Great Presentation about Contexetual Services

It explains the difference between PC internet and mobile internet very well and helps you understand how contextual services will be beneficial for individuals and cooperation’s. Great to see others get on this “physical world interfacing” & “contextual services” bandwagon and explain it so well. We’re defining a whole new business category!

Love the design of the presentation too, you glide on through the 128 slides with ease, get the message and only slightly miss the voice over.

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“Normal” Dutch House Full of Mobile Domotica

Mr. Enver Tanriverdi from the Dutch town of Nieuwegein has fully automated his house. Although I have seen many of these examples in lab-situations, I never saw this implemented to such a level in a normal home. Where an entire family lives!

The cool thing is that this guy has installed and programmed it all himself, and is controlling his curtains, lights, heating, webcams (in children’s rooms) through his mobile.

Watch the video and full article here (in Dutch, source AD):

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The VRM Future will be Mediated by Bots

I just saw and heard the presentation by Daniel Suarez called “Daemon: Bot-Mediated Reality” over at Fora.TV. I was impressed. What put me to this were the repeated recommendations from Jyri Engeström.

Watch it now here or download it (via free registration) and watch, listen or read it later (or order the book). Its an hour and definitely worth it.

Bots are automated/autonomous programs that do things. And their power and their numbers are growing. Growing a lot. This combines to an intelligence like system enabled by ubiquitous connectivity and computation which in turn leads to paths like Kevin Kelly’s machine (article) and Kurzweils singularity. How this will be in detail we can not see, yet the direction is clear. But that is the far future.

A bit closer is what we can do now. Now, today, the Project VRM is developing projects to make their vision happen. A vision of a set of tools, technologies and services that help individuals go to market and manage relationships with vendors. And, in turn, vendors who align themselves to these tools, technologies and services will have the opportunity to build better relationships with their customers.

Projects like the Mine or even Dataportability and OpenID which are ‘outside’ of Project VRM are working towards making the VRM vision happen. These are the tools in development in order to make a VRM world. And these tools, these protocols enable us to ‘talk’ VRM. To build our conversation between individuals and vendors.

The trick is how to cope with the ever complexifing world. As you experience the overload of email and tweets every day this will also happen with a VRM situation full of requests, feeds and api links enabling VRM. So how do we cope? I see that bots will be the answer.

Bots that know where we are, how we feel and what we do, that now our context and manage our incoming and out going conversation, that manage our reputation and ping us humans when needed. They do it already in World of War craft as Suarez tells us (select chapter 7: The Sophistication of Game Bots). In your email you have started already by making filters, the next step is that you make a Yahoo pipe or a Apple script to help you cope. And SPRX is doing its bit by developing Zcapes which will know your context and help you use your shared situation.

Today the tools, protocols and rules of VRM are being developed. Tomorrow the VRM conversation will start and lots of the talking will not done by ourselves, it will be done by Bots. The VRM Future will be Mediated by Bots.

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Screen Literacy is still on my Mind

The last week I read an article that is still on my mind. Its Becoming Screen Literate by Kevin Kelly.

The article gave me a new insight. Kelly explains how we ‘grew’ up with word and paragraph based logic, argumentation and communication since the invention of movable type. Why an ‘author’ is an ‘authority’.

And that this is changing. Changing into image and video based communication. How everybody can make video’s, how people make their own versions of movies and how all the screens around us communicate more with images then words. We are moving from one form of literacy to another. A transition from ‘book fluency to screen fluency’ as he calls it.

I see this in my own work too. I compose presentation with images found in Flickr. And I just made a proposal in keynote where the visualized project flow also contains the key information: the needed budget and planning.

Mobile is a screen too. And we are already composing and communicating with the images and video’s we capture and send with our mobiles. When I play with Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers iPhone music app Bloom I make music and create visuals without using any words.

Just by tapping, I create.

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Written by Maarten in: Design, Magic Wand, Trends | Tags: , , , , , ,

Most useful tool while on holiday: GPS phone + Google Maps

Last week, while enjoying a fanastic holiday in Sicily (Italy), I found out that there was just one item I couldn’t have missed: my GPS-enabled N82 mobile phone - working seamlessly together with Google Maps.

Even though we had enough maps and card-reading skills on board (I simply love maps and both my boyfriend and I are good at navigating), we have been thanking Saints Nokia and Google a few times for having helped us out.

Being used to Dutch traffic and roadsigns (all extremely well organized), Sicilian traffic and wayfinding takes some getting used to.

Apart from really needing all your sensors to stay concentrated on traffic alone ['Keeping your lane" doesn't really exist, there were easily 5 rows of traffic on a 2-lane + safety lane motorway], road exit signs are simply very hard to find. And usually placed after an exit, amongst all kinds of other highly distracting signs.

We therefor used Google Maps, together with regular maps and route descriptions from our picturesque yet sometimes quite remotely located Agriturismos and hotels.

It works so easily. Just press “0″ and the GPS tells you immediately where you are. Zooming in and out, scrolling - it is all so incredibly intuitive. The fact that you can choose any level of (non)-detail via Google Maps makes it very easy to get an overview of the entire journey and of the details.

Satellite mode

We also used the ‘Satellite’ mode (= Google Earth) multiple times, for example to find ourselves a nice beach on our way to the next destination or  to locate the ‘teatro Romano’ (lower right on the picture) from our location near the ‘teatro Greco’ (upper left) in Sicacusa.

Again, the roadsigns at that point didn’t help us out, Google Earth did.

We didn’t even use the ’search’ option for finding restaurants this time - this time we simply chose to follow our real life eyes, ears and nose to find lovely places to eat and drink…

So, where will this lead to?

Currently, there were no usable other mobile location services available for Sicily yet, apart from some very simple (but not so interesting) Lonely Planet content. But how would we have loved to get more information about the wonderful monuments ready at hand. However, this is just a matter of time- I’m sure that by next summer many of these services will be available. In the iPhone app store, you can already try out Wikime (link to article in Dutch).

My dream would be to point the camera of my phone at all of the archeological sites which make Sicily (and many other tourist destinations on this planet) so special - and see in the screen of my camera:

  • how this site looked like in the old days
  • how the people looked like, and what they were doing at that moment

This type of ‘Augmented Reality’ via your regular mobile phone is also only a few years away.

It could radically change the way we live our holidays… If we want to, of course. Luckily there’s always the possibility to switch off your mobile, simply get lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere and phantasize about how life and the historic sites could have looked like a long, long time ago.

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