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The Intertubes Everywhere
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The Intertubes Everywhere


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This is a museumy version of my Ignite Cardiff presentation - I presented it at UKMW09. …

This is a museumy version of my Ignite Cardiff presentation - I presented it at UKMW09.

The basic premise is that I believe we're approaching a kind of "perfect storm" for mobile and ubiquitous computing: the dream has been around for a long time but now we're seeing network speed increasing, cost dropping, device capability improving. Now could be the time for cultural heritage to really embrace mobile...

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  • These slides will be online shortly at This is a Bruce Sterling quote.
  • Adam Greenfield first came up with this name, with his excellent book “Everware: the dawing age of ubiquitous computing”
  • Some of the ideas here have been investigated by museums. Some haven’t. But the potential is very clear, and I’ll leave it up to your considerable collective intelligence to think about what that potential is...
  • We understand the web pretty well now. Increasingly, we’re also learning that the best technology is that which we don’t notice; that which is “invisible” Sitting in front of a computer is an unnatural, non-invisible mode
  • The important thing here is that the notion of “virtual experiences” increasingly becomes one of “mixed” experience. Virtual and real becomes “virtreal” (sorry...) So we can use / browse / interact / receive feedback from the web in real scenarios
  • Could anyone with Layar installed please raise their hand? Now, could I ask everyone else to collar these people, watch it in use and then imagine what it could do for museums
  • We’re playing with RFID today. Think museums objects, ambient measurement of people moving around museum spaces. Think about how location is going to become more and more important
  • We’ve been imagining this world for a long time. What’s new?
  • Right now we’re just on the cusp of seeing the stuff we’ve imagined for so long becoming someing real, not just for geekoids but also for normal people leading normal lives...
  • So here are the “converging factors”...
  • Mobiles are pretty much 100% ubiquitous now. Capability is growing at an exponential rate
  • ..more importantly, the network infrastructure is starting to be able to cope. Getting online now is a given. Speed is...nearly a given. More to the point, mobile vendors are marketing this stuff now - again, it isn’t just for geeks. It is for your mum, too.
  • At the same time, LBS is growing - again, we’ve imagined what this means for some time now but it is only relatively recently that we’ve started to see devices like the iPhone 3GS with inbuilt compass and GPS. Even my 1st gen iPhone can tell me where I am to within a street or two...
  • The computing power of a mobile phone is enough to...put everyone on the moon. Or something. The point is, they’re getting smaller, faster, more usable
  • As the network and devices reach fuller capability, so people with the content are seeing the potential, and focusing on these new users. Adding mobile support is becoming easier. Even the new MCG site renders automatically for mobile. Although full-screen browsing is making this less important..
  • Services, as on the web, are becoming cheaper, better and faster
  • Transcript

    • 1. the intertubes, everywhere
      • "the future is already here,
      • it's just not well distributed yet"
    • 2. or, just “everyware”
    • 3. By the way
      • I’m not going to talk about museums
    • 4. so this is? ubiquitous computing data mobile web QR-tag internet virtual reality API network effects invisible technology usability services location devices identity RFID barcode feed
    • 5. real-world virtual experiences
      • virtual content is rich, clever and quick
      • ..but we don’t live in a virtual space, we live in a real one (mostly)
      • “ everyware” means looking at content merging and flowing between the two
    • 6. which means what?
      • extra layers of information
      • easily accessible
      • starting (as we’ll see) to be easy...
      • ...which means the virtual is an adjunct rather than a replacement to the “real” experience
    • 7. examples?
      • tikitag / violet / nabaztag
      • botanicalls
      • “ ambient umbrella”
      • wikitude
      • layar
    • 8. tagging and flagging
      • barcoded objects > barcoded environments
      • RFID (hello, UKMW09...)
      • Bluetooth (Cityware / Facebook)
      • ..and, yes, mobile web browsing
    • 9. “ Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before..” “ Our preliminary approach: Activate the world. Provide hundreds of wireless computing devices per person per office, of all scales” Xerox PARC, 1996
    • 10. ..but now is a special time
      • finally beginning to see a convergence of several factors which make a real, non-clunky, “invisible technology” solution possible
      • ...or at least some exciting hints which look like they’ll become everyware-like
    • 11. devices location network services content computing power invisible and everywhere
    • 12. devices Source: Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
      • we all have “a device”
      • 1.15bn new handsets last year
      • (of which 90% have colour web browser)
      • cheap, small, replaceable
      • 1.2bn “mobile web” users
      • devices themselves as sensors...
    • 13. network
      • GPRS, EDGE, 3G
      • WIFI and (possibly) WIMAX
      • cheaper
      • faster
      • more available
      • more marketed
    • 14. location
      • cell(+) location
      • gps (if you’re outside)
      • + some WIFI location
      • mobile OS starting to be location aware
      • ..but more to the point, many geocoding services available
      • ..and millions of geocoded resources
    • 15. computing power
      • (mobile) computing power is increasing at a huge rate
      • mobiles will be (are!) the platform of choice
      • at the same time, the services themselves are fast enough to cope
    • 16. content
      • vast swathes of stuff is now available via API’s, which effectively means “on any device”
      • example: 100 million CC’d images on Flickr, many of which are geocoded
      • not to mention Google..
    • 17. services
      • real-time access to services
      • realistic access times across our (nearly) ubiquitous networks
      • availability of these services is high, and they are usually free or cheap
    • 18. devices location network services content computing power now these are in place ...we can go nuts thinking about the potential
    • 19. "vastpoint sensing"
      • twitter as sensor grid
      • weather
      • hayfever
      • current mood
      • ...not to mention news
      • ambient / non-ambient crowd-sourcing
    • 20. devices as sensors
      • how about:
      • traffic reports based on real-time movement data (density, speed and direction)
      • weather data based on real-time brightness, temperature, etc
      • self-correcting maps based on crowd-sourcing gps data
      • camera? audio? altitude?
    • 21. predictions (dangerous..)
      • we'll see further increases of network and device speeds
      • ..perhaps rolling out of city-wide networks
      • ..but also understanding and embedding of the possibilities into the psyche of users
      • the tendency to move away from geek and closer to invisible
    • 22. thank you for listening
      • @m1ke_ellis
    • 23. thanks to these people too
      • “ Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing” Adam Greenfield
      • “ ..the future is already here, it’s just not well distributed yet” Bruce Sterling
      • Ti kitag ( ) / Violet ( ) / Nabaztag ( )/ Botanicall s ( ) / Am bient Umbrella ( http:// lla.html ) / Wikitude ( ht tp:// ) / Cityware ( http :// )