Since seeing a presentation by Andy Stanford-Clark of IBM on “Tweetjects” – objects that tweet. It’s not just tweeting though. The promise of “augmented reality” is that objects around us will be able to capture, store, transmit and even analyse the data associated with them. Think about it – every object you can see around you has some data that might be useful (is the front door locked? how long has light bulb got to go before it burns out and needs replacing? how warm is that bath water?).
The most obvious next step is to put sensors into everything. Well, everything from which data might be useful. But a few steps beyond that is getting these objects to analyse their own data and do something useful for it – especially interacting directly with other objects.
The best example of the potential for this is when motor cars can communicate directly with each other, and with the world around them. And then make driving decisions based on this information. Volkswagen is one company putting quite a lot of resources into this concept. C3World (Connected Cars in a Connected World) is one of VW’s partners in this, and their website is very interesting. An extract from the front page:
In the future, cars will be ever more intricately networked with the flows of data that surround us. Vehicles will communicate with each other to provide drivers and passengers with information that is relevant to safety and which enhances comfort and convenience. This could be a hazard warning about a broken-down vehicle on the planned route, but it could also be navigation instructions to the nearest vacant car park, the current calendar of events in the city you are driving to, or a list of music tracks copied onto the portable MP3 player the day before. The basis for this is the robust and secure wireless transmission of information within the vehicle and between the vehicle and its environment.
PopSci has also reported on this recently, taking the concept to accident avoidance and navigation aids. That’s a great start, but so much more is possible using these concepts!