April 28, 2006

Capturing media on a remote cellphone

Your Nokia phone catches the dog raiding the dustbin. "You leave your Nokia smartphone casually lying somewhere - like, watching the unattended dinner on the table - and when you suspect the culprit is there, you send a text to the phone. And it takes a picture! And then the software sends the picture - or the video - back to you, automatically, via MMS."

The Register

False trust in technology

UK drivers trust GPS more than their own eyes. "Twice in the space of the last two weeks, we've seen reports of British drivers taking serious risks because they trust the info displayed on the small screen more than what they see through their windshield. In the most recent case, drivers passing through the village of Luckington have found themselves landing in the River Avon, by following a GPS-recommended route that pointed to a bridge that has been closed for a week."


April 27, 2006

Cellphones & driving

Emerging Technologies and their Impact. "it's a system that uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) chips lodged inside many cell phones to track a vehicle's coordinates. Whenever a driver who's talking on a phone closes to within 100 meters of a stoplight, the system interrupts his or her conversation with a loud chirp -- providing a not-so-gentle reminder to slow down."
Technology Review

Social beads

Telebeads, the Era of Sentient Jewelry. "Teenagers faced with these increasingly large and complex networks need better strategies for remembering their contacts and socially acceptable ways of using these strategies. The hand-held devices they use are already extremely complex, with multiple functions and complex interaction. We have chosen to explore a simpler solution, more suited to a teenage lifestyle: interactive telebeads.... Beads may be collected and exchanged as souvenirs of a person or event, and later act as a mnemonic for keeping track of members of a particular social network."

Smart Mobs

April 25, 2006

Playing games with your pet

VR Games Pit Pets Against Owners. "As in a traditional video game, players navigate a virtual world in a bid to stay alive. The twist? Computerized movements in Mice Arena are mapped to and from the real world, where an actual predator (your hamster) gives chase to a digital avatar (you) by pursuing a real piece of bait. The avatar's movements in the virtual environment direct the bait around a small tank fitted with actuators that mold and twist an elastic latex floor into the changing terrain of the game map. The hamster's pursuit in the tank is monitored by infra-red sensors that relay its position to the computer screen."

Wired News

Getting location from wi-fi

Peer-to-Peer Wireless Positioning. "The Navizon network is based on a collaborative database. Members with a GPS device can use Navizon to map the Wi-Fi and cellular landscape in their neighborhoods. Once they synchronize their data, it is made available to all the other users of the network. This way, users who don't have a GPS device can benefit from a positioning system. And it's free for personal use!"


Security video of my day out

Theme park visitors can be tagged. "The Staffordshire theme park will offer entrants wrist bands containing tiny Radio Frequency Identification chips. Guests would be watched as they use the park and will be filmed on rides, which the creators say would also cut crime. At the end of the day they would then be given the option to buy the footage in a personalised DVD."


April 24, 2006

Digital artifacts for kids

Tangible Flags: collaborative field trip for kids. "Our goal was to see the impact of the Tangible Flags concept on children’s collaborative effort and ability to re-locate or elaborate on their findings. These initial flags were not computationally enhanced, so adult researchers helped the children correlate Tangible Flags with various media, such as notes taken or pictures drawn by the children, or audio and video recordings created by the children."

pasta and vinegar

Alternative visualizations of streets

Street Interconnectivity. "Google Cartography uses Google via the Google Search API [] to build a visual representation of the interconnectivity of streets in an area. This application takes a starting street and finds streets that intersect with it. Traversing the streets in a breadth-first manner, the application discovers more and more intersections, eventually producing a graph that shows the interconnectivity of streets flowing from the starting street."

pasta and vinegar

3D real estate

Zillow Goes 3D. "This is a perfect use for Live.com Local, allowing potential buyers to get a better view of the homes they are considering purchasing."


April 22, 2006

Knowing who's at home

Hunaja: user study of a mobile social software. "Hunaja is an RFID access control system that enables users to remotely check who is logged in at a physical location by using the Web or a mobile phone. [...] In addition to controlling the doors of the Aula space, Hunaja has three unique features: Linkage to Aula’s weblog - enabling online members to remotely see who is logged in at Aula’s physical space. SMS access - enabling members to check who’s there with their mobile phones. A speech synthesizer at the door - enabling online members to send greeting messages. The messages are announced by a computer voice when the recipient logs inat Aula’s door"

pasta and vinegar

Cellphone bullying

Pupils use mobiles to 'bully' teachers. "TEACHERS have complained of “bullying” by pupils who use mobile phones to film them losing their temper and then send the videos to their friends for amusement. Often, the pupils goad staff into “ranting for the camera” to make the video as entertaining as possible."
Times Online

April 20, 2006

Using cellphones when harassed

Subway phonecammers fight harassment. "Remember the grinning exhibitionist in NYC whose photo was uploaded to flickr, leading to his arrest? New York magazine's latest issue has an article on the perpetrator, Dan Hoyt, and the young woman who phonecammed him, fifteen year old Thao Nguyen. Some of Nguyen's fans have started Hollabacknyc.com, a blog where women upload phonecam pix of street harassers."

Smart Mobs

Visualizing through GPS

Cabspotting: an alternate view of a living city. "Cabspotting is designed as a living framework to use the activity of commercial cabs as a starting point to explore the economic, social, political and cultural issues that are revealed by the cab traces. Where do cabs go the most? Where do they never turn up?"

Boing Boing

April 18, 2006

Face tracking on cellphones

FACE TRACKER locks into faces in camera phones for optimal focus, exposure, and white balance. "Face Tracker for camera phones uses a radically new approach to identify and lock onto human faces in a camera phone’s preview image, tracking them as they move around within the frame and automatically adjusting focus, exposure, and white balance before the image is captured, ensuring that faces are optimally taken and that skin tones are reproduced with exceptional accuracy."


GPS tracking as you go

TrackStick GPS Data Logger. "The unit actually houses a GPS receiver and will autonomously keep track of its location including time, date, speed, direction and altitude and store this data in its memory. The recorded information can then be downloaded to your computer VIA the USB connection and be integrated with Mapquest, Google Earth, Google Maps or Virtual Earth to give you a visual plot of where the TrackStick has travelled. Most of the unit’s size can probably be attributed to the fact it runs on 2 AAA batteries which will power it for about 5 to 7 days of ‘typical operation’ which amounts to about 4,000 records."


Mapping your life

Geek to Live: Map yourself. "Map your first kiss, your elementary school or the best place to buy local fresh mangos. Use your personalized map as a travelogue, restaurant recommender or simply as a reference for all those great yarn stores you - or your knitting group - don’t want to forget to visit next time you happen to pass through Marietta, Ohio."


April 17, 2006

Cellphone desires

Using the mobile phone in America. "When it comes to the features Americans would like to add to their cell phones, the desire for maps tops the charts by a clear margin. Fully 47% of cell owners say they would like this feature and 38% say they would like to have instant messages from select friends sent to their cells.Some 24% of cell owners say they would like to use their phones to conduct searches for services such as movie listings, weather reports, and stock quotes."
Smart Mobs

April 12, 2006

Continuous partial attention

Levy: The frazzled attention of the “always on”. "In her talk, Stone was careful to acknowledge the benefits of perpetual contact. But her message is that the balance has tilted way too far toward distraction, creating a sense of constant crisis. “We’re not ever in a place where we can make a commitment to anything,” she explained to me when I called her a few days later. “Constantly being accessible makes you inaccessible.”"
43 Folders

Piecings and implants

Implanting Subdermal RFID in Practice. "Canadian Piercing Studio Tribal Expression provided us with some insights on subdermal RFID placements in practice. The studio offers RFID placements for people who want to have keyless entry into their home. Tribal Expression uses a glass ampoule that houses a 64-bit RFID chip. 64-bit gives 100 billion unique keys. Tribal Expressions Owner Keith Kennedy likes to compare this to the fact that average lock sets only have 300 unique keys, which would mean that in a city with 1 million, 3,333 people would have the key to your front door. "

I4U News

April 11, 2006

GPS units that take photos

Navman launches three GPS units with NavPix picture navigation: iCN750, iCN720, and iCN530. "Navman announced three new GPS unit today in addition to a new web-based, navigation-by-picture service called NavPix. At the top-end is the 4GB disk drive-totin' iCN750, which features a 1.3 megapixel rear-mounted shooter allowing users to snap location-mapped photos of peeps or places which can then be uploaded to the NavPix service for sharing with your stalker buddies."


April 06, 2006

Cellphone spying technology

FlexiSPY Pro: Spy On That Cell Phone. "Not content to just let you eavesdrop on phone calls and SMS messages, FlexiSPY can also let you activate the phone’s microphone remotely so you can listen in even if the phone isn’t in use."


Leaving home with all your stuff

RFID-based Alert when you leave home. "DNP and NICT developed a RFID-based memory assistant that alerts a person if she is leaving her house without carrying the things she will need."

RFID in Japan

GeoSensor networks

The Emergence of GeoSensor Networks. "Tracking objects in a single camera (to identify whether a car is speeding, or has become disabled, for example) is a simple and standard application. The challenges tackled by a geosensor network include tracking a specific car across multiple camera feeds, recognizing convoys that move together, identifying traffic patterns across wider areas, relocating some mobile sensors (e.g. located on-board helicopters) to better cover an emerging situation, and even collaborating with other sensor networks, to identify for example the ATM locations where a specific car may have stopped while it was moving from point A to point B. "

Location Intelligence

April 05, 2006

Following a trip

Upload Every Mountain. "Released in February, the newest generation called Contact 4.0 GEO has multi-layered, 3-D flash maps created from photos and models of Everest. Armchair adventurers can follow an expedition's route, zoom in on specific camps and positions, and look at weather forecasts and live satellite images. Comparatively, Google Earth is blurry and brutally slow over the Himalayas."

Wired News

April 04, 2006

The history of your clothes

Second hand garment vibes. "A radio frequency identification (RFID) chip to which the wearer can save information about himself/herself is sewn into each garment. When the item of clothing—for instance, a jacket, pair of pants or T-shirt—is sold at a special second-hand shop, the buyer can access this information online and find out about the garment’s past."

Smart Mobs

Getting information on people in social situations

The Connection Glass facilitates and enhances meeting compatible people. "Computer Mediated Communication significantly increases the size of your usual social or business contact universe and can give you a far greater choice of prospects to mine. On the other hand, there’s no substitute for being there, so you can assess them in person. Computers hold great promise in matching us with particularly suitable partners and we’ve written up several such concepts over the last few years [...] All of these concepts offer communication both in a virtual world level and in a physical environment. Now there’s another viable idea IOHO - Priscilla Bernikowicz’s interactive glasses are designed to help us pick the right person in a room full of people."

gizmag Article

March 31, 2006

Tracking flights in 3D

Google Earth live flight tracking. "I’m a big flight tracking fan. When my bride travels on business I like to show our pre-schooler where Mom’s flight is on the map. This flight tracker has a Google Earth button labeled “NEW! Track this flight in 3D via Google Earth!” It downloads a Google Earth file and shows the flight as a location in Google Earth, updating every 1 minute. Perhaps not terribly useful, but fun for airplane and map geeks like me."


Better satellite imagery

Satellites Will See More, Faster. "GeoEye says its next-generation satellite, GeoEye-1, will be capable of acquiring each day approximately 270,000 square miles of imagery, an area about the size of Texas. That's about seven times the area covered by Ikonos, the best imaging satellite the company has running today. DigitalGlobe, the satellite imagery supplier for Google Earth, plans to launch its next orbital, WorldView 1, later this year. The company says it will be capable of collecting up to 193,000 square miles of imagery per day."

Wired News

March 30, 2006

Reserving your parking spot

Using smarts to find parking. "Within a few years, it will be common to reserve a parking space online before leaving home. If you haven't booked in advance, the navigation screen in your car's dashboard will display the nearest available street or garage parking. When you find an open space at a meter, you won't have to fumble for coins. Instead, you'll punch the meter's ID number into your cell phone. A sensor in the pavement will detect when you leave, and your credit card will be charged for exactly the number of minutes your car was parked. No more running to feed the meter when your appointment runs long, or overpaying and involuntarily giving a gift to the next driver in your spot."


Deeper employee background checks

Background Checks That Never End. "Verified Person [...] claims to be the first company to offer continuous employee screening, with automatic updates. [...] With September 11 and corporate scandals leading to greater worker scrutiny, pre-employment background checks are routine in many industries. But as technology advancements improve the accuracy of searches and more state and local records become digitized, continuous screening could turn into a big business, too. "It's the logical next generation of the background-checking phenomenon," says Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at San Francisco employment law firm Littler Mendelson."
Business Week

Citizen maps

Mapping pickpockets and dog poo. "Chinastic (via Virtual China) reports on a map, maintained by local citizens, which tells you which areas in the Chinese city of Hangzhou to avoid if you want to avoid purse snatchers. On the online map developed by Sun Haitao, citizens mark the spots where they've run across pickpockets."

we make money not art

March 29, 2006

Rich statistics for your website

See What Your Website Visitors Are Doing With Crazy Egg. "The above screenshot shows the heat overlay, which is where users are clicking and focusing their attention. Other parts of the application will show you where users click, and how many times."


Tracking your travel

Sherelog: Suica Mashup. "Sherelog is a system that fetches data from Suica (an RFID train pass) and visualizes personal train-ride records on a large public map (or Google Map)."

we make money not art

Connection through touch

Distance Touch Generator. "Lyta -commissioned for the science center Phaeno in Wolfsburg, Germany- consists of two kinetically-charged surfaces, placed 100 metres from each other, and linked telematically so that deformations induced by touching each one are transmitted to the other interactively: when the structure is touched on one site, the touch will be visible and touchable on another."

we make money not art

Mapping cellphone location

STAMPS. "STAMPS is a little program. It can run on your Mobile phone. Using this program you can see a map of the place where you are, visualised on the screen of your mobile. There, you can write a kind of SMS and attach it to the map so that other friends can see your message appearing on their map."

Smart Mobs

March 23, 2006

Personal maps

Platial social mapping . "Web site Platial maps your life, your neighbhorhood and your interests with shared annotated Google Maps. Build your “Autobiogeography” map (“here’s where my first kiss happened”) or pinpoint the locations of your bowling team’s venues or be an online tour guide to your hometown. Platial tracks your geographical friends and tags your places. The two-month old startup has just passed 10,000 places in its collaborative “social atlas.”"


Tracking friends on a GPS device

TomTom Buddies lets you track your friends on the road. "Back in the day, if you wanted to gather a group of drivers into a convoy, you kept in touch by CB radio. With TomTom's new Buddies feature, you can finally toss that relic and stay in contact with Sodbuster, Pig Pen and Rubber Duck via GPS. Once you add a Buddy, you can track each other in realtime, share points of interest and send instant messages (though we really hope you don't do a whole lot of IMing behind the wheel). And if you need a little privacy as you roll into Chi-town, you can hide your twenty and tell your good buddies they can catch you on the flip-flop."


GPS clothing

Know Where jacket phones home with GPS data. "Sure, there are already jackets designed to include integrated controls for your audio player, cellphone and other devices. And some of them even look better than the Know Where jacket from Germany's Interactive Wear (which, face it, isn't exactly hard). But how many of them have an integrated GPS unit that can phone home with realtime tracking data?"


Sat-Nav pushing traffic where it's not wanted

SatNav warriors invade Somerset village. "A quiet Somerset village has been turned into a rat-run because of satellite navigation systems, residents claim. Locals in Barrow Gurney say up to 10,000 vehicles a day are taking the road through the centre of their village - instead of the main road - in order to get to Bristol Airport. Signposted routes to Bristol Airport advise cars to follow the A38, but sat-nav users are pointed towards an alternative (and supposedly less congested route) through Barrow Gurney"
The Register

March 22, 2006

Smart containers

Shipping container with a mind of its own. "One of the many applications for the new RFID tags is that of locating goods and containers in transit. German scientists have developed the “IFF Smart Box”, a container equipped with a scanning device that can check its contents by means of RFID. The data are forwarded to a small computer unit. A software combines them with the current geographical location determined by a GPS receiver. Various sensors can be integrated in the box, too, in order to measure parameters such as pressure, temperature or vibration. The information is transmitted to a database by mobile radio."


March 17, 2006

Digital metaphors

NEC's "KotoHana" LED flower knows how you feel. "It's pretty hard to tell what's going on here, but there seems to be a "Sensibility Technology" that recognizes the user's feelings, and then tells the flower over a wireless connection. The system works over the Internet, so even from far away the flower's LEDs can light up to reflect your true feelings to that special someone."


Clocking-in digitally

NEC NeoFace time clock keeps workers in line. "The system replaces the classic punch-card reader with facial recognition software, so that old canard of getting someone else to clock in for you is useless. For the ultimate in worker subservience, the time clock can also control access to the company locker room. Try to leave early, and you can forget about grabbing your street clothes; you'll have to sneak out wearing your grubby uniform, letting the whole world know you're pwned."


Sharing security between bars

BioBouncer Might Make Bars Safer. "Its camera snaps customers entering clubs and bars, and facial recognition software compares them with stored images of previously identified troublemakers. The technology alerts club security to image matches, while innocent images are automatically flushed at the end of each night, Dussich said. Various clubs can share databases through a virtual private network, so belligerent drunks might find themselves unwelcome in all their neighborhood bars."

Wired News

March 16, 2006

Flexible RFID

NICT Develops Flexible Fabric RFID Tags. "NICT (National Institute of Information and Communication Technology) developed a flexible RFID tag (2.45GHz) that is mostly made of a fabric material."

RFID in Japan

QR codes for verifying your location

Vending Machines as Location Markers for Calling Taxicabs. "The service can also be used with QR codes that encode location information. Vending machines that bear such location-encoded QR codes are being installed in varous places in the prefecture so that people can easily call a cab just by taking a picture of a QR code with their camera phones and connecting to the K-cabs' taxicab dispatch website."

RFID in Japan

Location-based cellphone photos

Yahoo! ZoneTag 2-click-uploads location-tagged photos to Flickr. "Yahoo! has just rolled out a new application for Nokia Series 60 handset owners that allows them to not only 2-click upload their cameraphone photos to Flickr, but actually tag them with general location data for personal reference and providing viewers with context."


March 08, 2006

Knowing where stuff is in a hospital

Big Brother at the Hospital. "Cool little system for hospitals. Ekahau, Inc. has already created some sort of “panic button” to contact hospital staff at a moment’s notice. Now they have location-aware IV pumps. If you’ve ever watched nurses and doctors shuffling gear back and forth between rooms, you’ll realize how important this is. When the wife was in for the wee one, orderlies kept coming in to pull out chairs, bedpans, and all kinds of junk that they needed in other rooms. This system uses Wi-Fi to create a network of items that can be found in real-time and real-space."


Temporary tracking

RFID Tagged Party. "SF's MoMA held a RFID party with 180 Tags handed out to visitors. During their stay the visitors location and movement were roughly tracked and projected onto a screen. A nice way to have people interact with visuals. "


Visualizing the best time to fly

Flyspy Brings The New Web To Airline Ticketing. "Purchasing flights purely based on price has been around for a while, but the consumer has never had the power to quickly and at a glance evaluate the cheapest days to fly nor the cheapest destinations to fly to. Flyspy reverse engineers some of the mystique associated with the airline industry and makes it extremely transparent."


