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City Machine


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given at ICPS 2010, Berlin, July 2010

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City Machine

  1. 1. City Machine Tim Kindberg ICPS 2010, Berlin
  2. 2. Talk Overview <ul><li>Urban Computing </li></ul><ul><li>The city as a system </li></ul><ul><li>Presence and flows of the virtual and the real </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for service design </li></ul><ul><li>Krstl </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  3. 3. Augmenting the city ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  4. 4. My background <ul><li>Ubicomp projects with an angle on the city </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cooltown (mostly interiors despite its name) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cityware </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Bristol </li></ul></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  5. 5. Based at Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Artists, designers, technologists </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  6. 6. 1/5 Introduction
  7. 7. Urban environments <ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge potential for valuable services and apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Panoply of spaces: retail, leisure, civic… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Density & volatility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immutability of much existing fabric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The urban wild </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many stakeholders; digital divide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security and privacy threats </li></ul></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  8. 8. The urban majority? <ul><li>Half the world's population lives in urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>“ In principle, cities offer a more favourable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas” (UNFPA) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Poverty is now growing faster in urban than in rural areas. One billion people live in urban slums … Although urbanization increasingly concentrates poverty, it also provides possibilities for escaping it.” (UNFPA) </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  9. 9. What if the city was a machine? <ul><li>As the web is a machine </li></ul><ul><li>Humans, software, hardware, building materials… </li></ul><ul><li>What would be its architecture? Services? Applications? </li></ul><ul><li>Its (political) geography? </li></ul><ul><li>Currently “urban computing” = standalone applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On phones and some embedded </li></ul></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  10. 10. Of course I don't mean... ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Metropolis Fritz Lang
  11. 11. Automobiles & the city ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  12. 12. Software & the city? ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  13. 13. My agenda 1. Embed the Digital in the Physical <ul><li>Useful or playful services & applications tuned to our circumstances and needs </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  14. 14. 2. The City as a System <ul><li>Rush-hour tube train: 100 iPods @ 20GB each = 2TB @ 33 km/hour => 0.2 TB/sec </li></ul><ul><li>How can we meaningfully realise such aggregations? </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  15. 15. Goal <ul><li>Urban pervasive services with wheels </li></ul><ul><li>How well does your service connect with city? </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  16. 16. 2/5 Examples
  17. 17. London congestion charge ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  18. 18. Real-time tube trains <ul><li> (API still suspended?!) </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  19. 19. Helsinki energy consumption ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  20. 20. City as a game board <ul><li>e.g. igFest games in Bristol </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 /
  21. 21. Subtlemobs (c.f. flashmobs) <ul><li>&quot;Imagine walking through a film, but it’s happening on the streets you live in” </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Duncan Speakman
  22. 22. 3/5 Presence and Flows
  23. 23. Presence & flows vs location <ul><li>In the city, location is often important but equally presence - what is around us - is significant </li></ul><ul><li>Many valuable city spaces are in between : they aren't locations that anyone has mapped </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And may not be amenable to GPS mapping </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From a wider perspective, cities are in flux </li></ul><ul><li>How does the virtual flow in relation to the real? </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  24. 24. Presence-based services <ul><li>Context is highly dynamic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>C.f. Google web crawling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Search by (what, city-proximity) instead of (what, where) </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Bluetooth/WiFi discovery </li></ul><ul><li>“ Proximity” is hard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Salience and appropriateness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convenience </li></ul></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  25. 25. Physical hyperlinks <ul><li>Borrow from web: “this thing in front of me” </li></ul><ul><li><a href= “'s_Bridge”> </a> </li></ul><ul><li>Anchor is physical </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Barcode, NFC/RFID, Infrared, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cooltown/web of things/real-world wide web </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  26. 26. Tokyo hyperlinks ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  27. 27. Cooltown, Google-style, 10 years on <ul><li>>100,000 window stickers with QR codes mailed to US restaurants, shops etc. </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  28. 28. Hyperlinks in the wild <ul><li>What is the catchment area of a hyperlink? </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 BBC Coast Mobile Experience, Glasgow
  29. 29. Embedding matrix ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Physical Virtual Explicit Digital Sign 2D Barcode Implicit Actuated Fountain Mediascape, AR
  30. 30. Physical, explicit embedding ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  31. 31. Embedding matrix ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Physical Virtual Explicit Digital Sign 2D Barcode Implicit Actuated Fountain Mediascape, AR
