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“The best technology is invisible. It should get out of the way and help people live their lives.” That’s according to Amber Case, a cyborg anthropologist, who took to the stage at LeWeb in Paris today.
Case works with Esri, a next generation location platform that uses its GIS (geographic information systems) mapping software to help people understand and visualize data to make decisions based on the best information.
Case argues that we already have the best technology but it is currently invisible and that by making it visible we can achieve more.
What can you do when your phone knows where it is?
The cyborg anthropologist reckons that through simple mapping software and text messaging, we should be able to create an invisible button that allows for trigger-based interactions. Essentially, by walking into a park, your phone can detect your location and alert your friends. These actions become buttons which result in what she calls “calm technology”.
She also thinks we could see the rise of “ambient notifications” where all the processes happen in the background and data is pushed to the users. Then there is “ambient input” which tracks user location, time of day and speed.
Your phone should become a remote control for reality
Case argues that with the technology available to us today we should be able to use our mobile devices as a remote control for the physical world.
She says that Esri is currently developing geo-triggers that will be able to push really important data to you, essentially providing you with all the information you need and want without needing to find it yourself.
She believes that, through the use of trigger-based interactions and actions working as buttons, users can turn their lights on and off by simply walking in and out of the house. This is not sense-based but location-based: when your device detects that you are home, these actions are then triggered.
Data is stuck on the web
Case says one of the biggest problems with the internet of things (the theme for this year’s LeWeb Paris) is that data is stuck on the internet. She emphasises that it is important to release all that data into reality.
By pulling all that data into reality, users are able to further personalise their lives which leads to a “quantified self” that allows them to map specific datasets.
“We have frictionless data collection, but now we need frictionless data correlation,” says Case, citing the Tower of Babel as a collection of different types data — she argues the same is true of our current reality.
She says that when you correlate multiple datasets, it is possible to give meaning to data and move towards solving one of the problems the internet of things will create: data overload.
In Case’s view, the future of data and the internet of things is intelligent routing for mapping and location based services, programable homes and making invisible tech visible.