Web of Things
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Web of Things
How wirelessly connecting objects to the Internet can help organisations anticipate change.
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Welcoming plants to the Web of Thing

Welcoming plants to the Web of Thing | Web of Things | Scoop.it
Researchers are wiring plants to harness their intelligence and use them as organic biosensors.

 

"Italian researchers are building a network of connected "cyborg" plants (plantborgs? cyplants? cyberflora?) to use as organic biosensors. The plants are embedded with a tiny electronic device to monitor things like pollution levels, overuse of chemicals, temperature, parasites, acid rain, and communicate the data through a wireless network back to the lab."

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Trimtab-in-Training 's curator insight, February 26, 2014 5:21 AM

"Those roots sprawling out through the ground and branches reaching up into the sky are plants' eyes and ears, constantly monitoring natural chemical and physical stimuli to survive—that intelligence is why plants have been able to adapt and evolve on Earth for so many millennia, Vitaletti explains. Plants give off an electrical signal when they interact with environmental stimuli, and now scientists want to analyze those signals to glean insights from the cybernetic flora."

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Parrot Flower Power - smart sensor for your plants (CES 2013 preview)

via ces.cnet


LAS VEGAS--This is what Bluetooth was invented for: a tong you stick in the soil of your plant that tells you when to water it.


The Flower Power is a gadget that Parrot will bring to market at some stage this year -- there is no word on price yet while the company works out how much it can get away with charging. The fork has sensors that send the information they pick up from the soil of your plant via Bluetooth to an iPad app.


Once you have told the app what the plant is, it cross-references the information received with the info in its database to tell you which day it needs watering, whether it's getting enough sun, and if it's hot or cold.

You can move the tongs to different plants, and see information on them all on your tablet screen. It also works on lawns.

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This Tiny Gizmo Could Be A Very Big Deal In 2013 - And Beyond

This Tiny Gizmo Could Be A Very Big Deal In 2013 - And Beyond | Web of Things | Scoop.it
A $70 gizmo from Leap Motion could change the way we interact with computers - and eventually, lots of other things, too.


Wired called this "the best gesture-control system we've ever tested." The Verge called it "the next big thing in computing."


Leap Motion has already received preorders worth tens of millions of dollars, says Andy Miller, the company’s president and COO. (...)


Because Leap Motion has big plans. Laptops and desktops are just the start. “The consumer is side a way of getting it out there, but the bigger business might be licensing deals,” Miller says. “We have been contacted by thousands of businesses that want to use this.”


He reels off potential applications that range from robotic surgery to fighter jets, from semiconductor clean rooms to fast-food restaurant kitchens. “We’ve talked about seatback screens on planes,” he says. “Climate control systems. Set-top boxes and TVs and remote controls. Tablets. MRIs.”


McDonald’s and Jack in the Box like the idea of putting Leap Motion controllers in their kitchens so that workers can manipulate screens without having to touch them.


Others want to use Leap Motion in casinos, nightclubs and DJ booths to let people control huge video boards.


“This is a big thing that really could change the way we interact with devices,” Miller says.


Dan Lyons / read write 

24 Dec 2012



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On Sale At Last: Twine, Your Gateway To The Internet Of Things

On Sale At Last: Twine, Your Gateway To The Internet Of Things | Web of Things | Scoop.it

A year ago, two MIT Media Lab graduates raised half a million dollars on Kickstarter to create Twine, a cigarette-pack-sized chunk of Internet magic that promised to turn any object in your home into a web-connected, interactive "smart product."...


Flip the rubbery, featureless box over on its back and two instructions reveal themselves: "Place this side up," and "go to Twinesetup.com." From there, configuring Twine feels like an adventure instead of a chore. Wow, it just connected to the Web by itself … Now a little light is turning on … Whoa, now I can see an image of it in my Web browser, sensing the temperature … What will this thing do next?


With Twine, building your own personal "Internet of things" is supposed to be easier than programming a VCR. And now that the product is available for purchase, it looks like creators John Kestner and David Carr have very nearly delivered on that ambitious promise.