Car radar driving

Mercedes' new S-Class rocks Distance Plus urban cruise control. "Unlike current radar-assisted offerings from companies like Infiniti, Distance Plus can control the vehicle in both highway and city driving conditions, meaning you can commute from Harlem to Wall Street down the West Side Highway while sipping your coffee and reading the Post Engadget on your mobile, glancing up occassionally to steer."


Add 3D to maps

Maya 2 Google Earth. "It's an open-source, cross-platform tool that allows you to export 3D models as a single Google Earth Placemark (KML) file. [...] Some of the potential uses for Maya2GoogleEarth are: -Remix or augment city architecture, with your own creations. -Extract your in-game character with OGLE and bring them into Google Earth. -Design buildings and then show them at their correct geographic location"

Cool Hunting

March 02, 2006

Podcasts of bands coming to your area

Podbop - Information. "Old way: Looking up concerts in your town on an event site, googling 100 different bands, tracking down an MP3 for each band, and then deciding which show you want to go to. The Podbop way: Type in a city, get MP3s, discover a band you like, and go see them."


Commitment through RFID

Couple's implant chips take love to a new level. "ennifer Tomblin and Amal Graafstra have made the most modern declaration of their affection for each other, with implanted electronic chips that allow them unfettered access to each other's lives. It's called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID. Both have had a small electronic chip embedded under their skin that grants access to each other's front doors and home computers."


Technology in mirrors

Mirror Weather Station. "From our wacky friends at Oregon Scientific, this Mirror Weather Station may take the prize on combo products that make little sense. For just $130, you too can own a mirror that tells you the outside temperature. You know, in case listening to the radio or turning on the TV or the Internet is too tough for you."


Tracking for emergencies

Personal Panic Button. "t’s called the SKeeper by Tadiran LifeCare, and it’s a wearable personal communicator with distress alarm. With its easy-to-use controls, it lets its wearer immediately contact predefined telephone numbers, such as a relative or emergency services. When the alarm is triggered, the unit can also send text messages to designated e-mail addresses. It can also track location and sound an alarm if its wearer goes outside a designated neighborhood. Plus, it can be remotely programmed from the Web."


Knowing what you're doing

Surveillance Video Entertainment Network. "SVEN - Surveillance Video Entertainment Network, aka "AI to the People," is a real-time video performance system that takes a humorous but critical look at artificial intelligence surveillance algorithms by developing techniques that detect when people look like rock stars instead of criminals, terrorists, or other "undesirable passersby"."

we make money not art

Tagging employees

US group implants electronic tags in workers. "An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them. CityWatcher.com, a private video surveillance company, said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police."

Wireless control

Wireless to Organize—and Maybe Save—Lives. "Imagine a warning on your cell phone that tells you when a parent in ill health needs help, when you've eaten too much, or that you should avoid your regular commute because of a biohazard danger. Forget mobile music and video. Wireless may end up running your life—down to when to wash your underwear. This may sound far-fetched, but laboratories around the world are exploring such scenarios as wireless networks become more robust and amid moves to miniaturize electronic chips to the point where they can be discreetly placed into any product."

February 23, 2006

Housing estimates

Curious About Your Home’s Value? Zillow Knows. "The site says it has data and valuations (Zestimates) on 60,000,000 homes in the U.S., and there are an estimated 85 million single-family homes in the country [...]. We tested this and the key to adding in home improvements like new windows, a bathroom remodel, and even small items like new faucets are done by pressing the “Next” button at the top of the page. ( I was able to get my total value up another $31,000 this way.) This is hard to understand when you first try the program. Once you hit next - it will walk you through many screens where you can add in everything you’ve ever done to your home."

Real Tech News

Meeting online

Is World of Warcraft the New Golf?. "Overheard, at brunch: two tech entrepreneur types discussing World of Warcraft. What server are you on? What guild? Oh yeah, me too, I heard it's a good way to schmooze. Is that true? Has logging in to the world's most popular massively multiplayer online game replaced a few rounds on the links as the way to make the right business connections in a tech-driven culture? The particular Guild discussed by the brunchers above was started by Joi Ito, who became a WoW fan after embarking on the game to do some research on social networks."
Extreme Tech

Visualizing network traffic

Visitorville: A 3D view of website traffic. "I was intrigued to hear about Visitorville -- an application that takes a website's traffic information and renders it as a Sim-City-like world, where each page in a site is a building, and visitors appear as human avatars that travel to and fro. As the Visitorville site describes it: Buses deliver your visitors to their landing pages. There's a bus for every major search engine; plus, you can create your own custom buses for any other referrer! Watch realistic-looking people move around your page. Different avatars exist depending on the type of visitor (commercial, academic, military, etc.). To move between pages, your visitors take taxis, ambulances, fire trucks -- or any other vehicle you like. They each have their own distinctive sound, so you can alert yourself when a particular page is accessed (or even a particular person accessing a page!)"

collision detection

February 21, 2006

Podcasting job information

Podcasts reach Peruvian villages. "In Chanta Alta, the podcasts concentrate on cattle-raising husbandry and on dairy production. In nearby Chilete, podcasts are being used to give tips to farmers who have no experience of growing grapes."


GPS trackers

LAPD to throw GPS at fleeing cars. "The LAPD will outfit cars with a device that propels and sticks a GPS onto a fleeing car. The department will mount the StarChase LLC device in the grill of some squad cars. "Officers in the car would control a green lazar light, similar to an aiming device that fixes on your target," said LAPD Lieutenant Paul Vernon on Friday. "A small dart-like device is propelled from the officer's car.""

we make money not art

Paying for e-mail delivery

Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail. "Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers. America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely."

New York Times

More realistic navigation systems

VW and Google team to explore future vehicle navigation systems. "Volkswagen, Google, and graphics chipmaker, nVidia, are working on an in-car navigation map system and display that is 3-dimensional and more realistic than anything currently available. Users will instinctively recognize their location in relation to the surrounding topography, especially in urban areas that are depicted with depth and accurate size relationships between buildings and roads."


February 16, 2006

Smart bathrooms

The Type-A Bathroom. "When Mr. Shenkman answers the speaker-phone in his shower, the water automatically shuts off. He can open the front door for deliveries while shaving. He's also put the finishing touches on a waterproof computer that will let him answer emails from his sauna. "I took Gates a little too literally," he says. "The flow of information never stops.""


Animals and sensors and blogs

Pigeons to Help Monitor Air Pollution with “Own” Blog. "No, they won’t be pecking the entries into the blog with their beaks. But in August 20 pigeons each carrying a GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone will be released into the skies above San Jose, CA. Text messages on air quality will be beamed back in real time to a special pigeon “blog,” a journal accessible on the Internet. Miniature cameras slung around the pigeons’ necks will also post aerial pictures"

Independent Tech

Finally time for home automation?

Lights. Mood. Video. All at the Touch of a Screen.. "The promise of a remote control home has buzzed around consumers' ears for decades, but never seemed to materialize for mainstream households. Most Americans have had to behold home automation from afar, featured in magazine spreads on televised tours of the homes of the well-heeled. But just as flat-panel television prices have significantly fallen in the last year, so have the costs of putting a home's operations under a fingertip's control, many home automation makers and installers say. Even basic functions — like central control of all of a home's music, movies and television, with atmospheric lighting — now cost hundreds rather than thousands of dollars"

New York Times

Physical point and click

Mapion lets users point and click around Japan. "Want to know whether there are any good restaurants in that building up ahead? Just point your phone at it, click the building's icon and find out. That's the idea behind Mapion Local Search, a service launched by GeoVector Corp. and Japan's Mapion. The service uses a database of local information, combined with a phone that includes both GPS and an integrated compass (currently just Sony Ericsson's W21S), to provide realtime point-and-click data to customers throughout Japan."


Biometric access

BioKnob fingerprint-activated lock interchangeable with a standard door knob. "Here’s a big chance for technophiles to be the first in their apartment building to have a BioKnob – the first doorknob with fingerprint recognition. The BioKnob replaces your existing doorknob, and registered users just brush their fingerprint across the knob to unlock the door."


Self-parking car

The car that parks itself (sometimes on the kerb). "Siemens VDO in Germany is working on a vehicle which not only parks itself, but even scans the street to find a space. Once it has spotted a space, Parkmate works out the geometry, and makes a melodic chime to tell the driver to stop and let the car steer itself into the gap. Then, the steering wheel turns and the car can squeeze into the space, even if it means mounting a kerb."

we make money not art

RFID tracking in hospitals

Bangkok Hospital to Introduce RFID. "Bangkok Hospital completed its RFID pilot project and now plans to fully implement RFID this year before expanding it to 13 hospitals in its group in Bangkok and provinces countrywide within three years. Patients wear RFID wristbands that carry basic information about patients such as name, sex, age, and possibly drugs."

RFID in Japan

February 15, 2006

Balloon networks

Lofting Balloons for Cell Service. ""To cover every square mile of North Dakota, it would take 1,100 cell towers," Schafer said. "We can do the whole state with three balloons." If successful, the hydrogen-filled balloons could be drifting across the stratosphere above North Dakota this summer, providing cellular coverage at a tiny fraction of the cost of building cellular towers. Jerry Knoblach, the CEO of Space Data, says that although the balloon technology, called SkySite, is new to the cellular industry, "the platform is very well proven" for other purposes."
Wired News

Tourism podcasts

iWalks Rolling Out in Dublin. "The Official Online Tourist Office for Dublin has begun publishing free podcast audio guides that tell the story of Dublin. The guides are written and narrated by Irish historian-author Pat Liddy. Each talk will have a downloadable brochure. Talks and brochures can be downloaded from the tourism website."

Smart Mobs

February 14, 2006

Sharing running routes

Exersize routes at WalkJogRun. "WalkJogRun is a site where you can plan and share your walking, jogging or running routes. It uses Google Earth to plan routes and calculate distance, but what really makes WalkJogRun cool is its community features. You can save your maps by clicking on any of your markers and hit “Save Your Route” to add it to the database. Next time you or anyone else looking in your neighborhood is looking for a route, they will see your pin."


Radar of your friends

NJIT implements SmartCampus people-tracking program. "Limited initially to only 100 participants, the ultimate goal of the SmartCampus project is to eventually allow everyone to see exactly where everyone else is at any given time (hmm, can't really forsee any socially awkward situations arising out of this omniscience). The NJIT system [...] requires users to carry around tracking devices, as opposed to a similar system at MIT which seems to rely on users' laptops for locating them (but maybe not- can anyone from these two schools clear this up?). Luckily the SmartCampus gear allows users to turn "invisible" whenever they want, so would-be stalkers will have to leave their notebooks at home and continue trailing their victims the old-fashioned way."


February 13, 2006

More powerful GPS

Government turns up volume on GPS. "The US government flicked the switch today on a new GPS signal, known as L2C. The signal, according to the government, is transmitted at a higher effective power, allowing it to "work better in urban areas and indoors." The new signal, being transmitted by the IIR satellite launched in September, can also be received using less power, potentially allowing better GPS reception by smaller devices such as cellphones. However, most current devices may not be able to make use of the new signals without upgrades."


RFID in mundane situations

Well - RFID in Beijing. "Beijing's Haidian District City Planning Administration recently installed 1,000 RFID scanners in 1,000 wells in the area. If the cover of a well is lost, an RFID scanner can quickly find the proprietor of the well by scanning the e-tags inside the well. The City Planning Administration has chosen 15 streets in its Shangdi area for the RFID pilot. They may test different RFID applications within the city soon."

RFID in Japan

Caring about anonymity

Privacy for People Who Don't Show Their Navels. "Increasingly, consumers appear to be downloading free anonymity software like Tor, which makes it harder to trace visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages and other communication forms back to their authors. Sales are also up at companies like Anonymizer.com, which among other things sells software that protects anonymity. "I get the feeling it's going up," said Roger Dingledine, Tor's project leader. "But one of the features I've been adding recently," he said, enhances anonymity protection by making it harder to count downloads of the software. Still, the number of servers forming layers in the Tor network has risen to 300 from 50 in the last year, Mr. Dingledine added."

New York Times

February 10, 2006

Things to do with cellphone bandwidth

Phones Above and Beyond the Call. "The latest mobile devices aren't just conversation pieces. Check out the high-tech multimedia and communications functions they offer. Wireless carriers have spent billions of dollars upgrading networks so customers can use cell phones for a variety of services beyond phoning home and shooting text messages to friends. The payback has been slow in coming, and most people still use their handsets mainly for making calls. In the U.S., data accounts for only about 6% of overall wireless-service sales. Service providers, equipment vendors, and other companies are eager to change that. "

Business Week

February 09, 2006

Extreme pedestrian safety

Cars saving pedestrians' lives?. "The project, which officially ended in August, set out to develop an innovative pre-impact sensing platform that operates three different technologies of sensors simultaneously, and then fuses their data to protect cyclists and pedestrians under different weather and light conditions. The system comprises a radar network composed of several 24 GHz sensors working in parallel and an imaging system composed of passive infrared and colour video cameras."


February 07, 2006

Look at someone to talk to them

Navy Tests Look-to-Talk Device. "The U.S. Navy is field-testing a new short-range communications device called LightSpeed that could soon let sailors talk securely up to two miles away -- just by looking at each other. The device uses infrared, similar to that of a television remote control, to transmit audio and visual information. To overcome range limits, LightSpeed connects to ordinary binoculars and uses the optical lenses to amplify the signals. Then soldiers on either end can simply plug headphones and a microphone into their binoculars to talk to one another."

Wired News

February 06, 2006

GPS in emergencies

GPS Cellphones to Help with Disasters. "Using about 30 students equipped with GPS phones, a computer system actually figured out where they were located, searched for the five closest evacuation centers and sent them each a map. Not bad, especially considering GPS is fast becoming a service we expect in phones and other portable electronics."


GPS in anything

New Zealand's Rakon develops world's smallest GPS receiver. "Get ready for a new generation of even smaller GPS devices, ranging from wristwatches to slim cellphones to -- and we just know this is coming -- implants. That's the promise held forth by what is being billed as the world's smallest GPS receiver, which was developed by New Zealand-based Rakon, a company affiliated with GPS-make Navman. According to Rakon, the chip is about the size of a baby's fingernail, and should be available in a range of devices within the next two years."


February 02, 2006

Mapping sounds

NYSoundmap. "What kinds of sounds can you find in New York City? With sound-seeker, you can zoom, pan and search for sounds with interactive satellite photos or detailed maps. Click on hot spots to listen to the recorded sounds of a location pin-pointed by GPS. Sound-seeker was created using GoogleMaps and isn't viewable in all browsers."


Tracking cars with RFID

Smart License Plates. "The ministry started developing RFID-chipped license plates around the year 2000. They hope to alleviate traffic jam problems and increase security by tracking precise locations of vehicles using antennas installed at roadsides etc. This April, taxicabs in the city of Chiba will use smart license plates as part of a pilot test program. Lessons learned from this pilot test will be reported to a exploratory committee that will propose a plan for introducing smart license plates. This plan may be finalized by the summer of this year. "

RFID in Japan

Audio guidebook popularity

The death of the guidebook?. "Is this the end for the guidebook? Publishers are reporting huge demand for their newly launched 'podcasts' - audio guides to foreign destinations which you download from the internet onto your iPod or MP3 player. Lonely Planet, which released its first podcast three months ago, claims that one of its audio guides proved so popular that it reached number 12 in the download chart, beating a single from Madonna."

Guardian Unlimited

Shared museum tours

Marking Your Way for Ubiquitous Gaming. "Marking Your Way, by Idumi Sakuma, is a visual information display for museums and exhibition spaces, which allows users to view personal as well as collective trajectories of visitors. [...] Visitors use a personal device called wall stone that automatically detects its location by receiving beacons from hundreds of infrared devices mounted on the ceiling. [...] On its small LED display is a virtual creature "digi-mon" that asks questions to visitors when they are in front of certain exhibition items. Visitors then answer questions by tilting and shaking it. If their answers are right, the device glows. The rewards are digi-mon cards - cool. "

we make money not art

January 31, 2006

Driver tracking

new breed GPS vehicle tracking system provides detailed analysis of driving behaviour. "Because the information is tracked off-line, DriveSync eliminates the high monthly service fees associated with other GPS vehicle tracking systems. Results can be viewed by detaching the data key from the receiver unit and inserting it into a computer USB port. The vehicle tracking results are uploaded to a DriveSync server where the data is interpreted and consolidated into customized reports. These reports, including trip logs, route maps and usage alerts, are viewed via a secure, password-protected website. The results provide a detailed analysis of vehicle use and driver behavior."


Really sensitive motion detection

Handheld Radar Scope detects people through concrete walls. "The US Military is showing off a handheld Radar Scope that they claim detects motions as subtle as someone breathing inside a building. Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the $1000 gadget works through 12-inches of concrete and fifty feet beyond. They plan to field test the Radar Scope in Iraq as soon as this spring."

Boing Boing

January 27, 2006

Community security cameras on TV

London estate broadband offers 'spot the ASBO suspect' TV channel. "Alongside video on demand TV services from Homechoice, the SDB will offer a "Community Safety Channel" which will allow residents "to monitor estate CCTV cameras from their own living rooms, view a 'Usual Suspects' ASBO line up, and receive live community safety alerts. [ASBOs are a way of tackling persistent anti-social behaviour]"
The Register

GPS for bikes

Yamaha Motorcycle Navigation System. "The product is basically a Garmin, but with some tweaks by Yamaha. It has a sound guidance system that wirelessly transmits (via FM) to a receiver inside the helmet (“turn left in 100 feet… and do a wheelie”). "


Civilian GPS

Europe’s satellite navigation venture launches. "The first test satellite of Europe’s €3.8 billion Galileo navigation system was launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The system will rival the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS system. Galileo is a civilian project and promises the permanent provision of a navigation system – the US and Russia systems are both run by the military and could in theory be turned off at any time"

New Scientist

Cartography in a truck

Explorers Map World's Offramps. "From the outside, save for a global positioning system antenna that resembles a police siren on top, the Escape looks like any other SUV. But in the back is a bolted cabinet containing a GPS receiver attached to the antenna, a laptop docking station, power supply and cables snaking through the vehicle's interior to connect with the computer display and video camera up front. The GPS setup feeds latitude and longitude information several times a second, plotted on the display as green arrows that connect to form digital roads. The camera captures three frames a second, enough to reconstruct road signs and other details. In the databases, roads are broken into line segments, each carrying as many as 160 attributes -- such things as road quality (ranging from 1 for major arteries to 5 for local streets), presence of a divider or center turn lanes, speed limits and addresses of buildings along each side."
Wired News

January 26, 2006

Computers and healthcare in the home

How technology is aiding medicine. "Computers and mobiles phones are playing an increasingly valuable role in helping doctors and patients monitor conditions such as diabetes on a daily basis. And government ministers believe that new technology can also be harnessed to help elderly people live independently for longer."


