Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Minecraft, Augmented Reality, and the Internet of Things...

Augmented Reality is a fundamentally 3D technology - you look around a 3D space from the vantage point of your mobile device. Thus it's a short distance from full Virtual Worlds, such as Minecraft and Second Life. You can show 3D representations of any IoT Thing around you, as I have shown in my experiments, but also show any virtual 3D object you like. The "place" or room is an example of a virtual 3D object. I've also mentioned being able to move from your own house into that of your grandparent's, which jumps the user from AR to VW, since you jump from navigating by moving the device, to navigating by on-screen controls.

You can leave notes and signs around the AR world, you can have abstract objects such as one saying "all locks closed" or a big red button to turn off all the lights in your house. You can pick up a link to your grandparent's "all locks closed" indicator, and put it onto the virtual wall of your living room, to check at any time with just a wave of your phone.

A coffee shop could have offer tickets placed in their AR place - that you could pick up and pin to the virtual wall of your AR home. Those tickets would occupy the same place as the 3D representation of the IoT light on your table, or the IoT jukebox that can take suggestions for what to play next.

One App to Rule Them All

An important difference with the Object Network approach, is that there isn't an app for the coffee shop, an app for the light, one for the jukebox and one for picking up offer tickets - there is only one app (currently NetMash) that, like a browser, can be used to engage with all and any players in the Object Network, with any shop that has Object Net beacons, any light or thermostat that operates according to Object Net principles, and so-on.

This way, you interact in an environment that seamlessly merges real and virtual, and lets you seamlessly move from place to place owned by different people, as you go through your day. From house owned by you, to street owned by the local authority, to the coffee shop owned privately, to the library, to the park. From interacting with real Things to interacting with virtual objects. All with just one app.

To achieve this level of seamless interoperability requires that everyone simply publishes their JSON or Cyrus objects in the same way, in the same formats, all linked up with URLs. Obviously harder to do than to say.

But the Web has done it, so perhaps we can.

Minecraft-style building

Since we intend to empower the users over this VW/AR/IoT "fabric" - its data and its rules - we should also allow them the same ease of building within it - especially their home and shop places.

So clearly we need to give them the same abilities, the same tools and materials, that are provided for this in Minecraft! Voxels and hand-held tools and inventories, in other words. That way, a shop owner can delegate the building of her virtual shop "place" to her 8-year old, and concentrate on the offer objects.

No comments:

Post a Comment