John Pavlus

27 Nov 2012


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Future iPads to Implement Vicinity Sensors for Enterprise Use - Patently Apple

Future iPads to Implement Vicinity Sensors for Enterprise Use - Patently Apple | Web of Things | Scoop.it
On June 30, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals various new advanced vicinity sensors coming to future iPads.


New vicinity sensors coming to the iPad include RFID, Infrared and Ultrasonic. The latter utilizes advanced 3D scanning and imaging capablilities. The advanced sensors are designed to locate office equipment anywhere within an enterprise and could actually devise floor plans to properly located devices. Users will also be able to drag document icons to the printer or videos and/or art to a video projector for a presentation using Keynote or Power Point. Without a doubt, Apple is aiming to further advance the iPad into the enterprise. (...)


For example, one or more of an indoor GPS, a Bluetooth antenna, a radio frequency identification (RFID) device, an ultrasonic device, an infrared device, and so forth, may be used to determine if apparatuses are in the vicinity. In some embodiments, the same technology used to find devices in the vicinity of the electronic device may be used to determine the identification of the device. For example, RFID may be used to determine the presence of a particular device and the device's identifying information. In other embodiments, a first technology may be used to determine if apparatuses are in the vicinity of the electronic device and a second technology may be used to obtain identifying information. More information on this is presented below under "Indoor Global Positioning Scheme."



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Smart Body, Smart World: The Next Phase of Personal Computing

Smart Body, Smart World: The Next Phase of Personal Computing | Web of Things | Scoop.it

The next wave of growth in personal computing won’t come from PCs (obviously) or even phones, but from sensor-laden devices.


(...) Sometimes these sensor-laden devices are called the Internet of Things, but I don’t think that fully captures the phenomenon I’m describing. I call it “Smart Body, Smart World,” because the devices themselves (the “things”) are not the point — it’s about the data they collect, the way the data is interpreted, and the smarter decisions we make when we have access to these sensor-sourced data and insights.


Sarah Rotman Epps (@srepps) is a Senior Analyst serving Consumer Product Strategy professionals at Forrester Research. To learn more about this research, visit the full report here.

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Digits Hand Tracker: Freehand 3D Computer Interaction Without Gloves

Digits, a wrist-worn gloveless sensor developed by Microsoft Research in Cambridge, U.K., enables 3-D computer interaction in any environment and is practical beyond computer gaming. Please find the video with more technical details here


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Big Data in Your Blood

Big Data in Your Blood | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Sensors of your heart, blood, and brain are coming to market. These may be a boon to science and personal health. For the companies involved, they may be goldmines of intimate real-time data on millions of subjects.


Later this year, a Boston-based company called MC10 will offer the first of several “stretchable electronics” products that can be put on things like shirts and shoes, worn as temporary tattoos or installed in the body. These will be capable of measuring not just heart rate, the company says, but brain activity, body temperature and hydration levels. Another company, called Proteus, will begin a pilot program in Britain for a “Digital Health Feedback System” that combines both wearable technologies and microchips the size of a sand grain that ride a pill right through you. Powered by your stomach fluids, it emits a signal picked up by an external sensor, capturing vital data. Another firm, Sano Intelligence, is looking at micro needle sensors on skin patches as a way of deriving continuous information about the bloodstream.

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"Flex of a Finger" Biometric Control

ReadwriteWeb writes:

 

"Microsoft applied for a patent on electromyography (EMG) controlled computing on Thursday, suggesting that a future smart wristwatch or armband might simply detect a user’s muscle movements and interpret them as gestures or commands. The “Wearable Electromyography-Based Controller” could also use a network of small sensors attached to the body, all communicating wirelessly with a central hub.

 

Microsoft first treated the human body as just another input device when it launched the Kinect sensor, which tracks a user’s face and body via an onboard camera. Computing via brainwaves has also been proposed as an alternative method of input. Finally, EMG-controlled devices, such as prosthetics, have been talked about for some time. Still, all three methods have their challenges.Comments

In the future, Microsoft apparently believes, people may simply twitch their fingers or arms to control a computer, game console or mobile device.