January 25, 2006

Vein authentication

First library system using palm vein authentication. "Fujitsu is to construct a system utilizing its biometric palm vein authentication technology for Naka city's new public library, in Japan. The contactless palm vein authentication technology will eliminate the use of library identification cards to check out books."

we make money not art

Mapping out free wi-fi

Free ride data acquisition vehicle. "Frida V. is a computer-enabled bicycle that allows riders to map open WIFI nodes in urban spaces. It carries a small computer, GPS device, 802.11 wireless network transciever and a basic audiovisual recording unit. The system enables automated mapping of stumbled wireless networks, easy creation of location-tagged media and opportunistic synchronization with a server resource on the internet. "

we make money not art

Interactive maps for showing local reports

New York Transit Strike - Readers' Commuting Reports . "A collection of reports from readers about their commutes during the strike. Click on the map below to browse by ZIP code. Click and drag to move to a different area."
New York Times

January 24, 2006

Smart meters

PhotoViolationMeter takes cash, cards... and your picture. " The PhotoViolationMeter is a new smart parking meter that includes most recent smart-meter innovations, such as accepting payments via smartcard or cellphone, and adds a new twist: a camera that can take pictures of your car and upload them to authorities, store them locally, and make decisions based on how long you’ve been parked."


Computer-controlled flight in 3D

New Airline Navigation System Is Displayed. "Until now, an autopilot could only fly a plane in a straight line or around a gentle curve. But the one shown off Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration was following a path as sinuous as the river beneath, a route that planes use to control noise when they approach the airport from the north. "

New York Times (may require free subscription)

Cellphone = passport

Japanese college to put ID cards on cellphones. "College students may be absent-minded enough to leave their student ID cards at home, but they wouldn’t dare go out without their cellphones. That’s the idea behind a plan being implemented at Japan’s Kanagawa Institute of Technology, where IDs will be stored on cellphones beginning this spring."


January 23, 2006

Technology-assisted walking

A Walker With a Mind of Its Own. "Grandma and Grandpa aren’t as spry as they used to be. Why not help them out by getting them a walker that employs enough tech to make you want to give it a whirl? It’s got GPS and sensors onboard that help guide the user around the house. It will attempt to avoid stairs and other obstacles in order to give the user a more comfortable, carefree walk."


Active clothing

Firefighter Suit Chock-Full of Tech. "the I-Garment makes use of numerous technologies, including satellite communications and WiFi. Satellite usage would be beneficial in more remote locations, as local communications infrastructure often becomes damaged during quickly-moving fires. Sensors inside the suit monitor the wearer’s vital signs, a potentially life-saving feature sure to appear in future emergency response personnel’s suits. "


Sharing sounds

Silence of the Lands. "Silence of the Lands enables participants to collect ambient sounds, then to create and share individual and collective cartographies. These sounds represent subjective interpretations of the soundscape of the urban or natural settings that affect the everyday life of the community, and act as conversation pieces about natural quiet."

we make money not art

January 20, 2006

Tagging systems for the home

More on Loc8tor personal tracking system. "some more details on the Loc8tor are starting to trickle out (ah, those PR folks; they love to trickle that info), including the fact that the device can work with up to 24 tags simultaneously, the tags themselves (pictured, above) are about the size of a postage stamp (also pictured, above), and tags can be affixed to both objects and people, the latter of which can use a panic button to alert the person holding the base unit."


January 18, 2006

Active RFID tags

Ubiquitous ID Center's Cool New Stuff. "Ubiquitous ID Center unveiled some cool stuff at a recent trade show. First, they developed something called Sensing Dice, which is an active RFID tag with varieties of sensing capabilities. It's about the size of a postage stamp and it can have temperature, acceralation, light, or infrared sensing capability, and functions as a sensor network node. They are also developing so-called Responding Dice, which can respond to a query from a base station by lighting itsLED."

RFID in Japan

January 16, 2006

The illusion of being in the same room

Videoconference system creates boardroom illusion. "A videoconferencing system that gives meeting participants in different locations the illusion that they are just across the table from each other has been developed by US company HP (Hewlett Packard). Each Halo Studio contains three large plasma screens fitted into the wall opposite a large conference table. A fourth screen hangs above these and can be used to display presentations to everyone simultaneously."

New Scientist

RFID museum interaction

Museum with Many Tags. "Okayama City Digital Museum is introducing RFID based services for visitors. 7,000 tags are embedded under the floor of an exhibition room (a large birds-eye photo of the city is printed on the floor.) Visitors walks around on the floor, pushing an information display device called Korotto . The device displays historical/cultural information related to the user's current postion on the photo."

RFID in Japan

December 15, 2005

Sharing recordings of places

soundtransit :: book. "SoundTransit is a collaborative, online community dedicated to field recording and phonography. In the “Book” section of this site, you can plan a sonic journey through various locations recorded around the world. And in the “Search” section, you can search the database for specific sounds by member artists from many different places. If you are a phonographer, you can also contribute your recordings for others to enjoy."


Phones for kids

Get the Kids Started Early with Teddyphone. "Excited about your little toddler eventually becoming a cell phoning, surly teenager? Why wait 15 years when you can get them wasting your plan minutes now. The Teddyphone is the ideal phone for small children. Actually this thing does have some useful parent features such as reverse listening, an SOS button, speed dial and even an optional tracking feature. "


Physical and virtual gaming

RFID turns you into a real-life action hero. "You've been sent to a 31st-century prison, where puzzles will help you crack the security system and escape. There are ventilation shafts to crawl down, secret doors, ladders, dead ends and hidden bonuses. This games is not on your PC or PlayStation but in a three-storey building in Madrid. In Negone, created by Differend Games, each player has a wrist console displaying your score, your character's health and tools obtained in the game. You select your mission (they range from "inoculate the virus" to "steal the secret weapon") and difficulty level. Security guards then escort you to your cell."

we make money not art

Browser history

How'd I Get Here (Firefox extension). "Use this extension to go to the page on which you first clicked a link to the current page. For example: Go "back" even after opening a link in a new tab and closing the original tab. Remember how you found a site you bookmarked yesterday. When you are sent a link you have already seen, astound the sender by responding with a statement more precise than "I saw that on some blog a few days ago". "

How'd I Get Here

December 09, 2005

Cellphones for pets

Fido's First Cell Phone. "The ability to track a lost pet has most dog lovers excited. The PetCell has a "call owner" button in case Rover strays. It also includes assisted GPS, or A-GPS, which works indoors, allowing dog owners to map their pup's coordinates from any web-enabled device or by dialing a voice-enabled call center."

Wired News

Extending Wikipedia

Wikitravel. "Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. So far we have 6150 destination guides and other articles written and edited by Wikitravellers from around the globe."


Satellite map sensitivity

Al-Qaeda probes enemy on Google Earth. "Amid all the kerfuffle of late regarding Google Earth and its possible threat to the national security of several jittery nations comes an interesting snippet from an email purporting to be from a US Marine who served in Iraq. In it, he suggests that al-Qaeda is using Google Earth as a intelligence tool in its fight against the US military."

The Register

Using technology to tell presence

Mobile is the Key. "Auto-Txt have launched a new car security system, which uses your mobile a supplementary key. The car won't start unless the owner's mobile phone is also present - identified by Bluetooth. "


December 07, 2005

Personal weather maps

Weather Underground and Google Maps. "Weather Underground has a neat use of Google Maps. They’ve got maps that show where their stations are and by clicking on them you can get all kinds of weather information about that local area."


Automatically putting together information on people

ZoomInfo people search. "Directory and search engine ZoomInfo aggregates information about individuals for companies to research potential job candidates. ZoomInfo’s information listings on people, culled from the Web, are not particularly mind-blowing. However, you can “claim your name” and create a personal profile with info you want to share. ZoomInfo publishes your page for other search engines to find as well as potential employers."


December 05, 2005

Tagging and finding anything

Loc8tor lojacks your life. "Lost your keys or wallet again? Tag them to work with the Loc8tor, and the radar-like device will track them down in no time, within a 500-foot range. Tags can even be attached to children and pets, in case you’re too lazy to give a yell or check their known hiding places. "


Leaving stuff somewhere for other people to find

BookCrossing. "Morgwn emailed in to tell us about a community service that lets folk swap books. Once you've read the book version of the film Jarhead, for example, simply tell the site where you're going to leave it. Then another user looking for the war-story book can search the site and find that it's available on a bench or in an office on Broadway, NYC. BookCrossing has 422,443 members since it launched in 2001."


Recognizing humans

Cyclops cam can distinguish between humans and blow-up dolls. "In an effort to thwart drivers from using mannequins and blow-up dolls to pay cheaper fares when crossing the UK’s Forth Road Bridge, officials are testing a new system that can detect the number of passengers in a car from up to 160-feet away. The Cyclops is based on technology developed at Loughborough University, and employs the fact that human skin contains a unique and measurable amount of water. In field tests the infrared Cyclops camera was able to measure vehicle occupancy with 95% accuracy, compared to 65% for human observers."


Blogging while travelling

Wishyouwerehere.com: Blogs From the Road. ""My friends and family would write e-mails back commenting on my adventures," said Mr. Watters, who was interviewed by e-mail from an Internet cafe in Koh Samui, Thailand. "Like two-way electronic postcards, but with as many images as I could post and no limit on the amount of words - plus no two-week wait." That was the beginning of TravelBlog.org, a site that is host to travel journals, allows users to post text and photos and even offers maps that show where users are writing from and where they have been. TravelBlog is one of numerous sites that offer - many at no charge - travelers the ability to share a journal of their journeys and allows readers to leave comments. "

New York Times

November 30, 2005

Smart streetlights

What is StarSight. "It is a system which allows the provision of multiple services including Wireless Internet, Wireless Street Lighting, Wireless Electricty, Wireless Security, Wireless CCTV, and Wireless Surveillance. The StarSight solution combines a unique set of powerful benefits, including solar power, battery back-up, low maintenance, wireless set-up, cost-effectiveness, lighting of dark and/or remote areas, access to wireless broadband services and an ever-evolving number of add-on applications. "


Ad exposure

Glasses track eye movement, ad exposure. "Analysis showed that during a 45-minute journey, the journalist had been exposed to more than 130 different advertising "elements" showcasing more than 80 brands. He was "looking" at adverts for 29 minutes but couldn't recall a single brand without prompting. When prompted, it emerged that just over half of the adverts had made an impression, those for products he was interested in and to which he was exposed for more than 10 seconds."

we make money not art

Videophone privacy

CCTVme. "CCTVme is an acessory that comes with 3 sets of cards. Whenever you feel the need of privacy, you can manipulate what the other person is seing during the video conference by attaching to your videophone the CCTV object and selecting a card to block the caller's view through your camera into your private space. "

we make money not art

Finding people, pets and things

Lassie phone home!. "Apparently if someone finds your missing pet, all they have to do is plug this collar gadget into their mobile phone and it will call you to let you know it’s been found."

The Red Ferret Journal

November 25, 2005

GPS sensitivity in the workplace

Queer Eye for the News Guys. "While they're out chasing the news, employees at a local television station are wondering if anybody is tailing them. The news trucks at WABC-TV were recently equipped with Global Positioning System transmitters, raising concerns among the station's union workers about privacy. It's a small but growing workplace topic as companies increasingly embrace the GPS technology already in use to track everything from wayward teens to sex offenders. "We're concerned about the possible misuse of the information that these systems can supply," said Gene Maxwell, head of Local 16 of the National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians. "In particular, we wanted to make sure that it really wasn't going to be used as a disciplinary tool.""
Wired News

November 23, 2005

Picking a voice for your GPS

Mr. T wants you to use GPS “navtones,” fool. "If you want your directions to be delivered with attitude, why not have Mr. T show you the way? Or, for that “Easy Rider” experience, let Dennis Hopper rev you up. The two are just some of the celebrities whose voices are being digitized as downloadable “navtones” for use with GPS systems."


November 22, 2005

Sharing map information

Map your travels with Wayfaring. "We’d would like it to be a community of travelers who use our web-based tool to create, use, or share information about their travels and the places in their lives. We built Wayfaring because we thought it would be cool to see people share trip ideas and places with each other."


Vector drawing on maps

VGMap. "VGMap is a new library created by Eyebeam R&D that allows designers, developers, and mapping geeks to overlay data on top of Google Maps in a richer way than is possible using their standard system. It is called VGMap because it adds vector-drawing capability to the already-awesome GMap API. [...] This VGMap library is simply the glue between GMap and Flash, as well as a handful of Flash ActionScript libraries and sample code to simplify the process of drawing over the map correctly."


Urban technology gaming

Shoot me if you can. "Replace a gun with fun, and shoot the opposing team with a cellular phone equipped with a digital camera. Participants; shooters are given a team color and phone number printed on the sticker. Shooters have to take a picture of the opposing team. If successful, she/he sends the picture to the opponent team member, via multimedia SMS system. Different rules exist for variations in game. Tactics are an important part as well as team work and understanding of the urban environment."


Better virtual reality

The VirtuSphere: full body immersion Virtual reality at last. "The VirtuSphere is a large hollow sphere that sits atop of a base of rollers enabling the sphere to rotate 360 degrees. Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, users can walk, jump, roll, crawl and run in any direction over unlimited distances without encountering real-world physical obstacles. The Virtisphere is a fundamental step forward for the entire science as it offers six degrees of freedom. "


Tracking the relationship between people and objects

Airport security keeps eye on left luggage. ""We [will] just track them while they are walking and track the relationship with these objects that they carry," Piccardi says. "And we will raise an alarm only if the object is being left and the original carrier has left the area nearby." Tracking people using surveillance cameras is a challenge and currently only works when the area under surveillance is not crowded. Piccardi also plans to catalogue certain objects that are likely to be safe, like abandoned courtesy wheelchairs and trolleys at airports. "But if someone is leaving a suitcase on a wheelchair then that suitcase can be as dangerous as a suitcase left on the floor," he says."

we make money not art

November 21, 2005

Mesh technology providing wi-fi hot zones

Macedonia leads world with wi-fi. ""What we have is an ability to transmit wirelessly throughout the country, and then put a piece of equipment at the school anywhere in this country. "Those people, once they have that piece of equipment, will have internet connectivity." By using what is called mesh technology, Macedonia Connects is creating not wi-fi hot-spots, but hot-zones which stretch 15 kilometres over a city. "


November 18, 2005

Smart cars and roads

Cars soon may 'talk' to roads, each other. "The demonstration at Honda's test center outside Tokyo previews what is shaping up as the next phase of automotive safety: vehicles that talk to each other and the highway system itself. They silently send or receive warnings from other cars in close proximity. Or they pass information back and forth to sensors along the roadway that become part of a real-time database. They tell of their approach to an intersection, warn about hazards ahead or keep an inattentive driver from running a red light, all with the goal of preventing accidents."


November 17, 2005

Paired technology

Embrace. "A concept proposal for an interactive bracelet with little informative displays, to provoke shared experiences between wearers in close proximity. Embrace stands for the 'brace'-lets fitting together & representing its users, who 'embrace' one another. The wearable display consists of several nodes: a LCD screen displaying wirelessly sent images, a battery, a camera lens that constantly records images until the user specifically shoots an image, & a scent-palette housing that emits 1 of 5 odors chosen by the owner of the device indicating an incoming image from their 'significant other'. "


Owning data about what you spend your time doing

AttentionTrust.org. ""attention data" is a valuable resource that reflects your interests, your activities and your values, and it serves as a proxy for your attention. AttentionTrust and our members believe that you have the following rights: Property - You own your attention and can store it wherever you wish. You have CONTROL. Mobility - You can securely move your attention wherever you want whenever you want to. You have the ability to TRANSFER your attention. Economy - You can pay attention to whomever you wish and receive value in return. Your attention has WORTH. Transparency - You can see exactly how your attention is being used. You can DECIDE who you trust. "

Tagging people

People Tagging with Tagalag. "Tagalag is a service that lets you tag people, via their email address. It’s not a “tribute” site like 43 people, because only people who know a person’s email address can add tags for that person. If you create a profile you can add personal and geographical information about yourself."


November 15, 2005

Tracking people on the network

MIT maps wireless users across campus. "Red splotches on one map show the highest concentration of wireless users on campus. On another map, yellow dots with names written above them identify individual users, who pop up in different places depending where they're logged in. "With these maps, you can see down to the room on campus how many people are logged on," said Carlo Ratti, director of the school's SENSEable City Laboratory, which created the maps. "You can even watch someone go from room to room if they have a handheld device that's connected.""


Tracking with RFID

Proximity Lab. "The 8-foot by 16-foot walkable surface is fitted with RFID technology. Participants wear shoes fitted with RFID tags, enabling the system to track and record their positions in real-time. Images projected directly onto the floor are accompanied by stereo sound as a continuous response to the actions and interactions of participants."

we make money not art

November 14, 2005

Online "exercise"

Marathon at a keystroke. "Virtual Marathon is a game designed to let the players gain a new perspective of the Internet. The players become ‘virtual runners’ and run through different game servers hosted physically around the world. Through the course of running, the players running speed changes with the different servers. The players feel their (physical) relationship with the different web servers. Location becomes apparent, instead of being flat and smooth, Internet becomes a textured space."

we make money not art

Making use of more accurate GPS

Smart directions for green ideas. "Electro-car public transport and a scheme to track the proper disposal of waste are two of smartest ideas for using satellite-navigation technology. The applications have just triumphed in an international competition seeking novel ways to employ Galileo, Europe's soon-to-launch sat-nav system. "


November 11, 2005

Physical representations of other people

Phone-less phone calls. "To start a conversation, the user touches the panel(s) corresponding to the person(s) s/he wants to talk with. The panel starts blinking and the volume of that channel is amplified. To talk in private mode, the user picks the orb. This simple hand gesture mutes all the speakers and the public microphone. To switch the connection off, the user drops the ball and the system returns to the initial state. "

we make money not art

Consumer analysis

The codification of humanity. "Utilising footage from a department store manipulated through motion tracking and screen overlays that graphically represent the goods bought, The Catalogue places the viewer into the position of a remote agency, observing humanity as a series of trackable units whose value is defined by their spending capacity and future needs. "

we make money not art

November 10, 2005

Internet use moving East

Asia-Pacific Region Takes Over Lead in Internet Usage. "These comparative pie charts demonstrate an ongoing shift in Internet demographics from the Americas to the Asia-Pacific region. In 2001, the Americas had 38% of the world's Internet users and Asia-Pacific had 32%. In 2004, this is essentially reversed with Asia-Pacific having 37% and the Americas with 31%. Europe has kept a relative 29% share but Africa has seen a slight gain from 1% to 3%. Because of their much larger populations and potential for growth, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to take a larger and larger percentage of the world's Internet users."

ITU Strategy and Policy Unit Newslog

Tagging everything

Predicting Human Activities Using RFID. "At WPC EXPO 2005, Tagged World Project was demoing a system that captures human behavior patterns using RFID tags, stores them in an XML format, and uses the data for predicting users' future behavior patterns. The system then provides services proactively. [...] At the expo, they've tagged business card holders, perfume bottles, dumbells, etc. Using a PDA and a small RFID reader, the system generates alart messages like "Please turn off the TV" etc."

RFID in Japan

November 09, 2005

Media through Bluetooth

Music trial taps into Bluetooth. "Handset maker Nokia and music label EMI have started a project to let coffee shop customers listen to music sent to their phone via Bluetooth. As well as music, customers will be able to get hold of ringtones, wallpaper, video clips and vouchers. The first free tests of the service will be in six coffee shops and music stores in Helsinki, Finland. "


GPS & the visually impaired

MUKANA. "//MUKANA is wearable piece for the visually impaired. //MUKANA includes a mobile phone, a wireless headset, a GPS module and voice recognition software. Users can ask the system to tell them their location, to give information on what route would lead to their destination or on the timetables of public transportation."

