Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Internet of Things - Tags and Memory - Tales of Things


Linking thoughts, visions and memory to real object has so far been surprisingly difficult and complicated. Only when you start thinking about recording a message related to an object and making it available in relation, you realize how impossible this currently is. A number of projects are under way storing and making memories accessible such as the BBC Memoryshare. But it is not related to actual objects or locations.
Well actually not any longer this changes and the web of things becomes reality. Online projects are under development. Here at CASA we have just launched today a project specifically focused on the relationship on the object and the related memory: Tales of Things.
This project comes out of the Totem Labs funded by the Digital Economy and is developed in a collaboration between Brunel University, Edinburgh College of Art, University College London, University of Dundee, University of Salford. CASA is involved in the development of the technical elements of this project.
Tales of Things allows you to link any object with the internet as a place to store memory and thoughts. This link is established via an unique tag, a 2D barcode. This tag is machine readable and specific software can read it via built in cam or web cam and direct you to the linked content. The link can be any content from info and text to multimedia files.
This could become very interesting for trading, e.g. ebay and libraries or museums. The underlying concept is not new and visionairs have fantasised about it for long, but only now the technology and the practice is available to make it happen.
It is one of these ideas that could potentially change the way we interact and process data and information, in a very practical sense brings the virtual and the real world closer together.


Image taken from taesofthings.com / Project logo.

It is currently a bit hard to get at these tags, I mean to find taged objects, until a number of stuff has been taged. So unless you start making your own, HERE, you can only follow other's tales.
It is simple to create your own. Take an picture of the Thing, upload it, give it a name and keywords so that others can find it. You can then write a blurb about your memory or paste the URL of anything from a video clip to a normal website to link it. So your all set! If someone scans the code, automatically the provided information and links will be shown. Your visions and thoughts or memories will be accessible to others.

The most important bit really is the iPhone app! It is available in the app store, in time for the launch, that was lucky guys!

The project has been presented at the CASA conference by Andy from DigitalUrban, it has a twitter account as well as a blog and first reviews and comments were published by the NewScientist, Wired and the Guardian.

So how does it work? Here is a first example, I created a note for one of my everyday objects and linked it to a clip on youtube. Get the iPhone app, scan the barcode and see where it takes you!

QRC_notebook

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