 

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/microsoft-tech-to-control-computers-with-a-flex-of-a-finger.php

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Disruptor of the Day: Joshua Smith – A Researcher on The Cutting Edge of Sensor Technology [Q&A]

Sensors are everywhere around us from smartphone touchscreens to elevator buttons to thermostats. These sensor devices, which receive and respond to a signal, are a linchpin of the so-called “Internet of Things.” As they become smaller, cheaper and require less power they are being deployed in more places that we encounter every day — whether we are aware of it or not.

 

Nice interview w/ MIT researcher Joshua Smith.

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Which sensors are coming to your next smartphone? | mobihealthnews

Which sensors are coming to your next smartphone? | mobihealthnews | Web of Things | Scoop.it

According to an interview with the general manager of the MEMS division of STMicroelectronics, Benedetto Vigna, smartphones will soon offer up a whole slew of new embedded sensors that could help to make mobile health services more accessible.

 

The introduction of extra sensors into consumer phones and other devices will really be just the first step into finding sensors everywhere according to Vigna. He states that in the next few years we will be seeing sensors in our socks, shoes, glasses and household fixtures like the garbage can — all aimed at measuring a person’s environmental health factors.

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Knut internet-connected sensor keeps you in the know via email

Knut internet-connected sensor keeps you in the know via email | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Much like the Twine device that we saw last November, and the more recent Electric Imp, the Knut is a small sensor-equipped module that enables you to remotely monitor equipment and spaces in your home. The Knut comes equipped with a temperature sensor so that you can monitor the temperature of your wine refrigerator, humidor, basement, etc. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and can send out alerts and information to its owner by way of email and text message.

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Oscillating gels may one day grant robots a sense of touch

Oscillating gels may one day grant robots a sense of touch | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Researchers at MIT and the University of Pittsburgh have successfully resuscitated non-oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel by exerting a mechanical force: a process akin to the resuscitation of a human heart. By exhibiting a chemical response to a mechanical stimulus (a rare feat for non-living matter), it's thought the material could lead to the development of artificial skin that would enable robots to feel and self-repair.

 

"Think of it like human skin, which can provide signals to the brain that something on the body is deformed or hurt," said Anna Balazs, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering at Pittsburgh. "This gel has numerous far-reaching applications, such as artificial skin that could be sensory - a holy grail in robotics."

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Welcome To A Fully Programmable World Where All Objects Act as One

Welcome To A Fully Programmable World Where All Objects Act as One | Web of Things | Scoop.it

We are surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about how we live and what we do. Soon we'll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, and even save our lives.

 

Imagine a factory where every machine, every room, feeds back information to solve problems on the production line. Imagine a hotel room (like the ones at the Aria in Las Vegas) where the lights, the stereo, and the window shade are not just controlled from a central station but adjust to your preferences before you even walk in. Think of a gym where the machines know your workout as soon as you arrive, or a medical device that can point toward the closest defibrillator when you have a heart attack. Consider a hybrid car—like the new Ford Fusion—that can maximize energy efficiency by drawing down the battery as it nears a charging station.

 

There are few more appropriate guides to this impending future than Hawkinson, whose DC-based startup, SmartThings, has built what’s arguably the most advanced hub to tie connected objects together. At his house, more than 200 objects, from the garage door to the coffeemaker to his daughter’s trampoline, are all connected to his SmartThings system. His office can automatically text his wife when he leaves and tell his home A/C system to start powering up.

 

In this future, the intelligence once locked in our devices now flows into the universe of physical objects. Technologists have struggled to name this emerging phenomenon. Some have called it the Internet of Things or the Internet of Everything or the Industrial Internet—despite the fact that most of these devices aren’t actually on the Internet directly but instead communicate through simple wireless protocols. Other observers, paying homage to the stripped-down tech embedded in so many smart devices, are calling it the Sensor Revolution.