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November 08, 2005

Using phones to solve crime

Digital door-to-door. "This article in the IHT looks at how police used text messaging in their pursuit of soccer fans who rioted in Rotterdam last April. [...] ."We were really determined to arrest everybody involved," said Jeichien Degraaff, [...] .So "prosecutors decided to try using SMS for the first time in search of more witnesses. Investigators sent the SMS to 17,000 cellular subscribers,telling recipients that their phones were known to have been near the riot and to call the police with any information. The numbers were obtained from regional mobile carriers,whose records showed which phones were present in the riot area. Since the message was sent out in July,Degraaff said,arrests in the case have surpassed 130,with 100 suspects having begun court proceedings."
Smart Mobs

Pet locating

GPS PRO Dog collar with SMS. "Simply strap the collar around your beloved’s neck, and as long as the built-in receiver can pull in both GPS and GSM signals, you can call the collar from anywhere in the world and get texted back with its exact location (or view a map on a smartphone)."


November 01, 2005

Easy map-making

Microsoft Excel Yahoo! MapMaker. "Download his spreadsheet template, enter a set of addresses, click and voila! Using the Y! Maps API, a linkable, printable map like this one of the San Diego trolley system is yours to share. The MapMaker tool makes plotting several points on a map at once super-easy (and kind of fun and addictive.) Perfect for web publishers or just regular people trying to coordinate a bunch of locations at once."


People on maps

Frappr maps groups of people. "Frappr helps folks visualize far-flung groups - say, for instance, people who post in a message board or who read your weblog or who play a multiplayer online game. It’s a neat application of Google Maps to see real faces and places of people in virtual communities."


Dedicated bandwidth for mobile TV

AU’s new Hello Messenger and single segment services. "“Single Segment” refers to terrestrial digital broadcasts intended solely for mobile devices such as PDAs and cellphones. KDDI’s “EZ TV (Single Segment Support)” adds support for these signals to their existing TV service, “EZ TV.” What good does that do you? Not only is further information about what’s being shown on TV displayed on your screen, but KDDI has integrated the new service with GPS functionality. If, for example, a program on TV is talking about the grand opening of a new store, you’ll be able to follow a link that’s displayed on your screen, and you’ll be taken to directions of how to get to the store from wherever you may be."


Tracking your loved ones

"Working Late" Won't Work Anymore. ""I used to be worried when my boyfriend didn't answer my calls," says Shim You Sun, a 25-year-old accountant who pays 11 cents each time she checks up on him. "Now I can rest assured that he is at work or busy attending a seminar." She's one of more than 4 million Koreans who have signed up for various services using technology that can determine a cellular subscriber's location. One, costing $3 per month, will send a message with your coordinates to friends and family periodically while you're traveling. Another will automatically dispatch a text message to friends who get within a block or so of each other as they move around town. Yet another, costing 29 cents a day, will send a message if a person isn't at a specified place at a certain time and then allows the tracker to see the person's movements over the previous five hours."
Business Week

October 26, 2005

Leisure GPS

SureShotGPS brings GPS to golf course worldwide. "The SureShot has a 2.2-inch display, can hold data for 10 courses at once, and syncs with a PC via USB. The device will initially come preloaded with maps of a handful of Australian courses. The company aims to have all of Australia’s major courses added to a web site for free downloading within six months; international courses will follow"


Collaborative map-making through GPS

London Poster. "OpenStreetMap has put together all the GPS data it has in London and made a stunning poster from it. [...] Data submitted to OpenStreetMap of people walking, driving and cycling around London. So the thicker the lines, the more people travelled them. "


October 25, 2005

More "future wireless" technologies

'4G' Leapfrogs Next-Gen Wireless. "Whether it's Flash-OFDM, UMTS TDD, WiMAX or some other impressive-sounding acronym or buzzword, experts promise that such "4G" wonders will finally bring broadband mobility to the general public. "There are a lot of exciting possibilities out there," said Max Weise, a principal at Adventis, a global consulting firm. "You could have your personal media repository that you use at home and on the road. Or handheld devices could control things at home, such as your TiVo." "

Wired News

RFID "protection"

RFID Pocket Replacement. "To avoid being tracked by readers, Mikey Sklar is showing how to build a faraday cage around your RFID tags. Just rip out a pocket from a pair of jeans and replace it with a cotton like fabric which contains enough conductive material to block most RFID tag frequencies."

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Easier to make a wi-fi cloud in rural areas

America's biggest Wi-Fi cloud is in rural Oregon. "While cities around the country are battling over plans to offer free or cheap Internet access, this lonely terrain is served by what is billed as the world's largest hotspot, a wireless cloud that stretches over 700 square miles of landscape so dry and desolate it could have been lifted from a cowboy tune."
Boing Boing

October 18, 2005

Location-based podcasts

Placing Voices. "Placing Voices, by Brian House, is a mobile-sound-blog software which uses the built-in sound recording feature of mobile phones (which is optimized for voice) and MMS messaging to place these fragments on a web-accessible map of the city as they occur. The objective is to express a map in terms of these experiences, to restore some claim to my memory of physical spaces over the transient voices heard within them."


Barcodes for security

Scan your taxi and feel safer. "Each taxi will have a unique cellphone readable barcode inside and outside the cab. The code is stored on the phone which can then be sent to “friends or family”"


October 14, 2005

Tracking by cellphone

Missouri to use cellphone signals to monitor traffic. "The state is planning a program with a $3 million annual budget that will track vehicles using cellphone triangulation, silently measuring the speed of vehicles via the cellphones within, as they’re handed off from tower to tower. While the state insists that the system is designed to help motorists avoid traffic tie-ups by monitoring road conditions, privacy advocates point out that it can tie specific cellphone numbers to specific vehicles, and can be used to track individual drivers."


Emotive clothing

FlirtSkirt. "User A wears her skirt and turns it on and her skirt holds the colours that have been initialized. On reaching a particular distance from user B the outfits start communicating with each other. They recognize the initial colors, mix them and display the shared color on both outfits. In addition when in range the outfits dim. When user A and B have separated from each other and moved beyond the range of frequency, they leave with the shared color ready for interactions with new users."


October 13, 2005

Finding stuff with Bluetooth

Hitachi’s prototype Bluetooth car toolkit. "But Project Bureau’s digital tool kit, designed at the request of Hitachi’s Milan Design Center, goes further than most, adding Bluetooth functions to everything from a warning triangle (to advise a driver of proper placement — EU laws require triangles to be placed 50 meters from a stalled car) to tools that are tracked within the vehicle (no more digging under the back seat for that wrench you think you dropped there). The warning triangle even includes a camera that links by Bluetooth to an onboard computer with software that lets it analyze road conditions, warning you if you’ve stopped in a risky spot."


Broadcasting to those around you

Philips “Tune In” concept allows for anonymous music-sharing. "The “Tune In” is a flash-based player that both broadcasts its signal to nearby Tune In devices and can recieve tracks the same way. Philips envisions users becoming their own tiny radio stations, sharing their playlists on the subway, in the library, anywhere people congregate."


October 11, 2005

Sharing locations

Share with Fallen Fruit. "West coast-based Fallenfruit.org provides maps that identify fruit trees that hang over public sidewalks. By law (depending on the town), these fruits are public property and you can harvest them freely. Although avocados are currently in season, the Beverly-to-Wiltshire map shows where you can find bananas, figs, grapes, lemons, loquats, peaches, oranges and more."


Door access

The intelligent door handle. "Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have combined and adapted all the cameras, buzzers, keypads, motion detectors, RFID readers and intercoms into a wireless integrated door station and combined it with the door handle which can integrate existing and planned infrastructure at low cost and high convenience."


October 10, 2005

RFID for "accidents"

Patent proposes RFID tags with VIN info. "The propsed system incorporates chips with a maximum range of eight inches, to allay privacy concerns, and are only activated during an accident. So even if a hit-and-run driver speeds away, their VIN number will have been recorded by the victim’s RFID tag reader, which can then be read by police. Guess this means that we’re gonna have to start leaving windshield notes every time we “brush up” against someone else’s ride from now on."


Networks built into future cities

Korea's U-city. "Public recycling bins that use RFID to credit recyclers every time they toss in a bottle; pressure-sensitive floors in the homes of older people that can detect a fall and contact help; phones that store health records and can be used to pay for prescriptions. In New Songdo City, a "ubiquitous city" being built in South Korea, all major information systems (residential, medical, business, governmental, etc.) share data, and computers are to be built into the houses, streets and office buildings. When completed in 2014, the city's infrastructure will be a test bed for new technologies, and the city itself will exemplify a digital way of life, the "U-life." It starts with a resident's smart-card house key. "The same key can be used to get on the subway, pay a parking meter, see a movie, borrow a free public bicycle and so on. It'll be anonymous, won't be linked to your identity, and if lost you can quickly cancel the card and reset your door locks," aid John Kim who leads the U-city planning. "

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RFID security false alarms

Lessons learned: RFID Kids Tracking. "What's unique about this pilot is the human network system for handling emergency situations: if a child presses an emergency button on the "tag", adults will come running to help him/her-- these adults not only includes professional security guards but also volunteers who are living near RFID readers. (The volunteers are selected from the kids' parents) 188 kids participated. One of the major problem was false alarms. There were 53 cases of emergency alarms, however, all of them were false alarms. Because of frequent false"
RFID in Japan

October 07, 2005

Virtual overlay on video

Augmented Reality Navigation for bus drivers. "A camera installed behind the shuttle’s rearview mirror films the road from the driver’s perspective and projects this view of the road like a TV image onto the navigation display. On the basis of the cartographic information and the GPS signal the on-board computer calculates a route which appears as a transparent yellow band placed exactly over the camera live picture. The driver can thus take in the route with just a quick glance and thanks to the camera also has the road in view at all times on the display. "

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Ambient devices

Sharing memories. "Momento makes it easier to share video memories. The glass ball will "wake up" when approached and play its store of movie clips when a person reaches out to pick it up. To change from one clip to another, simply shake the glass ball and its sensors will detect the movement prompting the existing clip to dissolve and another one to appear in its place."

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October 03, 2005

Smart building skins

aperture. "Each single aperture and all the apertures as entity "see" what happens on the inside of the facade and react accordingly: like the human eye‘s iris and the iris diaphragm of the objective, they react to light, widening and contracting according to the intensity of incoming light. If no human activity is to be distinguished on the inside, a "memory" mode recalls images and abstract animations captured throughout the day and displays them."

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Driven by your senses

Good vibrations could cut accidents by 15 percent. "Dr Charles Spence, who lead the research team, has predicted that vibrating warning devices, pioneered by Citroen in the C4 and C5 models, could be common within a few years, along with 'earcons', directed audible warnings that will call a driver's attention to the direction of an approaching hazard. Soothing smells - another technology pioneered by the French car maker - will also be used to reduce road rage."


GPS and phones

Roamin' Holiday. "Imagine leaving your car at home and networking with other GPS-phone users to form impromptu car pools, or receiving Web pages on your phone about Pickett's ill-fated charge as you amble up Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg. Geo-aware devices that trigger location-specific services will become as natural as the very idea of wirelessness, and the Web itself will cease to be a placeless cyberspace and will be pinned at millions of points to the physical world we inhabit. "

Tech Review

September 29, 2005

Tracking office workers with RFID

Tag notifies workers so secretaries don't have to. "RFID tags are worn by workers and RFID readers are placed throughout the company to keep tabs on their whereabouts and to send them information about meetings and other scheduled events via computer and celphone. When the time of a meeting nears, the system can notify all workers expected to attend. If a participant does not show up, the system will seek that person out and suggest the appropriate response, such as a phone call if he is at his desk or an e-mail message if he is in another meeting."
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September 28, 2005

Tracking you in virtual space

VirtuSphere Immersive Virtual Reality. "The device consists of a large hollow sphere which is mounted on a specially designed platform that allows the sphere to rotate freely as the user walks in any direction. The user wears a head-mounted display, which provides the virtual environment. Sensors under the sphere provide subject speed and direction to the computer running the simulation. Users can even ineract with objects in virtual space using a special manipulator." "

Usability In The News

RFID + ePaper

E-Paper RFID Tag. "At the Auto-ID Expo that recently took place in Tokyo, Epson unveiled a passive RFID tag (13.56MHz; ISO 15693) that has a display. The display component is implemented by using E-ink's EP Sheet. The display works without batteries, by using the electrophoretic effect. "

RFID in Japan

Clever, RFID shoes

Location Tracking Geta Sandals . "RFID is used to correct some positioning errors. The GETA sandals track a user's location using a footprint-based method. The footprint-based method uses location sensors installed underneath the GETA sandals to continuously measure the displacement vectors formed between the left and right sandals along a trail of advancing footprints."

RFID in Japan

September 27, 2005

Connecting the physical and virtual

Semapedia: Real-World meets Wikipedia. "Imagine a world where you could visit a castle in Austria, press a button and read a Wikipedia article about the castle’s history and occupants. With Semapedia, now you can. This isn’t about public Internet kiosks, it’s about using your cellphone as an active travel guide and it’s about physical annotation meeting up with information access."


Better use of radar

Sensing the pedestrians. "A radar technology, developed by Cambridge Consultants, coupled with a vision processing system could enable cars to "sense" the presence of pedestrians and start automobile safety systems in advance of a collision."

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September 21, 2005

Mapping city activity through cellphone use

Cell phone map of Graz. "The researchers used three types of data-density of cellphone calls, origins and destinations of the calls, and position of users tracked at regular intervals-to create computer-generated images that can be overlayed with one another and with geographic and street maps of a city to show the peaks and valleys of the landscape as well as peaks in cellphone use."

Boing Boing

Uptake of cashless payment

Japan sees first-ever decrease in coins. "...coin usage in Japan is down for the first time ever, and the decrease is blamed on cashless payment systems. All interesting stuff, but most interesting to me is the idea that for the first time in history, purchases of small items like cigarettes, newspapers, soda and snacks are not undertaken anonymously. "
Boing Boing

Wireless neighborhood notice boards

Connect With Your Neighbors Online. "Neighbornodes are group message boards on wireless nodes, placed in residential areas and open to the public. These nodes transmit signal for around 300 feet, so everyone within that range has access to the board and can read and post to it. This means that with a Neighbornode you can broadcast a message to roughly everyone whose apartment window is within 300 feet of yours (and has line of sight), and they can broadcast messages back to you."


Location awareness in the home

Nukunukukey. "The Peltier device produces 3 different levels of heat according to how many people are present in a house. The LED emits light differently according to people's locations in the house -- whether they are in a living room, a kitchen, or a dining room. An apron-shaped device was also conceptualized for sending yes/no questions (such as "Will you have dinner at home?" or "Are you coming back home today?") to a nukunukukey. "

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Tagging real places virtually

Virtual post-its. "The Siemens system could do everything from helping highway department personnel label pothole locations for road crews to allowing a city's residents to craft personalized guides for visiting friends."

Tech Review

September 20, 2005

More kid tracking with RFID

Train Ticket Gates to Track Kids. "PiTaPa is an RFID-based train ticket system that is used by railway companies (including Hankyu railways, Nosei railways, and Keihan railways) in the Kansai region of Japan. These three railway companies announced they together will test a service that uses their RFID-enabled train ticket gates for tracking kids. When a kid passes through RFID-enabled train ticket gates using an PiTaPa train pass, which is an RFID card, an SMS message is automaticaly sent to their parents. "
RFID in Japan

Taxes in virtual worlds

Virtual Gaming's Elusive Exchange Rates. "Eventually, there's going to be a portfolio of these synthetic currencies," said Castronova. "Cyberspace nations that are issuing these currencies are going to be under legal obligation to report sales and volumes and transactions, because in worlds where those currencies can be freely liquidated into dollars, there are clear tax implications..." "


September 16, 2005

Capturing people you meet with

Recording who you met with at an academic conference. "At this year's ubicomp conference, RFID tags are used to record a person one met with. This could be used to either replace or augment our existing practice of exchaging business cards. A special table with embedded RFID readers read FeliCa RFID cards on it thereby identify people around the table. The table also takes a photo. "

RFID in Japan

Neighborhood exploration

Exploring the City with Digi-Diviner. "Participants will provide their cell phone and email address to an attendant at a kiosk. In return, they will be given a digi-diviner to walk and explore the neighborhood. A minute or so after they go outside a real time mix of sound art and verbal information triggered by their location will start to play through an earbud attached to the diviner. The information is a mix of recordings of residents and historians, text-to-speech synthesis, recitations, musique, and other processed sound."


Tagging objects against tampering

Hands On Luggage passport prevents bag tampering. "The HandsOn Passport is designed to record the checked-in weight of luggage, and this can be compared with the weight at the collection point. Any discrepancy will show a removal of or addition to the luggage while it was "out of sight". This can be reported and investigated before passing through the customs hall, thereby removing the committal of any offence. "


Local tags give you latitude and longitude

denCity.net. "Places and objects of the city get a virtual identification in the form of a QR(bar)-code. This code contains - in digitally readable form - the most important information of the respective location: its tag-ID and GPS-coordinates. Shot and decoded on the fly using a common camera-cellphone, through the tags one connects to the dataweb, which consists of site-specific information."


August 30, 2005

RFID for testing architecture

U.K. family agrees to RFID monitoring. For science, of course.. "A British family has agreed to have their activities monitored via RFID tags while they occupy a new smart home, in order to provide data to the builder, which will use the info to make future home-building decisions. As family members move from room to room, 26 sensors will track their locations, giving the builder a better idea of whether, say, anyone is actually using the hot tub or playing table tennis in the garage."


GPS in cellphones

Roamin' Holiday. "Imagine leaving your car at home and networking with other GPS-phone users to form impromptu car pools, or receiving Web pages on your phone about Pickett's ill-fated charge as you amble up Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg. Geo-aware devices that trigger location-specific services will become as natural as the very idea of wirelessness, and the Web itself will cease to be a placeless cyberspace and will be pinned at millions of points to the physical world we inhabit. "

Tech Review

Physical and virtual connections

Real World Activities Effect Your Game Character. "This device has currently been prototyped using the RPG Morrowind. In usual circumstances, a player might make an avatar that is a fitter, stronger more attractive version of themselves. The G-Link reverses this and says if you sit in and play games all day, your character will be weaker, yet if you go out for a walk then your character will be stronger. Also if you go out in the sun your character will be light aligned, yet stay indoors and it will go over to the dark side."


Non-active tracking

Fujitsu to test kid-tracking system using QR codes. "if a child is lost, his QR Code can be read by an Internet-enabled scanner, which can automatically forward the child’s information to a specified server, which will in turn notify the parents. Unlike RFID, of course, there’s no active transmissions being sent by the child, but the QR-based system has the advantage of being cheap to implement."


August 25, 2005

Smart tags

QR Code Gets Active for Lost Children. "Fujitsu developed a new technology that embeds IDs, IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, IP packets (both IPv4 and IPv6), and a "pulse signal" that can be directly sent out to the Internet into non-digital media including printed QR Codes. The technology for example allows for easily sending out notification messages by attaching QR Codes to things, people, etc. Using this technology, in a few days, the compay will test a system for notifying parents about their lost children at Shima Spanish Village in Mie Prefecture. QR Codes are attached to children -- if they are lost, someone can use a scanner to read their QR codes. The information encoded in the QR Codes includes the email address of a server machine. When it is scanned, the system automatically send email to the server, then the server notifies their parents using SMS."
RFID in Japan

August 24, 2005

Visualizing and predicting traffic conditions

Innovative new traffic visualisation tool to debut in Northern California. “Beat the Traffic” is cutting edge 3-D traffic displays that offer the viewer a look at traffic from a completely different angle. One of the most exciting things “Beat the Traffic” will provide is travel forecasting. The system computes historical traffic information and will predict how long it will take to arrive at a destination. Travel forecasting can tell you what time on a Friday before a major holiday that traffic will start backing up! This will help viewers save time when planning events and trips."


