. The raw phones were sold for cash and then taken to other parts of the market for parts, resale, or recycling.
  3. Suwappu Toys in Media (BERG London) — a concept video for a toy project. This is not primarily a technology demo, it’s a video exploration of how toys and media might converge through computer vision and augmented video. We’ve used video both as a communication tool and as a material exploration of toys, animation, augmented reality and 3D worlds.
  4. Predator Eye-Tracking Video (YouTube) — neat technology. The source was released, retracted, reposted to GitHub by a third party, then retracted but rumours are it will be properly released soon.
Comment: 1