 

But here’s a better way to think about what we’re building: It’s the Programmable World. After all, what’s remarkable about this future isn’t the sensors, nor is it that all our sensors and objects and devices are linked together. It’s the fact that once we get enough of these objects onto our networks, they’re no longer one-off novelties or data sources but instead become a coherent system, a vast ensemble that can be choreographed, a body that can dance. Really, it’s the opposite of an “Internet,” a term that even today—in the era of the cloud and the app and the walled garden—connotes a peer-to-peer system in which each node is equally empowered. By contrast, these connected objects will act more like a swarm of drones, a distributed legion of bots, far-flung and sometimes even hidden from view but nevertheless coordinated as if they were a single giant machine.

 

For the Programmable World to reach its full potential, we need to pass through three stages. The first is simply the act of getting more devices onto the network—more sensors, more processors in everyday objects, more wireless hookups to extract data from the processors that already exist. The second is to make those devices rely on one another, coordinating their actions to carry out simple tasks without any human intervention. The third and final stage, once connected things become ubiquitous, is to understand them as a system to be programmed, a bona fide platform that can run software in much the same manner that a computer or smartphone can.

 

Once we get there, that system will transform the world of everyday objects into a design­able environment, a playground for coders and engineers. It will change the whole way we think about the division between the virtual and the physical. This might sound like a scary encroachment of technology, but the Programmable World could actually let us put more of our gadgets away, automating activities we normally do by hand and putting intelligence from the cloud into everything we touch.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Tom Leckrone
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CAEXI BEST's curator insight, May 15, 2013 5:21 PM
Bienvenue dans un monde entièrement programmable où tous les objets agissent comme un seul
Tom Leckrone's curator insight, May 26, 2013 10:03 AM

Excerpt: "The third and final stage, once connected things become ubiquitous, is to understand them as a system to be programmed, a bona fide platform that can run software in much the same manner that a computer or smartphone can." 

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The Internet of Things Starts to Bear Fruit « A Smarter Planet Blog

The Internet of Things Starts to Bear Fruit « A Smarter Planet Blog | Web of Things | Scoop.it

So, what exactly is bringing the Internet of Things to fruition? A big factor is the plunging cost of connectivity, which is being driven by the emergence of Heterogeneous Networks (often referred to as “HetNets”). HetNets offer a way to increase the density and bandwidth available to mobile devices. 


To give you an idea of their potential scale, Free.fr, one of the world’s first HetNets, located in France, has more than 4 million WiFi hotspots connected to the  network and enjoys data transfer costs that are probably far below $1 per gigabyte. (...)


The second major factor driving the Internet of Things is the explosion of low-cost, smart, standardized sensor networks. Consumer hobbyists are leading the way here. Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects is hosting numerous sensor projects that are designed to enable consumers to rapidly deploy and utilize large numbers of sensors around the home and office.


Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular recent initiatives in this space. The company has created a credit card-sized computer that integrates with physical devices like TVs and keyboards to give users PC functionality, such as spreadsheets and word processing, without having to buy a computer. Designed for hobbyists, it starts at a mere $25.


Another interesting initiative is Sensordrone, a multi-sensor device for smartphones that was recently funded by Kickstarter that gives phones even more capabilities, like connecting to printers. In another development, Nokia pledged to push the envelope in terms of adding new and innovative sensors and geo-location capabilities to their phones.


By Paul Brody 

30 Dec 2012


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Kinect component maker to launch compact 3D sensor to fit in smartphones - Macworld Australia

Kinect component maker to launch compact 3D sensor to fit in smartphones - Macworld Australia | Web of Things | Scoop.it
PrimeSense, which developed the 3D sensing technology used in Microsoft’s Kinect, is set to unveil a compact 3D sensor that can fit into a variety of consumer electronic devices.

The Capri 1.25 embedded 3D sensor is around one-tenth the size of PrimeSense’s current generation of 3D sensors, the Israeli company said Tuesday in a press release. Capri has improved 3D sensing algorithms, it said.