Leaving notes in locations

System for Tagging Messages, Post-Inferential Semantics. "STAMPS is a little program that allows you to see a map of the place where you are, visualised on the screen of your mobile. There, you can write a kind of SMS and attach it to the map so that other friends can see your message appearing on their map."

Smart Mobs

Mixing up location technologies

Navizon’s P2P positioning system. "Navizon, a GPS, WiFi, and cellular peer-to-peer based mobile positioning system for Pocket PC devices. Of course, this system (like all other peer-based mobile software systems) only works well when you actually have a lot of people running the software, but they also claim to have the cellular/WiFi triangulation thing down by having those users who do have GPS sync to their servers with varying coordinates."


Tracking vehicles

Brits to get RFID-chipped license plates. "Unlike passive RFID which only transmits over short distances, the e-Plate licenses use active RFID technology to transmit vehicle identification numbers and other data to readers over 300 feet away. Not surprisingly, US officials will be monitoring the trial closely with an eye toward bringing mandatory RFID-tagged plates to the States."


August 23, 2005

Tagging places that matter

Geominder. "Geominder allows you to create location-based reminders that stay attached to physical locations."


Distant directions

Remote-controlled humans. "The researchers outfit their subject with two electrodes behind the ears that "pull" her in one direction or another."

Boing Boing

Detecting security cameras

Cam Detector wards off spycams. "The $50 keychain Cam Detector, the latest from the creative minds at Ajoka (the folks who brought you the net-shooting gun), is designed to detect the presence of wireless spy cameras and alert you via an audio or visual signal "


August 10, 2005

Bookmarking physical locations

Bookmark shops with Town Pocket RFID. "... Japan's new Town Pocket system, which is currently being deployed at 153 local shops in Harajuku, where you'll be able to whip out your RFID-enabled cellphone (or QR-code reader, depending on what you've got), and bookmark various stores."


Context aware cellphones

Mobile phone behaviour"Sony Ericsson's latest idea is to sell phones which automatically change the way they behave, depending on the time,date and place.For example,the wallpaper display on the screen shows pumpkins when the phone's calendar sees the date is Halloween, and Christmas puddings on December 25th. Network roaming,or GPS,can tell a phone what country it is in,so the ring-tone might change to a reggae tune as the plane touches down in Jamaica,for example.A restaurant could use short-range Bluetooth signals to deliver the specials menu direct to the phone's screen, and a cinema or church could use Bluetooth to switch it to silent mode.Stockbrokers could enable an option to display the latest share prices every 10 minutes and golfers could use continually updated weather forecasts for wallpaper".
Smart Mobs

Dedicated, location-based handhelds

Node Explorer upgrades GPS tourism with WiFi, Linux. "The unit, a prototype Node Explorer from Bath-based Node, is billed as a location-aware media player. Using GPS to get location data, the Linux-based, ruggedized unit communicates over WiFi with a nearby Node Server to present info on a location in realtime."


August 08, 2005

Figuring out where you are, physically, on the net

Net addresses come down to Earth. "Sites such as Yahoo, MSN, Google and 192.com have started pushing local search services that link what you are looking for to shops and services near where you are in the real world. To do this they try to link the net address, or IP number, of the computer you are using to browse the web to a physical location."


Event-specific phones

The Eventphone. "Say you're at a big event, if the Eventphone DECT phone system is in place, just bring a compatible DECT cordless phone that conforms to the GAP standard and register it to DECT. If you have no such phone, you can buy one for 15 euros. Then you can use the phone to make internal calls to any other extension for free. No more crazy double roaming charges just to find your friends."

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Constant connections

Social Machines. "Constant connectivity has changed what it means to participate in a conference or any other gathering. Using chat rooms, blogs, wikis, photo-sharing sites, and other technologies, people at real-world meetings can now tap into an electronic swirl of commentary and interpretation by other participants--the "back channel" mentioned by Campbell."
Tech Review

What your phone knows

When Cell Phones Become Oracles. "Eagle used Bluetooth-enabled Nokia 6600 smartphones running custom programs that logged cell-tower information to record the phones' locations. Every five minutes, the phones also scanned the immediate vicinity for other participating phones. Using data gleaned from cell-phone towers and calling information, the system is able to predict, for example, whether someone will go out for the evening based on the volume of calls they made to friends."
Wired News

Baby monitoring

BabyCam back seat monitoring system. "The system is designed for Toyota SUVs/trucks, and features a small, compact, wide-angle view that enables mum the driver to turn around to check on an infant in a reverse-oriented car seat."


Collaborative world tagging

Tagging the planet. "Tagzania is about tags and places. If you register and log in, you can add places, points, to create and document your maps. When you add a point, you may tag it with keywords. That way, Tagzania is not only a place to build and keep your own maps, shared territories are created as well."


August 06, 2005

RFID security

RFID's Infant Protection thwarts kidnapping. "Last week, the Hugs system sounded the alarm when an infant was removed from the hospital's seventh-floor nursery. Nurses and staff responded to the "Code Pink" alert, and security officials recovered the infant unharmed and returned him to the maternity ward. [...] Each infant wears a Hugs tag on his or her wrist or ankle that contains a tiny radio transmitter. Hospital exit points are electronically monitored to detect unauthorized removal of an infant."
Smart Mobs

In-car convergence

Garmin GPSMAP 376c - GPS XM = Heaven. "Garmin has announced a new all-in-one GPS unit that uses standard global positioning, XMWX Satellite Weather and XM Satellite Radio. [...] Navigation, weather and uncensored satellite radio - what more could a gas-guzzling SUV driver ask for?"


Phones + location

BBC offers mobile seaside service. "Mobile phone users visiting Britain's seaside will soon be able to access local information via the BBC. By pointing their mobile phones at plaques placed in 100 coastal locations, people will be able to access material from the new BBC Two series Coast."


Biometrics at work

No more "buddy punching" with the Kronos 4500 Touch ID. "...their 4500 Touch ID [...] uses biometrics for punch-ins, so unless you want to graft some skin on your friend's finger (not that we'll put it past some of you out there), you're actually going to have to, you know, work for that scratch."


SMS alerts

SIMpill Medicine Bottle Monitor. "The SIMpill medicine bottle uses SMS tech to monitor patients - medicine-taking habits, alerting patients or their caregivers via text message when they miss a prescribed dose."


July 16, 2005

People finding

The location-aware watch that locates your friends. "The FLORA (Fluorescent Light Organizing Radio Accessory) is a location-aware watch that helps people locate others, a mixture of a compass and the game "Hot and Cold".

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Collaborative mapping

Bookmarkable Google Maps. "Web site BeenMapped.com lets users bookmark locations on Google Maps, rate them and leave comments."


July 12, 2005

Using data to pick locations

The New Science of Siting Stores. "Ever wonder why sometimes you see two Starbucks coffee shops located within the same block -- or right across the street from each other? It's not by chance. Site selection has been fine-tuned to a digital art. A retailer can now closely analyze all of the sales information that it has to understand the lifestyles and preferences of its customers. Then, companies can combine that info with mapping and demographic software to decide whether it's worthwhile to open a store at a given location."
Business Week

Location based websites

PlaceSite. "Savage announced his latest project, PlaceSite, which combines online social networking with real-life networking in Wi-Fi cafes by providing computer users with a website unique to a particular Wi-Fi cafe."


July 07, 2005

Biometric check-in

Lufthansa Tests Fingerprint Check-In. "At check-in passengers get their finger-print scanned and stored. Upon boarding the plane, the finger-print is verified. The Finger-Print Check-In should already be launched in 2006."

I4U News

Meeting strangers

YOU-WHO social networking cellphone game. "...after mutual consent to play YOU-WHO, one player acts as the "mystery person" feeding bits of information about their appearance to the other player who eagerly draws their cutesy image on their screen. The phones then "call" each other revealing the players' locations and identities."


July 06, 2005

Modular extreme computing

Wearable system of mountaineering devices. "EasyTech SafeTrek is a system comprising modular devices (each offering a function like phoning, location or avalanche warning), a CPU "hub" linking these functions together, with or without wires, and a standardised power supply. These elements are wearable: distributed around the body, mostly in pockets attached to a harness. The whole system is controlled, via a single "intuitive interface protocol", by input controls designed for mountaineering conditions, such as the operable thumb of a thermal glove (the thumb acts as a joystick). A head-mounted display is the main output monitor. The hub automatically recognises any new element added and incorporates it in the system. For example, you can request the hub to take a photograph using the camera module, direct the GPS module to place the location on the picture and then direct the Satphone module to send the image to the your website in real time."

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Connecting contacts and locations

Pronto? I'm Almost There. "As you get into your vehicle, Pronto synchronises wirelessly with the digital address and appointment books in your PDA, phone or laptop, thus learning the location and contact person of your destination. It plans the route, offers traffic updates, and adjusts its communication channel to give priority to the destination contact, later scheduled contacts, and your frequent contact list. So, without having to use an address book or search menus, you can phone the people you probably need to contact during the journey."

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June 30, 2005

Virtual globes

Download of the Day, part II: Google Earth. "Holy geography geek, Batgirl! Google's released Google Earth, a downloadable 3D mapping application that starts you out looking at a view of the entire planet, and lets you fly all over Earth to locations you specify, search, add bookmarks and annotations to places and get directions."


June 29, 2005

Knowing when you're home

I'm hoooome. "When you come home, you throw your mobile phone into NOKIA one. This action makes you digitally at home too. Mobile phone syncronizes with NOKIA One. Contact, message, photos and other media updates are exchanged. If you get an SMS, it will pop up on TV. When you get a call you'll see it on TV, and talk in the air without phone. You will also appear "at home" in your friends list in instant contacting application."

we make money not art

June 27, 2005

More google map hacking

Foundcity personal text and photo maps. "SMS a photo, tags, message and address to Foundcity from anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn in New York City and it appears on your map automatically. Check out a map of a particular tag (like "street art" or "gargoyles") or by user."


Cars and infrastructure

on-board automotive computers could interact with traffic lights in the future. "...speed recommendations could be transmitted to a vehicle as it approaches an intersection, enabling it to move through green lights or make the best possible use of phased traffic light systems. Functions for monitoring the immediate vicinity of an intersection are also particularly useful. Drivers can be warned of an increased accident risk in cases where it looks like another road user is likely to jump a red light because of excessive speed."


Games on the streets

Monopoly Live: London style. "...you're given (fake) 15m to invest in (real) London properties, and move around the "board" as 18 GPS transmitter-equipped cabbies pick up and drop off players accordingly. Chance and Community Chest bonuses are even sent via SMS."


June 10, 2005

Active environments

Bins and Benches. "The benches love to be sat on, and they often take up position in new spaces to make themselves more attractive to potential human sitters. Sometimes, when it rains, they move themselves to drier, shadier areas of the square. To attract potential human sitting folk, they like to form patterns - the benches moving in to shapes in the centre of the piazza."

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Virtual/real overlap

Computer Scientists Develop Wireless Application For Ubiquitous Video. "Computer scientists at UCSD have taken the wraps off a new technique for mixing images and video feeds from mobile cameras in the field to provide remote viewers with a virtual window into a physical environment. Dubbed "RealityFlythrough", the application constructs a 3D virtual environment dynamically out of the live video streams."


Location aware tasks

Place Mail location-sensitive to-do list for cellphones. "The app, called Place Mail, can send a reminder whenever you're near a particular location. So, for instance, if you're near the video store, it can remind you of a movie you wanted to rent."


June 07, 2005

Abuse deterent

The Connection2 Identicom. "This tri-band GSM device can be discretely activated (button on back), sending a predefined text message or initiating an "open voice call" to a responsible party allowing verbal abuse to be heard and recorded."


Tags that tell you what to do

Firms tag workers to improve efficiency. "Under the system workers are asked to wear computers on their wrists, arms and fingers, and in some cases to put on a vest containing a computer which instructs them where to go to collect goods from warehouse shelves. The system also allows supermarkets direct access to the individual's computer so orders can be beamed from the store. The computer can also check on whether workers are taking unauthorised breaks and work out the shortest time a worker needs to complete a job."
Guardian Unlimited

June 03, 2005

Doing your job in the field

Cleveland to Unwire Building Inspectors. "In Michigan, where state inspectors have been using Accela's wireline software since 2002, the Bureau of Construction Codes and Fire Safety has reduced the time involved in entering data and issuing permits from "days to minutes,"

May 31, 2005

Tracking your kids + games

No kidding. "This garments uses mobile phone and camera technology to help parents pin point their kids' position, but also fabric antennas, radio tagging and miniature remote cameras to allow children to play exciting games outdoors."

Royal Philips Electronics

Managing RFID access

Toppan printing company develops RFID-shielding paper. "The 0.2mm thick paper contains a thin layer of metal, and essentially functions as a Faraday Cage - wrapping an RFID-equipped train pass, corporate ID or RFID payment card is like wrapping it in a metal sheet that shuts out electromagnetic fields."


Mapping the health environment

Mapping Fat Traps for Kids. "Using handheld computers as they walked about, the mapmakers charted every pizza shop, corner store, deli and vendor that beckoned to students as they went to and from school."
Wired News

May 20, 2005

Home security talking SMS

The Home Securer. "From our friends who brought you the Personal Securer comes the Home, uh, Securer. It features a tri-band GSM module (in case your house is going on holiday abroad for a few weeks) and allows for “configuration and event notification via SMS and GPRS"


Technology + Jewelry

Lumiloop bracelet. "Each module features a small 8x8 LED matrix, driven by an interchangeable program module. The program modules holds different display programs and include varying sensors for the bracelet to respond to. An embedded software module containing an accelerometer registers and interprets the wearer's wrist movements and generates illuminated patterns in response."

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May 19, 2005

Tracking kids at school

Mumbai Schools to introduce RFID tracking. "A company called Zicom Security Systems Ltd has a plan to introduce RFID in some schools in Mumbai, India. Pilot tests are currently being couducted. The RFID tags would be incorporated on the identity cards of each student. Parents who wish to subscribe to the service could track the whereabouts of their children with the help of readers that would mess-age the mobile depend-ing on the trigger set. These readers would be placed in convenient locations."
RFID in Japan

May 18, 2005

Forcing kids to exercise

Shoe kick-starts active lifestyle. "The shoe - dubbed Square-eyes - has a unique insole that records the amount of exercise a child does and converts it into television watching time."


Connections while training

Mobile design for runners. "Buddy Run allows two or more people, running together but in different places, to share conversation and their current performance (to hear each other's pace for example); Actively Mobile trainer can help those training for a race to plan their workouts, analyze their results, and even provide remote coaching by tracking the runners performance online."

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May 16, 2005

Subtle forms of communication

Networked Nightlights. "John Schimmel's Fireflies are networked nightlights for a local environment, the jars can be placed in different bedrooms or other spots around a home so people can communicate with one another through simply tapping on the jars."


Technology providing social cues

Ambient social networking interface. "Before entering the Sparks environment, each user pre-selects a number of interests from a pool of keywords. Within the environment, Sparks projects the keywords in an aura on the floor around the user. The aura follows the user within the environment, and augments the visual cues people use to capture initial impressions about another person."

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Long distance health care

Technology Lets Patients Visit Doctors Without Leaving Home. "As part of remote diabetes care, a team travels to First Nations reserves, where the disease is endemic, to take photos of patients' retinas with a specially designed digital camera. Those images can be viewed via computer by an ophthalmologist hundreds of kilometres away to check for signs of diabetes-related eye damage."


New ways of finding your location

Tracking You Via TV Signals. "If you're inside a building, a GPS receiver cannot find you. But a $40 radio chip from Rosum Corporation will do it, with the help of TV signals. This start-up says that TV signals are 10,000 times stronger than GPS signals..."
Smart Mobs

May 12, 2005

Self created audio guides

Students make their own MOMA audio-guides. "Students at Marymount Manhattan College's Department of Communication Arts are recording their own audio commentary on the Museum of Modern Art's exhibits. They're also inviting others to make their own homemade audio guides to MOMA, which they'll collect and post online."
Boing Boing

May 11, 2005

Proximity aware phones

See and be seen. "Nokia has launched Sensor, a software that uses Bluetooth to indicate and start proximity interactions - i.e. people within 10-30m of you. You create a folio - like a little web page - that others in your physical location can see. Then you can check out the folios of other Sensor users nearby, exchange messages, and share files."

Smart Mobs

Communication aware clothing

Aware Fashion. "This week's glimpse of whats to come, comes from Richard Etter, Diana Grathwohl, and Sigmund Homolya who give us "Aware Fashion" - clothes that detect invisible communication technologies like cellphones and wifi signals, and hence also enables the wearer to sense the presence of other people."

Sensory Impact

Higher resolution maps

Envisat making sharpest ever global Earth map. "The most detailed portrait ever of the Earth's land surface is being created with ESA's Envisat environmental satellite. The GLOBCOVER project aims at producing a global land cover map to a resolution three times sharper than any previous satellite map."


RFID connections between customers and stores

"bookmark" this store right here. "A Tokyo-based company TechFirm is launching a service that connects consumers and small retailers using RFID. Consumers having RFID-chipped phones can "bookmark" their "favorite" stores by showing their phones to RFID readers installed in stores. Information about a "bookmarked" store is automatically transmitted to a mobile phone. Consumers can access information about all "bookmarked" stores using dedicated mobile application software."
RFID in Japan

May 09, 2005

Fast 3D city models

Fast 3D city model generation. "Virtualised reality scans the urban landscape using lasers and digital cameras mounted on a truck or plane. A laser measures distances to objects such as lamp posts and building facades, while the camera takes 2D photos. Another laser calculates the movement of the truck and checks its position against data collected from the aerial laser. [...] The researchers recently created a model of downtown Berkeley in just 4 hours - 26 minutes of driving plus 4 hours of data processing."

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Known location = security

Guardianlion GPS Panic Button for Kids. "This emergency gps locator has indoor tracking capability. The GuardianLion's Amber Alarm utilizes SiRF GPS technology (site). The press of a panic button will automatically relay the kid's location information (longitude and latitude) immediately to local 911 services."

I4U News

Virtually tagging a physical space

folkmapping your urban spaces. "It allows everyone in a city to map the interesting things they discover throughout the day to a dynamic online map, where they can then compare their points of interest with other people's points. In doing so they both share what they like about the city with others, and discover what other people find fascinating about the city."


Pairing up technology

loveJackets: Wearable Affinity Markers. "A pair of jackets emits, and polls for a particular signal. Once the pair finds each other, in at least 10 feet distance, facing each other, the two beep – emitting a sound akin to crickets mating, and a pattern of LEDs blinks (light emitting diodes; small, bright, energy efficient lights). Each jacket responds only to its unique pair."

Smart Mobs

April 28, 2005

Mixing up technologies

Parking scooter scans for stolen cars. "Sacramento police officers are now using a high-tech scooter to help them find stolen cars. Using infrared cameras, GPS and license plate recognition software, the scooter's computer can tell cops everything about your parking habits."