  32. 32. Mediascapes <ul><li>Playing a GPS/RF-triggered game at the Tower of London </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  33. 33. Augmented reality Image / location / compass <ul><li>Superimposition, pointing </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 HP’s WebSign (2001)
  34. 34. Sense and sensibility in the urban wild <ul><li>Sensors: inaccurate and readings not always available </li></ul><ul><li>How to design for that? </li></ul><ul><li>Mediascapes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt narrative for inaccuracy, local situation (seams) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AR </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Works with barcodes but doesn't scale well without them in the wild </li></ul></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  35. 35. Piazza Matteotti, Udine <ul><li>People talking on mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing the piazza (left) and lingering on the piazza (right) in the afternoon </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Joachim R. Höflich
  36. 36. Space Syntax <ul><li>Hillier and Hanson (1984) </li></ul><ul><li>Analyses cities as systems of space created by physical artefacts of architecture and urban design </li></ul><ul><li>How are aggregate human movement and other behaviours related to spatial design? </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  37. 37. ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  38. 38. Bluetooth in Bath <ul><li>About 10% of all people walking along a Bath street over various times had Bluetooth switched on and discoverable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[O’Neill et al, Ubicomp 2006] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flows of Bluetooth in Bath obeyed Space Syntax predictions, just as flows of people did </li></ul>
  39. 39. 4/5 The algebra of real life
  40. 40. Algebra <ul><li>Algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations , and the constructions and concepts arising from them </li></ul><ul><li>Abstraction </li></ul><ul><li>Solving for unknowns </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  41. 41. Spatial and temporal symmetries ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  42. 42. City abstraction: Tube map <ul><li>Remove all context but stations </li></ul><ul><li>Topology (relations) vs geometry </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Harry Beck 1931
  43. 43. Operators: Pervasive Verbs, Nouns <ul><ul><li>Inform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The GET & POST of Ubicomp at the human level? </li></ul><ul><li>System model is teleological, not ontological </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  44. 44. Discovery: solving for unknowns <ul><li>Discovery is a process in the (socio-technical-physical) city machine </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 Harbourside cafe Watershed
  45. 45. Physical twitter: discovering the hashtag for here ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  46. 46. Bluetooth names & culture of in situ media sharing ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14 self others default name association graffiti / t-shirt direct address Bluetooth “awareness” Ima kettle Pick me pick me Madonna Adam J Taylor Nokia 3230 Nokia 6280 wayne beer boy M.U.F.C OK! Free downloads? Pocket PC TomTom GO 300 Ami Anna’s phone x x carla x x Chris 07886****** Crown Jools Messy Dawg Snagglepuss The Man From Delmonte... Biker chic Bolton Everton Pezza’s girl bonjour tutti! Call_me Clear off! F*** off u **** Jokes On U Porn please Send me porn Someone’s phone Tish - Send Me Stuff! VIRUS ALERT!! 4 a gay time call 077… Béz >>}Â¥{<< Ho in training $LiK JiM MilkWasABad Choice
  47. 47. Volatility and abstraction <ul><li>Bluetooth discovery on or near a street takes a long time on many mobile phones </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong system assumption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Failure” (to obtain the name of a travelling phone) is routine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abstractions in our discovery “algebra” need to work despite this volatility </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  48. 48. Krstl <ul><li>Networked crystals: collectively programmable “content stations” for urban spaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shops, shopping centres, pubs, cafes, transport hubs,... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivery network for location- unique and location-specific content </li></ul><ul><li>WiFi and Bluetooth – any phone </li></ul><ul><li> technology </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  49. 49. Krstl <ul><li>Visitors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coupons, content, experiences that can't be (easily) obtained elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Space owners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Curate content & experiences to reverse trend to online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Campaigners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Target information/advertisement by space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>C.f. etc. </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  50. 50. Crystal journeys: crystals as content stations <ul><li>Individual human journeys </li></ul><ul><li>Journeys of services/content </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial logic: influence human journeys </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  51. 51. 5/5 Conclusions
  52. 52. Main points <ul><li>Presence and flows vs location </li></ul><ul><li>Social/material embedding & interconnections </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  53. 53. The algebra of real life <ul><li>Topology vs geometry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relations e.g. presence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teleology vs ontology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pervasive operators e.g. verbs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Narrative & experience vs services & devices </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery (solving for unknowns) is a human/computational/material process </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  54. 54. The Knowledge <ul><li>Not just the science of services but also... </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology </li></ul><ul><li>Urban planning/architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Economics </li></ul><ul><li>Urban geography </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14
  55. 55. Thank you! Questions? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>ICPS 2010, Berlin, 2010-07-14