Apple’s control through patents over many elements of touch-based user interfaces discourages competitors from innovating in this area, Malik Saadi, principal analyst with Informa Telecoms & Media, said Wednesday. Many vendors are looking into alternatives, like touch-free gesture recognition that can be facilitated by 3D sensors, he said.

Samsung is looking at gesture recognition and will probably be deploying it next year or soon after, Saadi said.

Voice and gesture recognition are key to the future of smartphones, Saadi said. The combination of touch with voice and gesture recognition will very likely lead to a superior user experience and innovative application development, he said.

- Macworld Australia
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MIT's Wearable Sensor Pack Turns First Responders Into Digital

MIT's Wearable Sensor Pack Turns First Responders Into Digital | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Robots have seemingly unlimited potential when it comes to search and rescue operations - they can enter hazardous environments, quickly map dangerous areas for first responders, and help establish communication links and a game plan for larger recovery and triage efforts. But in these scenarios, humans aren't going anywhere. We still need breathing, thinking bodies on the ground. So a team at MIT has built a wearable sensor pack that can "roboticise" human first responders, allowing the first person into a dangerous environment to digitally map it in realtime, just like a robot.


The prototype platform consists of a variety of sensors - accelerometers, gyroscopes, a camera, and a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) rangefinder, among others - affixed to a sheet of plastic roughly the size of a tablet computer, which is in turn strapped to the user's chest. These sensors wirelessly beam data to a laptop, allowing others to remotely view the user's progress through an environment. It also allows the sensor platform to build a digital map of the area as the user moves through it, providing the responders that follow with far more situational awareness than they would have otherwise.


Australian Popular Science

Clay Dillow

25 Sep 2012

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DVICE: Throwable camera sensor acts as a smartphone-controlled scout

DVICE: Throwable camera sensor acts as a smartphone-controlled scout | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Created by Bounce Imaging, the tennis ball-sized device is equipped with six cameras that allow it to send back a 360-degree view of its environment. Those cameras can take up to 2 photos per second, after which the images are sent back to the user's smartphone. The device is also fitted with sensors that give it the ability to send back environmental data such as temperature and the presence of dangerous gases. According to the company's founder, Francisco Aguilar, future versions of the device will also feature a Geiger counter, offering data on radioactivity levels in environments such as damaged nuclear plants.


See video.

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Towards a sensor commons | Technology Treason

Towards a sensor commons | Technology Treason | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Summary via postscapes


Andrew Fisher @ajfisher put together a lengthy post on Tuesday titled "Towards a sensor commons"


Begins with:

"The action taking place is the creation of what I call the Sensor Commons. Why is this a revolution? Because as a population we are deciding that governments and civic planners no longer have the ability to provide meaningful information at a local level."


Definition:
"For me the Sensor Commons is a future state whereby we have data available to us, in real time from a multitude of sensors that are relatively similar in design and method of data acquisition and that data is freely available whether as a data set or by API to use in whatever fashion they like.


My definition is not just about “lots of data from lots of sensors” – there is a subtlety to it implied but the “relatively similar in design and method of data acquisition” statement."


and then goes on to break down 5 things he thinks are requirements for the Sensor Commons:

  1. Gain trust
  2. Become dispersible
  3. Be highly visible
  4. Be entirely open
  5. Be upgradeable
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The Sensing Planet: Why The Internet Of Things Is The Biggest Next Big Thing

The Sensing Planet: Why The Internet Of Things Is The Biggest Next Big Thing | Web of Things | Scoop.it
About a decade ago, I would stand in the middle of a square somewhere and imagine that everything I saw could and would one day be possibly connected.

 

In my mind that was not such a new idea. Animists in Africa and Asia have for centuries talked about "living" inanimate objects, believing that things had a soul and taking good care of them. Humans are meaning-making machines, so we invest inanimate landscapes and objects with all kinds of qualities that they cannot really possess.