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RFID for tracking people

Prison without bars. "Windows in this prison will not have iron griddles; they will be made of tempered glass. Each prisoner will wear a jacket with an attached RFID tag and a display in a security guard room shows whereabouts of each prisoner."

RFID in Japan

Location-based services

What Happens When GPS Meets Your Cell Phone. "As peak allergy season envelops Germany, Vodafone is touting its "Lorano Polleninfo" service. Combining GPS data from a user's phone, national weather data, and a personalized allergy profile -- subscribers register what pollens they are allergic to -- the service sends daily alerts containing pollen forecasts and which areas to avoid. The service costs roughly $6 a month."

Business 2.0

Networks of cars

Car Computers Track Traffic. "George List slid back into the driver's seat and heard a voice from the cup holder suggest an alternate route. The car wasn't talking, exactly. The voice came from a handheld computer nestled in the holder that links his car to 200 other vehicles in the area. Data from all the vehicles -- where they are, how quickly they move -- is being used to create snapshots of area traffic patterns."
Wired News

Real world pointers to content

Forget QR code, here comes the ColorCode. "This time, the information is not in the barcode itself, but on a remote server accessible through the code. So when you scan a ColorCode with your mobile phone, it connects to a server and downloads information, then presents it to you. The little code could "contain" an URL, a ringtone, or an mp3 for instance."

we make money not art

April 26, 2005

Home security risks

Home workers 'pose security risk'. "Working from home could pose a security threat to British businesses, costing an estimated 8.5bn a year, an IT security company has warned."


Quick wi-fi zone switching

Near-Seamless Handoff for 802.11 Roaming. "Two University of California San Diego scientists have developed a better way of seamlessly handing off 802.11 roaming, making it possible for people from one hotspot to another without dropping connections."

Checking attendance

Japanese university uses cellphones to monitor attendance. "Aomori University has students send an email from their mobile phone to a college administrator containing a number shown to them by their teacher at the beginning of class. School administrators then send replies to five to ten students who've claimed attendance, who must then stand up and give their names in the classroom. "


April 25, 2005

Mixing up web services

Google Maps Meets Craigslist. "The cross pollination of two of the best resources available on the internet-- Google's new mapping service, and the classified listings page, Craigslist."

Cool Hunting

April 17, 2005

Online devices for tracking the elderly

iPot: Internet-Enabled Hotpot. "The marketed application for the i-Pot rests largely with the elderly - if your obaasan misses her regular tea break, the i-Pot can send a message to someone so they can check up on her. As the product page says, "The electric pot becomes the barometer of vigor."


Tracking ALL your media use

Arbitron's Portable People Meter. "Arbitron, a company which measures radio station ratings, is currently testing the Portable People Meter, a pager-like two-inch by half-inch gadget that is supposed to be able to track all the media you're exposed to throughout the day."


April 08, 2005

Auto autopilot

Self-Steering GPS System for Cars. "Jalopnik reports a new Italian GPS-based system that lets automobiles steer themselves with an accuracy within 50 centimeters. Thats probably good enough for high-speed highway driving, but the self-parking car will probably have to wait a bit longer."


April 04, 2005

Games that mix the real and virtual

SCOOT: a reality adventure game. "Players have to solve clues located both in the real world and the virtual world. They interact with strange objects, receive information via SMS to their phones and have to text their answers to the games clues back to SCOOT."

we make money not art

April 01, 2005

Guiding by sound

PDA-based auditory navigation system. "Melodious Walkabout, by Richard Etter, is a wearable system that guides a user by contextualizing audio contents s/he is listening to. The system doesn't use speech and allows the user to listen to her/his own audio contents while being aware of the location of the destination."

We make money not art

March 10, 2005

GPS for bikes

New TomTom Rider navigation system for bikers. "A closely guarded secret indeed. As far as I know this will be the first Satellite Navigation system which is designed specifically for a bike with a Bluetooth audio system. I know other manufacturers make bike kits, but this is really a bike system not a dual purpose one."


Virtual tours

Japan's virtual bus tour guides. "They're not just playing back a tape, though, the whole thing is actually connected to the bus's GPS navigation to sync up the virtual tour with the real current location."

March 09, 2005

Technology + insurance

Computer log keeps joggers up to speed. "Cities across Germany are being equipped with the world's first electronic jogging paths to beam runners' heart beats to a computer. [...] Organisers promise that good results will win the runners rebates on health insurance premiums, which amount to a compulsory 14 per cent cut of salary."

March 07, 2005

Echo location

Audio Location. "Audio Location [...] is a low-cost location sensing mechanism based on the use of off-the shelf microphones attached to cheap PCI sound cards in a standard PC. The system doesn't require the user to wear any tag, it can detect human-made sounds such as the clicking of fingers or clapping to accuracies of around 15cm for a 3D location."

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Kid tracking

RFID triggers SMS at after-school cram schools. "RFID triggers SMS at after-school cram schools Tomas, after-school cram schools in Tokyo metropolitan area, introduced a system that uses RFID to send SMS messages to parents when their kids arrive at and leave cram schools."
RFID in Japan

February 25, 2005

Wearable webcams on pets

The Fido wireless infrared doggie-cam system. "The system wirelessly transmits audio and video (with an infrared option) to Policemen outside during dangerous search operations where the highly trained cute little puppers are considered, erm, more expendable than a person."


Natural route directions

Software gives descriptive directions. "The system generates a graphical route map, then produces written directions from the map, using phrases like "turn right at the end of the hallway" or "walk through the doorway into the lounge." Besides, "you will see" phrases assure a person is headed in the right direction."

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Everyday SMS notifications

Future Parking. "It is reported than 1,000 or more parking meters throughout the CBD will be replaced with new solar powered meters capable of accepting payment via a mobile phone or credit card. The meters will also send an SMS to the motorist warning them that their meter is soon to expire."

February 21, 2005

Hi-res 3D maps of urban areas

A 3-D View of the City, Block by Block. "Both the vehicle and a plane that flew over the same area were taking authorized pictures of each building and its surroundings, at the behest of the downtown improvement district. Now the terabytes of imaging data are being used to build a three-dimensional model of central Philadelphia, down to the last cornice, mailbox and shrub."

The New York Times

GPS + web services

Developer links GPS to Google Maps. "While this may never take the place of dedicated mapping software, the idea of getting your GPS to interface with the Web has its appeal; we'd like to be able to go a step further and be able to, say, run a search on Moviefone.com and have our GPS transparently plot a route to the theater without us having to punch in the adddress."


Location based messaging

Location-based SMS. Graffito: "When the recipient reaches the defined point, the message appears on his or her display. Unlike the classic SMS, the message is not sent to the addressee as such, but is only activated when the addressee comes within a defined radius of the location specified for the graffito. Another difference is that, if required, the message can be read not only by one person, but also by a number of cell phone users -- like a real graffito plastered on a building wall"


February 15, 2005

GPS trackers

QinetiQ announces smallest GPS tracking unit. "U.K.-based security and defense company QinetiQ has unveiled what they say is the world's smallest GPS tracking device. The unit [...] does not require an external antenna, and is being marketed specifically as a theft-prevention device that can be "fitted to any moveable asset such as vehicles, containers, pallets or packages."


February 11, 2005

Location specific warnings

Osaka Police Use Goopas for Crime Prevention. "Osaka police started disseminating crime prevention information to commuters' mobile phones using RFID train passes. They are taking advantage of an existing information dissemination service called Goopas."

RFID in Japan

RFID tagged school kids

RFID badges coming to a school near you. "Brittan Elementary School, the only grade school in a California rural town, is requiring students to wear FRID badges that can track their every move. Teenagers must wear those identification cards around their necks with their picture, name and grade and a wireless transmitter that beams their ID number to a teacher's handheld computer when s/he passes under an antenna above classroom doors."
Smart Mobs

February 09, 2005

Shopping by scanning

Smart scanner helps elderly shop. "A barcode reader is used to scan items from a catalogue - or off tins - and then the order is sent to the supermarket via the phone line."



U.S. Companies Move Call Center Work to the Home. "People who reach Esther DeJesus when they call Office Depot Inc.'s customer service center have no idea that she's sitting at home in a room decorated with pictures of Garfield and Betty Boop."

Automatic emergency calls

Crashed cars may soon be able to dial 999 for help. "In the event of a crash, e-call technology will dial the emergency services at a "Public Service Answering Point", and report the vehicle's exact location. The system, which will use a new Europe-wide emergency number of 112, can also be triggered by someone inside the car."

February 07, 2005

Adding virtual objects to live video in real time

Augmented-reality machine works in real time. "Previously, it has been necessary to calibrate a computer using several markers added to a scene. The Oxford team's machine only requires an object of known size to be placed in its line of sight to perform a complete calibration. The system then automatically picks out its own visual markers from a scene. By measuring the way these markers move the computer can judge how far away each marker is."

New Scientist

February 02, 2005

Interactive kids games

Interactive playground for kids. "Funny square creatures are projected onto a 2.8x2.1m playground. The child steps on the playground and interacts with the little creatures. The animals react to the child’s position, which is tracked by a web-cam. In the beginning the creatures run away from the child, later on they "get used" to her/him."

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GPS gaming

GPS:: Tron. "The player's movements in real space, which are tracked by GPS and transmitted to the phone's display, influence his/her position in the game. Each player is represented by a line that gets longer and longer. But the player's own line is never allowed to cross itself or the opponent's line. Which makes the game harder as time passes."

we make money not art

February 01, 2005

Wireless from anywhere

DIY Community Node. "This is a public bench in the middle of a quiet square London near Tottenham Court Road, where you can access the internet and tap into a local community of people, living and working in the area - and eat your lunch."


January 28, 2005

Interactive exercise

The computer game you climb upon. "Since the sensors react to climbers presence, the wall can be used by visually impaired kids as well, but it can also function as playground equipment where the grips light up and/or make sounds one after another to guide the child playing on it to the right place. The wall can also function in real competitions-sounds or lights can be activated when the climber makes a wrong move."

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Photos of places for search

For Local Searchers, Amazon Adds Photos to Yellow Pages. "In Manhattan, for example, a driver spent more than a week cruising down streets, capturing images and cataloging the location of each business using a global positioning system receiver."
The New York Times (may require free subscription)

Cell-based location services

navmo's GPS-less nav pilot launch in London. "Their service is unique, however, in that it's a straight JAVA WML based app, so for many phones nothing but a page load is required - we presume nav is done on the cell company's end by triangulating the location of the user from tower to tower, but navmo's being a bit mysterious about such minutiae as, you know, what their core technology is."


January 27, 2005

Location-based time travel

Mobile learning game/ "Waag Society is developing Frequency 1550, a "mobile learning game". The citygame, using mobile phones and GPS-technology, will transport 11 to 12 year-old students to the medieval Amsterdam of 1550."

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Games on the go for kids

Back Seat Gaming. "Backseat Playground [...] is a mobile gaming research project that will enable kids to play with the world outside their window from the back seat of a car. This augmented reality game uses a digital compass and a GPS-receiver to connect the game to the passing landscape. By aiming the device towards objects, players can defend themselves against creatures or pick up magic artefacts."

we make money not art

January 26, 2005

Automated travel

Toyota Z-Capsule. "The hybrid car manufacturer will be testing a new lower impact, mass transit scheme this March in Japan. [...] to further minimize impact, they will run on an Intelligent Multimode Transport System (ITMS) that will automatically adjust schedules and route based on rider demand. Oh yeah, these things can operate without drivers as well!"

Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting:

January 21, 2005

GPS + wi-fi

Golf Courses Put Wi-Fi to Work. "Handheld and cart-mounted GPS units, which the company developed two years ago with the notion of helping golfers estimate distances and identify traps, greens and pins, today provide two-way communication with the clubhouse, hospitality services and even security to help course managers build revenue and provide a selling feature for golf resorts and golf communities."

Interactive maps

Sound mapping"Streetscape", by Japanese artist Iori Nakai, is a plastic map with the sounds of the city "attached" to it. When tracing over the city's white map with a special pen, you can hear everyday noises that were recorded at that particular location: conversations, passing traffic, and all the ambient sounds that make a city."

we make money not art

January 20, 2005

RFID in stores

Retail CIOs Demo RFID Prototypes. "...showing interactive changing rooms that make clothing recommendations and have clerks bring additional pieces, a cashier shelf that instantly scans items (so the cashier doesn't have to) and a privacy system that literally leaves the chip in the store. Mierdorf also demonstrated smart shelves that display the clothing sizes on them so that customers need not rummage through clothing piles."

January 18, 2005

Graffiti "linked" to media

Turning New York into a webpage. "Grafedia , created by John Geraci, is hyperlinked text, written by hand onto physical surfaces and linking to images, video, sound files, etc. It can be written on walls, in the streets, or in postcards, on the body as tattoos, or anywhere you feel like putting it. Viewers "click" on the grafedia hyperlinks with their phones by sending a message addressed to the word "@grafedia.net" to get the content behind the link."

we make money not art

January 13, 2005

Cameraphone search

Hyperlinking the World. "Let's say you're standing in front of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. You take a snapshot with your cameraphone and instantly receive an audio-visual narrative about the painting. Then you step out of the Louvre and see a cafe. Should you go in? Take a shot from the other side of the street and a restaurant guide will appear on your phone. You sit down inside, but perhaps your French is a little rusty. You take a picture of the menu and a dictionary comes up to translate."

January 12, 2005

Augmented reality gaming

Interactive outdoor augmented reality collaboration system. "ARQuake is an Augmented Reality (AR) version of the popular Quake game. [...] We use a head mounted display, mobile computer, head tracker, and GPS system to provide inputs to control the game. Using ARQuake, you can walk around in the real world and play Quake against virtual monsters."


January 11, 2005

RFID in sport

Electronic bugs in football balls and players' shinpads. "The new technology could, for example, inform spectators that the ball missed the goalpost by 3.9 centimeters. Coaches could also tell which players were hustling around the pitch, and which were holding back, either out of fatigue or laziness."

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Ambient displays

Activity Wallpaper. "The prototype analyzes audio from a caf setting, accounting for various characteristics of the current activity level, such as the number of people speaking or the amount of background noise. The more the color diverts from the background, the noisier the caf is. The number of "dots" in each row represents the crowd, so that the more dots, the bigger the crowd was at that point."

we make money not art

January 06, 2005

Visual representations of network activity

VisitorVille: Website Traffic Statistics Visualization Software. "'...instead of representing website visitors simply as numbers or graphs, it displays them as real people in a real environment. You can watch your site traffic as if you were people-watching in a big city."


Device surveillance

bluefish: Bluetooth Surveillance System. "Bluefish constantly scans for Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as phones, PDA's, and wireless peripherals. When a new device is found, Bluefish takes a picture of the area in which the device is discovered and catalogues all retrievable information about the device. If the device is ever discovered again, the user will be sent the last image captured of them via Bluetooth. [...] Over time, a profile is built for each discovered device, making it possible to track individual users who frequent the scanning area."


January 04, 2005

RFID for your location

Elevators get smart. "Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Japan developed a technology that combines RFID tags and cameras and makes elevators wait for people. Not the contrary."

Smart Mobs

December 17, 2004

Virtual sight

Researchers working on 'virtual canes' for the blind. "Combining a laser pointer, digital camera and a specialized processor, the cane would analyze surfaces and provide auditory feedback on obstacles and surfaces such as stairs and curbs."


Mapping photos to location

geo-location of tagged images on flickr.com. "Photos from flickr are often tagged with information that can be used to make educated guesses about their locations in the world. Mappr uses this data, which is provided by flickr users, to place their images on a map."


December 16, 2004

Cellphone tours

Cell Phones Work as Tour Guides. "Weaver's and Stiller's voices pop up as narrators for Talking Street, a series of cell-phone tours that guide visitors through the Lower East Side, Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site."
Wired News

December 10, 2004

Facial identity

The New Face of Surveillance. "In Pinellas County, Fla., sheriff's deputies armed with Hewlett-Packard digital cameras and laptops connected to a wireless data network can use software from Viisage to check the identity of suspects in a minute or less. The software was credited in a September arrest of a woman who was wanted on two felony warrants."
Baseline Mag

Biometric identities

Passports go electronic with new microchip. "Next year, new US passports will have a chip slipped under the cover, containing biometric and personal data. But privacy advocates worry about surveillance."


Sensors for anything

Siemens Working On All-Purpose Sensor Gadget. "MyAy will feature different applications you can tell it to run. For example, it can be left in a hotel room and notify you if someone enters. It can listen for a baby crying or car alarm, tell you if there's a fire or if someone moves your cheese."

Personal Tech Pipeline

Cellphones everywhere

Cellphones Aloft: The Inevitable Is Closer. "Federal regulators plan next week to begin considering rules that would end the official ban on cellphone use on commercial flights. Technical challenges and safety questions remain. But if the ban is lifted, one of the last cocoons of relative social silence would disappear, forcing strangers to work out the rough etiquette of involuntary eavesdropping in a confined space."

The New York Times (may require free subscription)

December 07, 2004

Ambient monitoring

Wearables for everyday objects. "This key-chain radio station broadcasts the sounds you make through regular FM radio and shares them with people hidden from your eye. It works only within a radius of about 20 meters. The sound quality is not very clear, but people can guess what you are doing. In addition, the lower sound quality reduces concerns about privacy issues."

we make money not art

December 06, 2004

Biometrics becoming everyday

How your face could open doors. "A few corporations are already scanning pictures of staff for access control or to tackle swipe card fraud. And six police forces have so far recognised its use in identifying CCTV pictures of suspects - one claims it to be the biggest forensic breakthrough since DNA."


Home monitoring

Wireless Water Submeters: It's a ZigBee Thing.. "A self-forming, self-healing wireless mesh network of ZigBee-based Aqura submeters will provide real-time usage data - including the number of "flow events" (showers, toilet flushes, dishwasher cycles, etc.), flow-time in minutes, hot and cold water usage, domestic hot water energy, leak diagnostics and tamper detection - using a TV remote control-like meter reader. The readings will be automatically collected from the ZigBee network several times per day and uploaded to Wellspring's data and billing center; then made available to residents, apartment owners and third party billing services on the Web."


December 01, 2004

Wireless technologies impacting urban spaces

Urban renewal, the wireless way. "With a new generation of wireless devices, GPS locators, and ubiquitious networking, future-gazers claim, digital space will simply add another dimension to physical space, especially as technology continues to penetrate what sociologist Ray Oldenberg has famously described as "third places": the communal public spaces where people interact with friends or strangers."


Realtime geographic visualizations

"SAME" enables users to see any place on the planet in real time . "York University Prof. Vincent Tao has developed groundbreaking satellite mapping technology that enables users to visually zoom in on - or fly over - any place on the planet in real time. Called SAME (an acronym for "See Anywhere - Map Everywhere"), it is an Internet-based technology that provides 3-D imagery with ground resolution of a half-metre to one metre - close enough to identify automobile makes, for example, but not the human face.


Virtual tradeshows

Virtual Tradeshows On the Rise. "In the past year, a handful of virtual tradeshows have taken place on topics ranging from nanotechnology to plumbing and heating supplies. These events function just like conventional tradeshows, with booths, plenary sessions and keynote speakers—but without the travel and expense that go along with terrestrial shows."

information from the environment

Billboards with infrared hypertags in the London subway. "...Transport for London is just now taking the plunge and putting up 25 posters embedded with "Hypertags" that via infrared can beam to cellphones the number for a hotline where tube passengers can get information about how to travel safely at night."


