Sunday, 12 January 2014

Linking Things up: from house to street to city to the world

Yesterday I referred to the way that, with the Object Network, you could have a link to a grandparent's house, or rather its virtual places, from yours, so that you could navigate virtually there just like you can navigate around your own house, checking on the lights and locks and perhaps medical sensors.

This only needs a URL - say from your hallway place object to their hallway place object. You could walk to your own hallway holding up the AR view, then carry on walking on the screen right into the grandparent's house to see that everything was all right.

Actually, you could link to the council-provided street object, and then either physically or virtually go out into the street. You could read a note telling you when the next recycling collection was due. Not IoT, more abstract-virtual than real Things. But the Object Net doesn't distinguish between them. There could also be actual public or council-run Things, perhaps to do with lighting or traffic sensors.

Of course, other folk out in the street looking around would be visible to you, and you could chat if you were friendly.

Maybe if you looked back at their houses, you'd see, not their private IoT network, but a set of publically-visible places, perhaps advertising some event or hobby or interest. Or virtual seasonal decorations, that sync up with the real Things.

If you walked, in reality or virtually, into town, you would be met by ongoing links coming out from the places you've been to, or new ones advertised by beacons you pass. You've seen all the examples of course, of how shops and art galleries could be augmented. But in the Object Net, they can be linked up, too.

In fact, the Object Net can form a seamless, global network of Things all linked up. No silos, not even any "applications". It will be an unbroken fabric of linked-up real and virtual objects that surrounds you everywhere you go.

It's not just a static "read-only" fabric either: it's interactive. You could be allowed to leave notes for friends in certain places, and you'd be able to pick up a link to anything you see and then plonk it down anywhere you are allowed to.

When entering the park on your bike, you could grab the link of a notice telling you today's park closing hours, and attach it to your virtual wall at home, ready to read it when you return, simply by holding up your AR view on your phone to the real wall.

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