Ten years on, that daydream is becoming a reality with the Internet of Things. Loosely defined as a global process to enhance all objects with some kind of digital address, IoT is already coming to you: to your home as the smart meter that will streamline all your electrical appliances; to your connected car that will have distance sensors and eCall to alert accidents; and to your body as a patch in an intelligent T-shirt or the Siemens hearing aid that aims to pick up the fire truck noise and soften it before you “hear” it. In terms of "the next big thing" this is as big as fire and the book.

 

And it’s inevitable. Why? Because a confluence of historical factors has come together to make what was once the domain of science fiction a reality. Let’s quickly take a look at those drivers.


Rob Van Kranenburg @ FastCompany


Via Jose Murilo, P2P Foundation, Flemming Funch
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Cheap, Pressure-Sensing ‘Electronic Skin’ - IEEE Spectrum

Cheap, Pressure-Sensing ‘Electronic Skin’ - IEEE Spectrum | Web of Things | Scoop.it
Seoul researchers have developed an easy-to-fabricate, membrane-based strain gauge system that’s as sensitive (and almost as flexible) as human skin...

 

... sensitive enough to feel the fall of water droplets, a human pulse in the wrist, and even the whisper-light tread of a lady-bug walking across the “electronic skin.”

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Oakland Getting First Urban Network of CO2 Sensors - Environment - GOOD

Oakland Getting First Urban Network of CO2 Sensors - Environment - GOOD | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Oakland's extensive network of CO2 detectors should help us figure out whether California's new cap-and-trade system is working.


It is called The BEACON network and many of the senors are to be placed on the roofs of local schools, "in an effort to get students thinking about CO2 and its effects on the climate." - @ddrrnt

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Mobile and the Internet of Things enable contextual-intelligence

Mobile not only increases the reach of services but it provides additional context, such as location and presence. Location technologies–such as triangulation, wireless location signatures, and GPS–will be combined to provide rich indoor and outdoor location for both people and things. In the future, embedded sensors that provide environmental conditions such as humidity and temperature will be commonplace. Sensors will provide another aspect of context that services can tap into.


For example, your mobile device has access to your calendar so it knows if you’re running late for a meeting in downtown L.A. It can alert your car to connect to services like Streetline to help you find an available (sensor-enabled) parking spot while alerting your manager that you’re late. Other examples could link contextual attributes, such as presence and location, with enterprise social software. Instead of using a paging system, a nurse could use enterprise social software on a tablet to locate an available cardiologist on the third floor of a hospital and a defibrillator on the fourth floor.

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Mariana Soffer's comment, June 19, 2012 8:40 AM
very interesting
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What will the future look like?

What will the future look like? | Web of Things | Scoop.it

Professor Peter Cochrane, chairman and director of Cochrane Associates, said mankind has become highly dependent on machines to get nearly everything done in the life. Therefore the world is currently challenged by a rising tide of complexity and enclosure of machines used for transportation, weather systems and the gathering of seismic data.

 

Prof Cochrane referred to computers as ‘dumb'. He believes in spite of their capabilities, they still put a large part of the work on their users. Likewise, he said the internet burdens surfers with much effort with the requirement of data input for information research — time that could be invested more wisely in creativity output.


"We need artificial intelligence and machines that bring new levels of creativity. We must have sensors, but not necessary processing power or memory. Sensors have to be entropic in order to make changes using models and building layers of complexity over time," he said. "Laptop computers are dumb as they don't have sensors or adaptability. We are rolling out intelligent sensors, and our future machines will see, hear, smell, detect and communicate."


The future outlined by Prof Cochrane is essentially the ushering in of the age of the internet of things, which refers to uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an internet-like structure. The term was first used by Kevin Ashton in 1999.

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tōd:Connect Real World Actions to Mobile Devices and the Web

tōd (pronounced "toad") is an exciting and powerful new way to connect your mobile device* to the world around and right in front of you, using our bite-sized ultra low power Bluetooth 4.0 enabled Smart Beacons.

 

Simply attach or place a tōd Smart Beacon, that can run for years on a single coin-cell battery onto anything, anywhere you want to extend mobile device or web functionality. Or, you can interact with Smart Beacons placed by others that you are allowed to connect with.

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