In 2020 there will be nearly 10 times as many Internet connected devices as there are human beings on this planet. The majority of these will not have web browsers. When it comes to the "Internet of Things", web designers and developers are uniquely placed to create, connect and produce innovative new ways for these devices to be used. We are used to mashing up disconnected data sets, playing with APIs and designing for constantly moving standards in order to create compelling digital user experiences. "Old school" engineers are struggling to keep pace due to long processes for product and service design but as web creators we understand the value of rapid prototyping, user feedback and quick iterations. As developers, we play daily with a bewildering array of technologies that span networks, servers and user interfaces. As designers, we understand the nature of beautiful but usable technology. These skills, and our innate understanding of how interconnectedness enhances and creates engaging user experiences, mean that web creators will be critical for the next generation of Internet enabled Things in our world. From a potplant that tweets when it needs water to crowd sourcing pollution data with sensors on people’s windows and visualising it on Google Maps these are the new boundaries of the web creator’s skills. Have you ever dreamt of sending your phone to the edge of space to take a picture of a country? Or how about a robot you can control via a web browser? By exploring examples of things in the wild right now and delving into practical guidance for for getting started, this session will demonstrate how easy it is for web designers and developers to build Internet connected and aware Things. Andrew Fisher is deeply passionate about technology and is constantly tinkering with and breaking something — whether it’s a new application for mobile computing, building a robot, deploying a cloud or just playing around with web tech. Sometimes he does some real work too and has been involved in developing digital solutions for businesses since the dawn of the web in Australia and Europe for brands like Nintendo, peoplesound, Sony, Mitsubishi, Sportsgirl and the Melbourne Cup. Andrew is the CTO for JBA Digital, a data agency in Melbourne Australia, where he focuses on creating meaning out of large, changing data sets for clients. Andrew is also the founder of Rocket Melbourne, a startup technology lab exploring physical computing and the Web of Things. Follow Andrew on Twitter: @ajfisher Licensed as Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).
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David Orban (futurist, speaker and business executive) is today’s featured guest.
The Internet is big and still growing. How it grows and where it grows changes with time. During the next few years one of its massive growth spurts will be into devices that are not physically connected to the net. This transition has already begun. It is moving into the billions of cell phones. But next will come other simpler objects, like shoes and clothes and toys and toasters.
Spimes, some people call them. What are spimes? What are the benefits and dangers of this new Internet expansion? What will be the uses and misuses? How will spimes impact people’s lives? How will portions of the Internet migrate to this Spimey Network. David Orban covers all these topics as well as the backlash Walmart and Darman each received over their use of RFID chips in their products.
In the future we may be able to find lost keys with a simple google search. Science fiction writer Bruce Sterling imagines how physical objects will be part of the internet as they become trackable in space and time. Bruce discusses the theoretical and technical challenges that we face as we try and think about and develop the Internet of Things. From Spimes to Thing Links to Blogjects, the terminology and verbal framing devices currently being used are pulled apart in this keynote address from the 2006 O’reilly Emerging Technology Conference. Sterling discusses at length how language shapes our understanding of technology. Phrases like Artificial Intelligence, he claims, have become frozen in time. This freezing of the language may have hindered the development of computers that have little to do with thinking and everything to do with linking, ranking and sorting. He advocates for a clash of sensibilites when coming up with proper terminology for remote technical eventualites. The Internet of Things may take up to thirty years to come about, so there is no reason to expect the terminology of today to fully describe realities of the future.
Much of the talk deals with the concept of using verbal framing devices to manifest an idea. Bruce introduces us to the idea of a spime, objects that are trackable in space and time. Spimes are material instantiations of an immaterial system, digitally manufactured things from virtual plans. The Internet of Things will change how we interact with objects from the moment of invention to the moment of decay. Bruce brilliantly fits these and other concepts within the intellectual millieu of the web 2.0 world.
Journalist Andrew Blum explains what and where the Internet is physically. His book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet tells the story of the Internet’s physical infrastructure and chronicles the its development, explains how it works, and takes an in-depth look inside its hidden monuments.