Ok, most of you are fully aware that I am a geek. As such, I like geeky toys and whatnot. That said, I haven’t had much reason to buy anything suitably geeky in, well, forever. The technology has just never been cool enough in my opinion. A pocket PC I can also use as a mobile phone? Yawn, snore.
For years I have had this romantic notion of a personal area network (PAN) in my head. The PAN is the backbone of your own personal (some say wearable) computer which is always at hand (some say pervasive or ubiquitous). I originally thought the PAN would piggy-back on the body’s own electromagnetic field but when Bluetooth came out I decided it would have to do for now.
So, now you have your PAN what is it going to do for you? Well, another thing I believe in is the specialization rather than the generalization of devices. Rather than having a gps-enabled camera/phone/pda/modem/computer/mp3player that makes the tea, I think we should be moving more towards specific devices that perform specific tasks. These devices include:
- Audio input / output
- Easy, a Bluetooth headset, you can pick one up just about anywhere.
- Network Connectivity
- For now, a mobile phone will have to do
- Processing and storage
- Your typical pocket PC is becoming powerful and spacious enough to support the sorts of applications I am thinking of. That said, in a truly distributed personal area network, storage and processing could be distributed to the device most capable of the task.
- Video input
- This device allows you to take in video input from the world around you. Perhaps a Bluetooth enabled digital camera will do for some people, but I am thinking more along the lines of an eye-tap. The philosophy behind the eye-tap is simple: the computer sees what you see. You can take movies and stills at any time. This technology is old, very old but not in wide use today.
- Video output
- Once again the eyetap can help us here. Rather than simply recording images, we can also have images projected onto our retina. This allows for applications such as augmented reality we have heard so much (yet seen so little) about.
- We need to know where we are at all times. A Bluetooth enabled GPS mouse is a simple, cheap, low-power device that will fit into your pocket and give all the other devices on your network your most accurate location, speed and heading.
It’s this GPS mouse that I have recently discovered and has made me quite excited this weekend. All one needs to do is have a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone that can talk to the Internet (GPRS) in one pocket and one of these GPS devices in another. Then, download the free software from 3DTracking onto your phone. Bingo! Your phone can now relay your exact location onto the Internet!
Why would you want to do that? You ask why? There doesn’t have to be a reason for technology. Technology just is. Anyway, I like the idea of sousveillance really appeals to me as an existentialist.
Imagine being able to log onto a website and know precisely where I was at that given moment. Imagine also that I had my camera configured to keep track of whereI was wen I took photos. Then you could see a temporal-spacial view of where (and when) I was at each point that I took a photo. This would be fantastic if, say, I was doing a tour of soe place (let’s say Texas) and you wanted to know where I went.
I say the future is now, let’s start using some fun technology, shall we?