November 26, 2004

Augmented games

Human PacMan hits real city streets. "The classic arcade game PacMan has resurfaced on the streets of Singapore using "augmented reality" technology developed by military-backed scientists at the University of Singapore."

New Scientist

Cellphone message boards

Cell phone message board to be extended for disasters. "Within 30 minutes of a major disaster, such as a large typhoon or an earthquake of lower 6 or higher on the Japanese intensity scale, the message board will appear in the i-mode menu on DoCoMo cell phones. The user chooses his or her status, such as "okay" or "in a shelter," and can then leave a text message of up to 100 characters."
Daily Yomiuri On-Line

November 24, 2004

Privacy from cameras

Badge keeps paparazzi out of the picture. "The "privacy protection system" being developed by Hewlett-Packard will allow the publicity-shy to transmit an infrared signal to any nearby compatible camera. Once activated, the camera's software will automatically blur beyond recognition the face of anybody wearing the badge, New Scientist magazine reports.
Times Online

November 19, 2004

Working from home

Home working trial proves popular. "Run by net firm Telewest the trial tried to find out if workers can do their job better when at home. Those taking part said they did get more done but missed the chance to chat face-to-face with colleagues and contacts. Being at home also gave those taking part much more time to spend with their families."


Remote activities

Remote control rifle range debuts. "A Texas company is considering letting web users use a remote-controlled rifle to shoot down deer, antelope and wild pigs. For a small fee users will take control of a camera and rifle that they can use to spot and shoot the game animals as they roam around a 133-hectare Texas ranch."


Maps and internet access on the road

Australian taxis go high-tech with TouchTaxi. "TouchTaxi have updated cabs in Australia with headrest-mounted touchscreens connected to computers that are connected to the Internet via GPRS and sport GPS receivers (so you can see where you're at and whether your cabbie is taking you for a ride) and WiFi (if you want to piggyback on the PC's GPRS connection with your lappy)."


November 17, 2004

Digitally knowing your neighbors

Letting the Internet Knock on the Door. "From that evolved his Web site, MeetTheNeighbors.org, begun last month. One person takes the initiative to register the building, pass out fliers and plan a get-together, enabling neighbors to create "real-life, in-person, face-to-face relationships." So far, about 500 people in more than 200 buildings have registered. Mr. Nissim estimates that 80 percent of the participants are in New York City, though buildings (and neighborhoods) elsewhere are welcome to join."

The New York Times (may require free registration)

Working everywhere and all the time

Workers breaking office shackles. "A survey shows that 90% of firms are using flexible and remote working as part of their normal way of doing business. The same research reveals that 25% of all employees now use technology to stay in touch with the office and do their job while at home or on the road. But worries over cost, security and training are stopping firms freeing more workers from their desks."


Fears of losing your child

In Texas, 28,000 Students Test an Electronic Eye. "Hoping to prevent the loss of a child through kidnapping or more innocent circumstances, a few schools have begun monitoring student arrivals and departures using technology similar to that used to track livestock and pallets of retail shipments."

The New York Times (may require free subscription)

November 16, 2004

Leaving audio notes in places

MobileSCOUT, a sonic field guide. "MobileSCOUT [...] is a public art project that collects audio narratives of your local surroundings, personal rituals and public sightings. Using your mobile phone, you leave a voice message of your observations about the flora (landscapes), fauna (characters) or behaviors (events) that populate your surroundings."

we make money not art

November 12, 2004

Distant contact

Does Grandma Need a Hug? A Robotic Pillow Can Help. "Now, robotics researchers at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh have designed a soft, huggable pillow that uses sensing and wireless phone technology to provide a physical touch, and thus better social and emotional support, for distant family members."

The New York Times (may require free subscription)

Searching from your phone

UpSnap Search. "UpSNAP gives you free 411 right from your cell-phone. You don't need an Internet connection or wap browser, but instead use simple text commands to search for local services and merchants."


November 11, 2004

Proximity detection

Presence Detectors. "When you leave the proximity of the PC, pcProx locks the system without requiring any user intervention! No need for awkward time-out settings that mistakenly lock the PC when you are present. The pcProx will detect your presence and not lock the system inadvertently."

RF Ideas

Neighborhood wireless message boards

Neighbornode: the extensible neighborhood network. "Neighbornodes are group message boards on wireless nodes, placed in residential areas and open to the public. These nodes transmit signal for around 300 feet, so everyone within that range has access to the board and can read and post to it. This means that with a Neighbornode you can broadcast a message to roughly everyone whose apartment window is within 300 feet of yours (and has line of sight), and they can broadcast messages back to you."


November 10, 2004

Ambient objects

a toolkit for creating personalized ambient media links for conveying togetherness over a distance. "Floral Display is the first ambient media link built with the developing One2One framework. It is a flower pot with a big pink flower that blooms when Cian's girlfriend, Ciara, logs into her computer at her university, and closes when she leaves."


Location-based mobile phone games

List of mobile phone games. "I decided to make a separate list for all those mobile phone games using GPS or cell towers signals, and combined and reworked other lists to add most location based (or augmented reality) mobile games I could find info on."
IN-duce: DE-duce

Wireless towns

The City That Cut the Cord. "All of downtown Spokane, including the park that I was sitting in, is a massive wi-fi hot spot, a whole neighborhood enveloped in an invisible field of high-volume Internet access that covers."


November 05, 2004

Smart dust sensor networks

Dusting for data. "A swarm of little sensors have been deployed near heavy-duty machinery on the ship. If a motor starts vibrating out of control, the sensor captures the unusual motion and the data is passed along wirelessly from sensor to sensor until it reaches a computer link. The computer sounds an alarm and maintenance workers can respond to fix the motor before it breaks."

November 04, 2004

Context based communication tools

A Mobile Web That Knows All About You. "Recently, a group of students at CMU developed an application for MyCampus called InfoBridge, which lets users post and read "virtual posters" about upcoming events. For example, say a user has indicated that she likes track and field events. She'll be notified about events as soon as another person makes a virtual poster about it, unless she's sitting in class. If that's the case, she won't be notified until class is over."


October 28, 2004

Tracking kids

Secom's schoolkid-tracking GPS satchel. "They're teaming up with Kyowa Bag to create satchels for elementary school kids that come with a transmitter neatly installed in a colour-coordinated pocket so increasingly-paranoid parents can track their every move."


Tracking patients

Hospital networks Wi-Fi patients. "A UK hospital is tagging patients with Wi-Fi transmitters and tracking their movements with a wireless network in a bid to reduce medical errors and reduce litigation costs. When patients arrive for an operation at the Heartlands Hospital in the Midlands, they will be snapped with a digital camera and tagged with a transmitter. The picture and transmitter details will then be paired with their electronic record."
The Register

Watching the kids remotely

Parents log on to watch pupils in the classroom. "A preparatory school in Lancashire has become the first in Britain to allow parents to watch their children's progress from the comfort of their homes or offices."


October 27, 2004

Different tech for different markets

Three Amazing Things Your Automobile Can't Do. "It is not just fear of lawsuits that prompts different gear for different markets. Terrorism has also created a switch in what consumers deem to be necessary equipment as they drive. It is the ability to communicate, not to be entertained, that seems to matter most to Americans, some industry officials have concluded."

The New York Times

Location-based hardware

Exec says Pentium M may add location-based services in 2006. "These include the ability for computers to switch default printers and automatically connect to a wireless network based on the specific location of the computer. In addition, users will be able to get directions and search for services offered by nearby shops."

October 22, 2004


American Passports to Get Chipped. "New U.S. passports will soon be read remotely at borders around the world, thanks to embedded chips that will broadcast on command an individual's name, address and digital photo to a computerized reader."
Wired News

Location-based environments

The Bluetooth shopping centre. "Tomorrow will be launched the bluepulse location-based service which enables people within a Sydney shopping centre get on their phones the information they want about their surroundings. Based on a shopper's "profile" which is developed over time, the system is always looking for things of relevance."

we make money not art

Texting as an alternative to talking

Texts to alert HK emergencies. "A new scheme to allow people with disabilities to send a text message to summon help from emergency services is being launched in Hong Kong. [...] The system is designed to help those who would have trouble talking to the operator because of difficulties with speech or hearing."


October 21, 2004

Location based access

The CertifGate. "A USB Base Unit and a name tag wirelessly communicate with each other. For example, an office worker wearing the name tag can lock her computer automatically when she leaves her/his desk. Similarly unlocking is done automatically."

we make money not art

Non-GPS positioning systems

InfoSign: GPS Without the Satellite. "...this new technology would enable users to seamlessly transfer between GPS and Bluetooth positioning systems when entering and leaving buildings. Moreover, an added bonus of the Bluetooth system is how works on three dimensions."


October 19, 2004

Smart shopping

Intelligent shopping carts. "Stop & Shop is testing 1,000 carts with wireless computers to allow customers to e-mail their grocery list to the store and call it up on their cart's screen. The "Shopping Buddy" also lists what shoppers bought on their last trip, notifies them a product is on sale as they enter the aisle, where it's stocked, creates personalized coupons as they approach an item and allows customers to place a deli order and get a message when it's ready."

we make money not art

October 15, 2004

Book tagging

Vatican tags 40-million book collection with RFID. "Two million of the 40-million piece collection will be tagged in the near future, allowing staff to complete the library's annual inventory in less than a day, something that previously forced it to close for a whole month."
Smart Mobs

Mobile wi-fi

WAZ Tempe's Mobile WiFi Carts. "WAZ Tempe has placed these mobile WiFi electric carts at various locations in Tempe. These cute two-seaters have communication modules built in the trunk and antenna to broadcast signals."

what tian has learned

Space-based games

CatchBob! Project Page. "Running on a mobile device (iPAQ, TabletPc), it's a collaborative hunt in which groups of three persons have to find and circle a virtual object on our campus."


October 12, 2004

Detecting incidents

The Bluetooth 'life-saving shirt'. "The fall is communicated via Bluetooth to the victim's computer or mobile phone, which in turn alerts family or friends with a phone call, message or email."

we make money not art

October 09, 2004

Mixing map visualizations

Transparent map over satellite photos of London. "This overlays a streetmap on an aerial photo of the Tower of London (and, presumably, with other cities as well). Move the mouse around to see the overlay move. Very cool hack."

Boing Boing

RFID tracking forgotten things

The watch that reminds you you've forgotten the keys. "The UW smart watch system works as follows: an RFID reader senses the tags on, say, your books, relays the data to the personal server in your pocket. The server checks if anything has been forgotten, and if so, it sends a prompt to the wristwatch to alert you."

we make money not art

October 08, 2004

Discovering the environment through sensors

Reality Mining: Browsing Reality with Sensor Networks. "As sensors become inexpensive and easily deployed, individual measurements may become less significant than the sensor data relationships within the network. Sensors act as pixels, allowing us to construct views of the people, processes, and events we care about."

Sensors Mag

RFID in mundane objects

RFID: Robot for infinite decluttering?. "Every item in your house - socks, eyeglasses, Cheez-It boxes, hockey sticks - will eventually come from the store with a tiny, almost invisible RFID tag attached. The tag will contain some information about its item, like "I am a box of SpongeBob Cheez-Its that expired last February." The tag will be able to transmit that data wirelessly over a short distance. This will be the norm in 10 years."

October 06, 2004

Location-based services

Location Reigns Supreme With Future PCs. "Panelists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during a recent Emerging Technologies Conference described a future where nothing ever gets lost and your SUV always knows the coordinates of the gas station with the cheapest prices on super unleaded."

Hotel blogging

Hotel WiFi grows up. "The point is that the blog is created by hotel guests like yourself from the past and present, and nothing beats the experience of real people. Future services are planned like streaming music and other online entertainment."


October 02, 2004

Better traffic prediction

Mobile Traffic Map. "TrafficGauge is the first and only real-time mobile traffic map that gives up-to-date traffic conditions of a city’s freeway system."


September 29, 2004

Seeing through other's eyes

Nike eyeD - 2014 Device Singularity. "They can see, feel and monitor their favorites athletes through streaming Nike eyeD video (play on 2D/3D). Stereo haptics allow you feel the heart pounding thrill of elite competition from anywhere. A dynamic experience that inspires consumers to change their own physical future."


September 24, 2004

Degrees of privacy

Leap into the digital spaces of fellow bus travellers. "On the screens a 3-G video phone, the registered users see the other snoopers on board. The more a user is ready to open him/herself, the more s/he can snoop into other people's mobile spaces. The service also allowed a user to know how many people snooped on her/him... Who found him/her more interesting? Who did not snoop on him/her?"

we make money not art

September 23, 2004

Better presence representations

BuddySpace - Instant Messaging Maps Semantics = Enhanced Presence Management for Collaboration, Learning, and Gaming. "Of particular interest is the role of graphical metaphors for presence, including maps, logical layouts such as building schematics and project timelines and abstract artistic layouts such as graffiti walls."


September 20, 2004

Low-fi location information

. "The site's organizers distribute thousands of 4.75-inch yellow stickers at concerts, art openings, and other events around town. Citizens point the stickers at whatever urban monuments strike their fancy, then upload their insights to yellowarrow.org. Each arrow bears a unique alphanumeric code (like d726p), which passersby can punch into a text message and send to Yellowarrow."


Tactile direction indicators

ActiveBelt: Belt-type Wearable Tactile Display for Directional Navigation. "ActiveBelt can enable users to intuitively obtain directional information in the real world only by activating vibrators, since it is worn around use's torso."


Medical monitoring from anywhere

Smart bandage to help diabetics. "Medical data from the intelligent bandage could easily be sent to the clinic, via phone or the internet. Advances in wireless technology would allow for medical check-ups from anywhere in the world."


Technology that finds you

Crawling blanket. "Nicholas Stedman's Blanket is a robotic sculpture in the form of a blanket that crawls around a space, finds people there and crawl over to and on top of them, "like a pet."

we make money not art

Bluetooth connections with others

MeetingPoint. "Arranging a meeting with someone you don't know in person (e.g. virtual friends from a chat room). Just tune your MeetingPoint to a previously agreed channel, and go to the meeting point (airport, crowded pub, etc). When you are within range, both MeetingPoints will fire audible alarms, making you aware of the other party's location."


Quick voice connections

Captain Kirk-like communication. "Taking its cue from Star Trek: The Next Generation, US firm Vocera has created a wireless voice communicator. To contact someone, users just have to press the talk button on the lapel badge, and say their name to be immediately connected. The system combines wi-fi and VoIP technologies to link up the badges via a central server. "

we make money not art

September 17, 2004

Virtual games on the streets

Collectively mapping a new picture of the city. "Digital Street Game is an Internet-enhanced street game in which players stage and document small interventions or "stunts" on the street corners of New York in order to claim turf on a virtual map of the city."

Smart Mobs

September 16, 2004

Cars that do everything

Hit the Road, Mac. "Jirka Jirout can start his car's heater remotely by sending it a text message. He can follow his GPS map on an in-dash LCD while one passenger watches a DVD on a fold-down 17-inch screen and another surfs the Web on a laptop plugged into the center armrest's Ethernet hub, each person listening to different audio streams. At a stoplight, Jirout can grab the wireless keyboard to pound out an e-mail or use the Bluetooth connection to sync his cellphone's calendar and address book."

Popular Science

Adding direction, as well as location, to your phone

Let Your Mobile Do the Pointing. "...say you're driving down the street and see a bookstore you'd like to visit later. You could simply point your phone at the store and press a button on your phone, sending the GPS coordinates and direction information to a service that returns the operating hours and additional information about the store, along with a coupon for 10% off your purchase. If you point it at a restaurant, you could get the Zagat rating, the menu and the opportunity to make a reservation."

September 15, 2004

Social extremes in SMS

BuyMeABeer.com: SMS pints. "You can buy a SMS-voucher ranging from a $200 Dom Perignon to a $5 Kirin, and the receiver of the voucher just shows the bar staff the cellphone SMS message..."


September 02, 2004

Technology for marketing

Technologies that Will Jolt the Marketing World. "1.) Internet Data Mining. 2.) Virtual Worlds. 3.) Decision Markets. 4.) Neuromarketing. 5.) Automated Behavior Recognition"
Future Now

September 01, 2004

Tiny timekeepers

Researchers Unveil Smallest Atomic Clock Yet. "Scientists have manufactured the world's smallest atomic clock, with inner machinery about the size of a grain of rice. Requiring very little power to run, the device loses only one second every 300 years and could one day provide precise timekeeping for portable applications such as wireless communication devices and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers."

Scientific American.com:

August 31, 2004

Ambient connections

PLAY. "...this project explores interactive pillows as a means of enhancing long-distance communications. Through natural interaction with a pillow in one location, dynamic textile patterns are activated in a pillow located elsewhere."

Swedish Interactive Institute

August 26, 2004

Emergency location devices

Secufone: The GPS security phone for grandparents. "Pushing the bright red alarm button connects the user with a call-center (admittedly not unlike the Lifeline), and then the GPS enables the call-center to precisely locate the in-trouble user. The device also has big ol’ easy-to-use buttons for universal design appeal and will be available in the US and Europe by the end of August."


August 24, 2004

Mapping photos to locations

Mapped pics of Tokyo. "Tokyo Picturesque (alpha version) is a site where people in Tokyo can attach pics taken with their GPS enabled mobile phone. The system then associates that image with the location on the map where it was taken."

we make money not art

Tracking your pets

Find Lost Pets Fast!. "GlobalPetFinder is the world's only satellite assisted pet location device that sends your pet's location directly to your cell phone."

Global Pet Finder

August 20, 2004

Document management through RFID

Japanese bank taps RFID for document security. "When combined with employee identification systems using cards or fingerprint sensors or tags, the RFID system could help enable real-time recording of which employees are removing or replacing which documents, whether authorized or not, from a filing cabinet or room."

August 18, 2004

Regional blogging

metroblogging. "event listings to general rants, photos to reviews - metblogs are a hyper-local look at what's going on in the city. a group of regional bloggers give each site a new perspective on daily life. less calendar listing, more friendly advice."


August 17, 2004

Interactive advertising

Human Locator. "The Human Locator analyses a camera feed in real time, sending detailed information about people's location, size, and movements. This data is then used as input to control projections, video, graphic animations, and sound."

Freeset Interactive

August 16, 2004

Visualizing conversations

V I S I P H O N E. "VisiPhone is a communication object that opens a graphical as well as an audio portal through space. It is designed to provide a continuous, ubiquitous connection between people in different places."


Using RFID + projectors to find items

RFID 'Lamps' Map the Physical World. "Radio Frequency Identity and Geometry (RFIG) system consists of a hand-held projector that shines dynamic images onto physical objects of the user's preference, and radio frequency identification tags augmented with photosensors, which identify objects for the projector."

Technology Trends

August 13, 2004

A charge for trash

Higher waste collection bills loom with green stealth tax. "Experts, however, say that dustbins can be fitted with electronic tags that can be read by a machine attached to the dustcart. The machine can identify the bin, weigh it and add a charge to the owner’s bill. "
The Times

August 12, 2004

Finding lost items with RFID

Chip shot: Using RFID to find stray balls. "Radar Golf helps players find balls embedded with radio frequency identification chips. RFID chips emit a radio signal that can be tracked with a scanner."


