Thursday 25 June 2009

Linking the activities in the physical world to actions in the digital/virtual

Currently we have an assignment in our Pervasive Computing class that asks students to design and develop a system where actions are associated with artifacts. Technically students should develop a web based solution using RFID. Apropos RFID, … if you look for a good introduction on RFID read Roy Want's IEEE Pervasive Magazin paper [1].

We use the hardware from (Ztamp:s and Mir:ror) as the focus is on the concept and application and not on the underlying technology. To ease development Florian and Ali have developed a little system that offers WebCallBacks (students can register a URL and that is called when a tag is read).

Linking by tagging of objects has been well explored, e.g. [2] and [3], and I think it is about time that this technologies will make an impact in the consumer market - the technology gets cheap enough now (and perhaps one of our students has a great idea).

Some years back (in the last millennium) a company tried to push linking of paper adverts and digital content with the CueCat ( - I was impressed and inspired at that time but in my view it had two major weaknesses: (1) technically too early and (2) encoding of serial numbers instead of URLs. The RadioShack catalog and the Wired Magazine that included codes showed the potential - but it was too cumbersome as it was restricted to the PC …

We did some work on the topic, too around that time - at RFID reader integrated in a glove - which resulted in a Poster at ISWC [4] and a patent [5].

[1] Want, R. 2006. An Introduction to RFID Technology. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5, 1 (Jan. 2006), 25. DOI=

[2] Harrison, B. L., Fishkin, K. P., Gujar, A., Portnov, D., and Want, R. 1999. Bridging physical and virtual worlds with tagged documents, objects and locations. In CHI '99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 - 20, 1999). CHI '99. ACM, New York, NY, 29-30. DOI=

[3] Ljungstrand, P. and Holmquist, L. E. 1999. WebStickers: using physical objects as WWW bookmarks. In CHI '99 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 15 - 20, 1999). CHI '99. ACM, New York, NY, 332-333. DOI=

[4] Schmidt, A., Gellersen, H., and Merz, C. 2000. Enabling Implicit Human Computer Interaction: A Wearable RFID-Tag Reader. In Proceedings of the 4th IEEE international Symposium on Wearable Computers (October 18 - 21, 2000). ISWC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 193. (Poster as large PNG)

[5] US Patent 6614351 - Computerized system for automatically monitoring processing of objects. September 2, 2003.


needu said...

Linking activities in physical world to digital world Here is how

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