Posts tagged with ‘the internet of things’
We’re not the only ones claiming that wearables and connected devices will be huge, it looks like experts are agreeing on it as well. (from: Experts: Internet of Things and Wearables Will Dominate by 2025)
Saskia Sassen, via BBC News - How will our future cities look?
The Belkin WeMo Switch, lets you turn electronic devices on or off from anywhere inside—or outside—your home. The WeMo Switch uses your existing home Wi-Fi network to provide wireless control of TVs, lamps, stereos, and more. Simply download the free WeMo app, plug the switch into an outlet in your home, and plug any device into the switch. You’ll be able to turn that device on or off using your iPhone or iPad. You can even set schedules for your devices and control them remotely using a mobile Internet connection. You can also add additional switches to your home to control more devices. (via WeMo Switch | App Enabled Accessories | Mobile Accessories | Products | Belkin USA Site)
Adam Greenfield, Frameworks for Citizen Responsiveness: Towards a Read/Write Urbanism
Beyond Trouble Tickets, Towards Public Objects
No issue-tracking system, even the best-designed and most cleverly devised, is going to quash the frustrations of city life completely. I believe, though, that the system I sketch out here would give cities a supple and relatively low-cost way to close the loop between Jacobian “eyes on the street,” and the agencies that serve and are fully empowered to respond to them. What I’ve described here is, if nothing else, a way to harness the experience and rich local expertise of ordinary citizens.
[Illustration: Jane Kelly]
But what if we took a single step further out? What if we imagined that the citizen-responsiveness system we’ve designed lives in a dense mesh of active, communicating public objects? Then the framework we’ve already deployed becomes something very different. To use another metaphor from the world of information technology, it begins to look a whole lot like an operating system for cities.
Then we can begin to treat the things we encounter in urban environments as system resources, rather than a mute collection of disarticulated buildings, vehicles, sewers and sidewalks. One prospect that seems fairly straightforward is letting these resources report on their own status. Information about failures would propagate not merely to other objects on the network but reach you and me as well, in terms we can relate to, via the provisions we’ve made for issue-tracking.
And because our own human senses are still so much better at spotting emergent situations than their machinic counterparts, and will probably be for quite some time yet to come, there’s no reason to leave this all up to automation. The interface would have to be thoughtfully and carefully designed to account for the inevitable bored teenagers, drunks, and randomly questing fingers of four-year-olds, but what I have in mind is something like, “Tap here to report a problem with this bus shelter.”
In order for anything like this scheme to work, public objects would need to have a few core qualities, qualities I’ve often described as addressability, queryability and even potential scriptability. What does this mean?
- Addressability. In order to bring urban environments fully into the networked fold, we would first need to endow each of the discrete things we’ve defined as public objects with its own unique identifier, or address. It’s an ideal application for IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol, which I described in Everyware as opening up truly abyssal reaches of address space. Despite the necessity of reserving nigh-endless blocks of potentially valid addresses for housekeeping, IPv6 still offers us a ludicrous freedom in this regard; we could quite literally assign every cobblestone, traffic light and street sign on the planet a few million addresses.
- Queryability. Once you’ve got some method of reliably identifying things and distinguishing them from others, a sensitively-designed API allows us to pull information off of them in a meaningful, structured way, either making use of that information ourselves or passing it on to other systems and services.
We’ve so far confined our discussion to things in the public domain, but by defining open interoperability standards (and mandating the creation of a critical mass of compliant objects), the hope is that people will add resources they own and control to the network, too. This would offer incredibly finely-grained, near-realtime reads on the state of a city and the events unfolding there. Not merely, in other words, to report that this restaurant is open, but which seats at which tables are occupied, and for how long this has been the case; not merely where a private vehicle charging station is, but how long the current waits are.
Moving toward a world of spimes: objects that report on their status based on time (‘refrigerator: it’s four am and all’s well!’), state changes (‘bromeliad in kitchen #2: Water me, please.’), or in response to messages sent by others (‘west elevator: I will come to floor 7 after proceeding to the basement’).
- Frameworks for Citizen Responsiveness: Part 2 - Toward a Read/Write Urbanism (worldchanging.com)
- Considering cities as “dense meshes of active, communicating public objects” (boingboing.net)