August 11, 2004

Monitoring your driving to save on insurance

Install Big Brother in the car and get insurance discountThose drivers who go over Minnesota's 75 mph speed limit less than 0.1 percent of the time will get a 5 percent discount. Those who avoid driving at the most dangerous time -- between midnight and 4 a.m. on weekends, also get a discount".
we make money not art

August 07, 2004

Location aware blogs

Has cell phone blogging found its place?. "One of the first such products is from WaveMarket, an Emeryville, Calif.-based software maker that invented a way for cell phone users to upload their location, along with photos and text messages, onto interactive street maps viewable by millions of other cell phone users."

CNET News.com

August 04, 2004

Cellphones bringing your boss too close

The Workplace: Cellphones becoming a pocket boss. "For a rising number of workers who toil away from the office, the cellphone is rapidly evolving into a powerful pocket boss - part punch clock and location spotter, or sometimes a speed trap and a smothering mother."

August 02, 2004

City storytelling

City of Memory. "Visitors will share in a collective memory through experiencing and submitting place-based stories."

Local Projects

Matching technologies for partners

Love Jackets. "A pair of jackets emits, and polls for a particular signal. Once the pair finds each other, in at least 10 feet distance, facing each other, the two beep - emitting a sound akin to crickets mating, and a pattern of LEDs blinks..."

Studio 5050

Child safety in cars

AirGATE Technologies Announces RFID 'Smart Buckle' for Automotive Child Safety Seats. "The AirGATE 'Smart Buckle' will employ RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to transmit a low-powered radio signal that will trigger an audible warning to the driver when it detects that a child is riding in a safety seat whose straps are not buckled, or if the safety seat buckle is not disengaged after the car is parked and the ignition is turned off."
Auto News

Using Bluetooth to meet someone you've never seen before

we make money not art. "At the airport or bus/train station... Users can meet with someone previously unknown (e.g. business contact, virtual friend) by just agreing on a channel and MeetingPoint will sound an alarm when you're at bluetooth working range."

We make money not art

July 30, 2004

Virtual sounds in real locations

Tactical Sound Garden [ TSG ] Toolkit"The TSG Toolkit is an open source platform for cultivating public "sound gardens" within urban environments. The Toolkit enables urban dwellers to "plant" sounds within specific locations using their WiFi enabled mobile device."


July 29, 2004

Tracking kids by phone

SK Telecom Human Ear GPS Kid's Phone. "The new phones have a built-in GPS unit that will allow parents to track down the location of their kids, even when the phone is turned off."


July 28, 2004

Personalised banking

ATMs 'to greet customers by name'. "Within a year, NCR said ATMs will begin offering the usual amount of cash people withdraw and remind them of important information such as when their home insurance is up for renewal."


July 27, 2004

Tracking kids in cars

Teen drivers monitored by Big Brother. "Black boxes and global positioning systems are parents's best friends when it comes to keep tabs on their teens whereabouts and behaviour while behind a wheel."
we make money not art

Long distance home security

Ky. Woman Watching Web Cam Helps Nab Fla. Burglars. "Two armed burglars were captured in Volusia County, Fla., Tuesday after a woman in Kentucky -- watching a live in-home Web cam -- noticed the crime happening and called police..."


Using phones to get access

Airline checks out cell phone check-ins. "Check-in is accomplished by sending a text message up to six hours before a booked flight. A virtual "boarding pass" that includes flight and seat allocation details is then sent to the phone, which must be shown to staff when boarding."
CNET News.com

July 26, 2004

Location based searching

Geo-Location and Learning. "This is the ability to use the location of a user as the key to determining what content they view through their browser. Open up Google and type the word 'dentist'. Where you are might determine what results come up on your screen. You might get either a paid listing or a general preference sort for your locale."
The MASIE Center

Tracking patients through RFID

Siemens to pilot RFID bracelets for health care. "Encoded on the band is patient name, date of birth, gender, and a medical record number, linked to the hospital network that connects the patient record to labs, billing, and the pharmacy."

July 22, 2004

Opening doors through RFID

RFID-enabled phones to open doors. "The nifty part of this idea is that keys could be digitally generated over the cellular network, enabling you to copy new ones, make temporary keys, and the like."

Tracking nature through RFID

Pigeon-guided tours. "...you go buy a bag of birdseed with some RFID tags mixed in (don't worry, the pigeons are unharmed by this addition) and feed it to some birds. These birds then fly around the city and activate whatever CCTV cameras they get close to via RFID, with all the video being uploaded to a URL printed on the seed bag."


July 16, 2004

Tracking your pet

For the Fretting Pet Owner, a Wireless Distress Signal. "If the pet leaves the yard, you'll get a call on your cellphone, P.D.A., or any other two-way wireless device," said Jennifer Durst, chief executive of GPS Tracks in Oyster Bay, N.Y., which has devised a G.P.S.-based system called the Global Pet Finder."

The New York Times

July 15, 2004

Ubiquitous networks in Japan

Building a Ubiquitous Network Society That Spreads Throughout the World (PDF). "an analysis is made of the current status in Japan of realization of a ubiquitous network that allows all users to access and exchange information of any kind freely at any time, from anywhere, and from any appliance through the use of broadband and mobile access as well as intelligent home appliances and RFID tags that can access networks."
Japanese Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications

July 14, 2004

Chipping for security

Kidnap-wary Mexicans get chipped. "Concha did, however, admit that the principal role of the system was to restrict access to the database centre in an attempt to fight widespread corruption - considered a major factor in the authorities' lack of success in tackling the kidnap problem."
The Register

July 13, 2004

Tagging children

Japan: Schoolkids to be tagged with RFID chips. "The tags will be read by readers installed in school gates and other key locations to track the kids' movements. The chips will be put onto kids' schoolbags, name tags or clothing in one Wakayama prefecture school."

July 12, 2004

Monitoring the elderly for problems

Hearing Steps. "Unlike monitors that require users to wear sensors, walk on special platforms, or be videotaped, this device sits on the floor unobtrusively."


July 01, 2004

Cheap RFID for tracking cheap items

Cheaper Radio Tags. "Incorporating radio frequency identification (RFID) chips into shampoo bottles, soup cans, and other products would allow suppliers and retailers to better identify and track goods."


June 28, 2004

Smart cars

Superhighway code. "Ford is hoping to convert its cars into mobile traffic and weather sensors, capable of alerting traffic authorities and other vehicles to jams and dangerous driving conditions on the roads."


Extremes of RFID tagging

Opinion: Watch out! Big brother's beginning to peek. "What happens when RFID tags are placed on everything from your razor (as Gillette is already doing) to your tires (Michelin is experimenting with this) to your shirt (as Benetton planned, until swayed by consumer protest)? You will walk around virtually bugged."
Whittier Daily News

June 23, 2004

Computers for harsh environments

NetworkAnatomy Homepage. "CommanderGauntlet (currently in development) is a comprehensive wireless communications device incorporating voice, data, audio, video, text messaging and extreme lighting."

June 22, 2004

Wi-fi in the field

Aussie troops to become Wi-Fi GIs. "The Aussie army will use the kit to test voice applications and supply connectivity to handheld and portable computers for the delivery of maps, intelligence and orders. Commanders can contact soldiers en masse..."
The Register

June 21, 2004

Monitoring the environment

'Wireless pebbles' track glaciers. "The low-powered pebble probes are placed near the bottom of the glaciers and move with the ice, recording temperature, pressure, speed and the makeup of the glacier's sediment."


June 20, 2004

Location based services

Can European Carriers Locate A Business Model For Location Based Services?. "Instead, they're interested in safety and security applications. When OnStar focused on those aspects of their service, their subscriber numbers shot upwards."

Regional blogging

metroblogging. "a group of regional bloggers give each site a new perspective on daily life. less calendar listing, more friendly advice."

June 16, 2004

Rich, 3D based navigation

Video-Game Graphics Hit the Road"This navigation system can give you detailed 3-D visual images of the street and corner that you are going to," said Sony Japan spokesman Shinji Obana. "Compared to conventional GPS navigation systems, it's much easier to grasp where you are and (in) which direction you have to drive."

Wired News

Consumer cellphone use

Wireless. "Part phone, part computer, part TV, and part radio, the newest cell phones blur the divisions of technology."
BW Online

Business use of cellphones

Wireless Godsends for Businesses. "The biggest consumers of new applications such as video and e-commerce and location-based services will remain worker bees in American business."
BW Online

June 15, 2004

Tracking your kids

GPS + wi-fi schoolbus. "This new Wi-Fi enabled GPS data logging unit tracks the location of buses and logs students boarding or disembarking from the bus."
National Scientific Corporation

June 11, 2004

Mapping of government information

Local elections map. "This year 166 councils across England and Wales are holding elections. No council elections are taking place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and London."
BBC News

June 10, 2004

GPS tourism

For Wandering Tourists, Help From on High. "When the G.P.S. system senses that the cart is passing one of the points in the database, the stereo plays a story or gives clear, occasionally imploring directions."

The New York Times

Emergency alerts by phone

Arizona expands Amber Alert distribution to public. "The Arizona Amber Alert system for child abduction notifications is expanding its distribution system so that people can receive them by e-mail and other high-tech means."

June 08, 2004

Virtual fences

Virtual fences to herd Wi-Fi cattle. "Virtual, moving fences controlled from a laptop could one day herd cattle to fresh fields for grazing..."
New Scientist

June 07, 2004

Virtually annotating the city

urban tapestries. "The Urban Tapestries software platform allows people to author their own virtual annotations of the city, enabling a community’s collective memory to grow organically, allowing ordinary citizens to embed social knowledge in the new wireless landscape of the city."


June 02, 2004

Texting for location

Find Nearest. "With Find Nearest you can use your Orange phone to find shops, pubs, restaurants, petrol stations and much more near you. It's easy to use and you can even use slang words like 'chippy' (fish and chip shop) or 'curry' (Indian restaurant/takeaway) or general terms like 'eat' to search for the places you want."

Location tagging

Will Location Blogging Take Off?. "We'll never believe we used to get "lost" on the way to finding a friend's place, or that we used to "just miss" seeing an old friend at a coffee house, or wondered where a picture was taken."


June 01, 2004

Wireless projectile

'Smart bullet' reports back wirelessly."Inside, the elongated projectile holds a sensor, a tiny wireless transmitter and a battery. This enables it to report back its findings to a laptop or handheld computer up to 70 metres away. It can also reusable, because compressed gas within the gun provides the propulsion."
New Scientist

May 28, 2004

Location based technologies in cars

An Architect in the City of Bits. "Once you have location awareness combined with sensing, all of the automobiles in a city can operate as part of a giant distributed scanner that builds a real-time model of the city and keeps it updated."


May 27, 2004

People as sensors in a network

Army To Deploy Hand-Held Devices To Make Every Soldier Into A Sensor . "This would bridge the [information] gap ... Information goes directly to the soldier and the soldier's information goes directly to the enterprise."

Aviation Now

May 20, 2004

Tracking people by cellphone

Mobile Phone and Asset Tracking Services . "Welcome to the revolutionary web based system that enables registered users to identify and track the location of consenting mobile phone users."


May 19, 2004

Rent cars that are near you

How does Zipcar work?. "First, you choose and reserve one of our hundreds of cars. You can do that online in about two clicks. (You can also use a phone, if you'd rather. We're easy.) Then you walk to your car's nearby location. Next, you use your Zipcard to unlock the car."


Sending SMS to another driver

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. "TEXTJAM links a vehicle's number plate to a driver's email address and sends sms text messages to the owner's mobile phone in real-time. You can send and receive email and sms text messages along with other drivers, knowing only the other driver's number plate."

May 12, 2004

Lots of small sensors that talk to one another

Building a wireless nervous system. "The devices are expected to dwindle to the size of an aspirin or grain of rice over the next several years, at which point they could be dropped into waterways to detect pollutants or embedded into asphalt in roads to monitor traffic patterns. Imagine scattering thousands of these minute devices around buildings, bridges, factories and fields, giving people the power to observe the world on a finer scale than ever before."

May 11, 2004

RFID tags in libraries

SAN FRANCISCO / Despite privacy fears, library board approves microchips to track books. "The San Francisco Library Commission -- despite concerns over privacy and civil liberties -- approved a plan Thursday to use microchips to keep track of books and other library material."


May 10, 2004

Send a text to locate an object

Text Message Your Tent. "While you can't get them in stores quite yet, a new 'Text Me Home Dome' tent has a built-in phone receiver and phone number, allowing you to send a special text message that will cause your tent to flash orange so you can pick out which one is yours"


May 04, 2004

Tracking cattle with Bluetooth

Cow Tracking Software for Palm OS. "All you have to do is stick a computer-chipped, radio frequency identification tag into a cow's ear, give a ranchhand a wireless, handheld personal digital assistant and with the wave of a bright-blue wand (the Wireless Bluetooth Tag Reader), Wyoming's 21st Century cowboy can tell you everything you want to know about that particular animal."


Impact of cellphones on public assemblies

Cell phones, cameras act as help, hindrance during riot. "Ames Police Cmdr. Jim Robinson said he thinks cell phones had an impact on the riot. "I think it did contribute to the increase in the crowd size throughout the evening," he said."
Iowa State Daily

April 17, 2004

Tracking kids in amusement parks

Danes tag kids with Bluetooth. "Parents can buy a armlet for their child for DKK 20 (about $3). Should a child wander off, they merely have to send a SMS requesting information on the particular tag. Shortly thereafter they receive a message back specifying the location of the child's nearest Bluetooth receiver. The access points can pinpoint the location down to 20 metres."
The Register

April 12, 2004

Take a photo to find your location

Photo recognition software gives location . "You are lost in a foreign city, you don't speak the language and you are late for your meeting. What do you do? Take out your cellphone, photograph the nearest building and press send."

New Scientist

Overview on RFID

The rush to RFID. "The list of potential RFID benefits is seemingly endless: greater visibility and product velocity across the supply chain, better inventory management, automatic replenishment, reduced invoice reconciliation and labor costs on the receiving dock, easier product tracing and recalls, and reduced product tampering, theft, and counterfeiting. But to get these benefits, industries will have to navigate a host of thorny challenges involving hardware and software, standards, and even business models."

April 10, 2004

WPS, the alternative to GPS

Wi-fi positioning system. "WPS is designed for the millions of laptop, tablet PC, PDA and Smartphone owners that have Wi-Fi capabilities and would like to generate driving directions, utilize proximity systems, implement vehicle/asset tracking and communicate location information to friends and coworkers."

Growth in GPS use, especially in phones

After years of struggle, GPS is taking off. "The recent surge in GPS, at least in the United States, can be largely traced to the Federal Communications Commission's E911 mandate. Under E911, cellular carriers must ensure that, by the end of 2005, 95 percent of the phones on their networks can be located by rescue workers when people dial 911."
CNET News.com

April 06, 2004

3D representation of street for in-car navigation

Sony's car navigator/multimedia player with PC dock. "Deserving of mention on the navigation front is the "motion street guide" (see pic bottom right), a 3D graphical representation of the road ahead with a golden line showing your course that looks highly detailed and probably nigh-on indispensable if you get lost as easily as we do."


April 05, 2004

Location based mobile gaming #2

Mogi: Second Generation Location-Based Gaming. "Mogi is a collecting game - "item hunt". The game provides a data-layer over the city of Tokyo. As you move through the city, if you check a map on your mobile phone screen, you'll see nearby items you can pick up and nearby players you can meet or trade with."


March 31, 2004

Ubiquitous computers by 2010

Computers to be 'oxygen of the future'. "By the year 2010, scientists predict we will be immersed in a sea of miniature computers."

March 25, 2004

Smart locations roundup

Smart places. "Tom wasn't sure exactly where he was: he looked at the screen of his mobile phone, but the map showed several streets and no red dot to say "You are here!" Luckily, there was a pub nearby, so he waved the phone past its front door to pick up his co-ordinates, which naturally came along with special offers on beer prices, a bar menu, and a singing commercial, which he cut off at once."
Guardian Unlimited

March 18, 2004

RFID to track the elderly

RFID chips watch Grandma brush teeth . "Tiny computer chips that emit unique radio-frequency IDs could be slapped on to toothbrushes, chairs and even toilet seats to monitor elderly people in their own homes."
New Scientist

March 11, 2004

Popular security features in Korean phones

Mobile Phone Companies Compete to Offer Security Services . "During an emergency the user rings the alarm bell and the phone sends text messages and automatically calls the three numbers selected as the mobile phone user's guardians."

Location based mobile gaming

Gunslingers. "By using SingTel's location positioning technology, gamers can turn Singapore into a virtual game arena, allowing them to compete against others in their vicinity by using their mobile phones."

March 08, 2004

GPS PDA finds Mecca

The Emirate 1 - The first Pocket PC Phone to help you pray towards Mecca. "Comes with built-in GPS navigation (which they tout as being able to help you find Mecca when it's time to pray)"

March 05, 2004

Faking where you are on your phone

SounderCover "SounderCover gives you the ability to add a background sound to any incoming or outgoing call, giving the impression that you really are in the environment where the background sound is normally heard."

February 27, 2004

Radar on a chip

Piercing the Fog With a Tiny Chip "The high-frequency beams that the system generates and receives may one day handle many functions, including the usual radar jobs of ranging and location. In cars, for example, the chip might be used to detect other vehicles looming in the fog."
NY Times

February 26, 2004

Wavemarket location based blogs

"WaveMarket extends recent, fast-emerging blogging technology into a wider circle. Any mobile handset user can now share information on anything--restaurants, safety warnings, missing children, truck tracking or buddy finder alerts. Through WaveMarket's "master blog," everyone becomes an instant broadcast journalist on location, and through our blog, WaveMarket becomes their distribution channel."

February 10, 2004

Foiling data theft from laptops

Article covering a range of security concerns, including archiving and file or identity theft.
Wired News

February 03, 2004

Geographic data used by cities

Cities are increasingly using Geographic Information Systems to tell them everything from where units should be placed in emergencies, to which roads shouldn't have holes dug in them.

January 30, 2004

Tracking fire engines

A digital command board for New York City firefighters.

January 20, 2004

Control over your phone location

Bell Labs have developed "rules based" software that gves users control over when others can see their location through cell phone triangulation

December 08, 2003

GPS built into phones

Here are some phones from Japan that have GPS services built into them. Rumor has it that some of them also have compasses so they can even orintate the map correctly tot he phone. Translated by Babelfish

December 03, 2003

GPS enabled phone

Currently only available in Japan, this GPS enabled camera from Ricoh stamps every photo with the precise location where it was taken.

November 18, 2003

Cellphones changing our sense of place

This Metropolis article talks about how talking on a cellphone disconnects us from our environment.
Metropolis Magazine

October 22, 2003

Tracking children in Finland

It may soon be legal in Finland for parents to track their kids, using their cell phones, even without their consent.

August 13, 2003

Smart stamps

Another article that points to the use of tags to track the location and pathways of people and things.
CNET News.com

August 11, 2003

Predicting through tracking

Using Toll tags to predict traffic drive times.
511 Driving Times

Embedded GPS

An article on embedded GPS trackers in humans.
New Scientist

Woz' latest

Steve Wozniak is pushing for GPS locator tags embedded in everything. Need to find your keys? Lost your dog?
Mercury News

Collaborative weather tracking

Haven't quite figured out how to get this online, realtime weather tracking site working, but it looks cool.