Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Person as a First Class Object or Thing

Following on from my post a couple of days ago, I'd like to elaborate a little more on the relationship between Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things within the Object Network. I alluded to the fact that the IoT can naturally embrace AR, and this is particularly true in the Object Net, because there, a person is just another "Thing"!

In fact, you've hopefully seen my 3D screenshots of a place with lights and a light sensor. Well, here is what another person using NetMash in the same room looks like:

OK, a little basic, and slightly unnerving, for an avatar, but that's just detail at this stage.. This was me visiting the room using NetMash on my daughter's phone, to be precise.

To the Object Net IoT, the user object is not so different from a light or switch: it has a URL and both sensor and actuator elements. The sensors include: GPS location, BLE location, orientation, currently looking at, currently touching or gesturing, currently saying, etc. Even heart rate and other Quantified Self parameters could be added to the user object. The actuators include: screen - tablet or glasses; gui or 3D; camera background, wall screens; sounds and vibrations, etc.

Instead of just interacting in the rather limited way that other IoT approaches afford: directly with the actual lights and switches and via apps with dedicated GUIs, the point of an AR interface in the Object Net is to make the user a first class player in its IoT, able to interact within the same logical space as any and all other Things together, to explore, observe and to act and interact just like them.

The user gets to move around and see everything there is to see about the surrounding Things at a rich, logical level - their full internal state, the links between them, their animation rules. A user can interact in a more complete, seamless and more consistent way than directly with the physical Things themselves.

Being first class also means that users can themselves be treated just like any other Thing - by lights, etc - and can feed or trigger their rules in the same way.

They can also virtually meet other users, perhaps from rooms in another town - linked and joined together with theirs by simple URLs - maybe to keep an eye on a grandparent, and their locks and lights and health.

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