Tuesday, June 26, 2007

RFID and Second Life

Kind of easy, really. Report RFID tag-seen events almost the same way as done with mobile GPS.
* An application listens to RFID hardware for tag events. App resolves user identity and location

* App publishes data to a middleware

* 2L queries middleware for above data

* 2L displays appropriate visualization of above

Here's a pic of my building's floor plan, CAD drawing superimposed on a GIS shape file, so it's georeferenced:

Then I have this hardware in one of the suites depicted above:

Понимаешь? ;)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pic of Eric (Hsin-yueh) :-)

A new family member! Now in Taipei, soon in L.A. :)

6,603,350,897 People in Real Life ;)

6,603,350,897. That was the figure when I clicked on the US Census Bureau's population clock. At the same time, only 1,677,740 persons had visited Second Life within the past sixty days. And just imagine: 33,931 users online then, at a fairly busy time!

I don't know, it just struck me. Sometimes we get almost bored of talk about things like the 3-D Web, and take it for granted as we read about it daily in our multiple net feeds, etc., but it's not as commonly recognized as we sometimes think.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trendwatching dot Com's Take on Product "Life Storying"

Trendwatching's June/July 2007 briefing is titled (Still) Made Here and is worth reading (their briefing's are free; their annual reports are not). The title defined by Trendwatching:

"(STILL) MADE HERE encompasses new and enduring manufacturers and purveyors of the local. In a world that is seemingly ruled by globalization, mass production and ‘cheapest of the cheapest’, a growing number of consumers are seeking out the local, and thereby the authentic, the storied, the eco-friendly and the obscure."

For example, applying this to foodstuffs, you may wish to buy vegetables at your local farmers' market, co-op, or some up-scale retailer, and not from a bargain-priced mega mart. Or you may wish to purchase cabinets from a local craftsperson instead of from a famous retailer whose designs may be local in origin but whose products are "globally sourced."

Naturally, in order to indulge in such discriminating appetites you will pay a premium. But you are clever enough to imagine that river-caught fish fr
om the Pacific Northwest is preferred over the latest shipment from Zhanjiang Harbor, and you trust somehow that your relatively expensive brand of domestic toothpaste doesn't use diethyline glycol as a sweetener (even if the practice is legal in the country of manufacture).

The idea of life storying is something most of us are already familiar with, if not by name. It's really all about the origin of what we consume, and how it got to us. Especially important when concerning foods -- recall the recent California spinach contamination.

So, to know where it's been before appearing on your table, will produce be tagged, like so:

As the article suggests, such tags that can be read by a mobile device will be very nifty. Considering the full cost of the product the tag cost will be negligible. It's easy to imagine distribution of tag printers to even small agricultural enterprises. I'm not aware of it happening yet in the US, but it's interesting to read that in the UK, even individual eggs are sometimes tracked.

It's ironic that guaranteed wholesome foods produced by socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs will be priced such that only the relatively well off can afford them.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More about Bridging Real and Second Life

Some time ago I posted something about showing real-life location within Second Life. That was about being able to retrieve current GIS data and view it in 2L more than anything else, and all of the cool stuff was really outside of 2L (2L merely displayed the result of outside, server- and user-side work).

The user's cell phone reported its position to GIS, which rendered an image, and the latest map always appeared in 2L.

Conway has been blogging about his SLicer, which is a kind of messaging framework to handle communication between outside sources (i.e., real-world) and objects in 2L. Using that, we can send up user (or other entity) location reports, and have things in 2L act in response.

If you take real-world maps, render them in Second Life, do some calculations and listen for real-world reports, you can visualize a person's or other entity's real-world movements. Playing around Friday afternoon, I made the following movie. It's terrible quality, but forgive me, because it wasn't planned :)

Poor quality movie; bigger idea.

The video shows my view in 2L, watching Conway walk around Campus with my cell phone/GPS gig. In short: watch the lime green object move -- that's Mike walking around.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Not about Street View!

True story: the other day I was standing outside our building, waiting to get a GPS fix on my cell phone (although I really did know where I was), when a van slowly drove by with a camera mounted on the passenger side. It wasn't one of the fancy camera systems from Immersive Media, which is what Google licenses, though. Bummer.

But if the Google feature really takes off and doesn't get sanitized by folks overly concerned about privacy, it'll become a sport to intentionally plant easter eggs in there. Now is the time to break out those life-sized cut-outs of Chewbacca! ;)

Will a guy caught mooning be edited out? If the cute little fuel-efficient vehicle hosting the camera and system drives by a radical demonstration where signs feature controversial language, will that get tweaked?

One expects the tech blogs to be all a-twitter with OMGness, because they live for that stuff. But even the traditional media's all over this, most likely because they heard one of the street scenes captured a fellow around a porno shop. I've heard it mentioned on several talk radio programs, where callers seem to think that some advanced satellite technology is enabling the G00gle to snoop on them.