Everyware and nowhere baby thats where its at..

Apologies for the title but I just needed some way to work in the name of the book i’m reading, “Everyware” by Adam Greenfield. Adam manages to get through an impressive list of technology areas in the book, neatly knitting together a story of ubiquitous computing that encompasses the more obvious topics of RFID, Motes, Mesh Networks and Mobile Devices with Web Mashups, IPV6 and a plethora of everyday gadgets.

Adams vision of Everyware is one of almost effortless and unknowinging interactions with our surroundings, surrounding that are actually networked devices receiving and broadcasting information, which is collated, distributed and presented to users (I prefer participants) in intuitive, helpful and appropriate ways. It’s a nice vision although occasionally a little scary. He doesn’t present it as any kind of Utopian future but more one that we are almost unknowingly creating often in isolation through small advances here and there in different fields of technology. The book also covers a lot of ground on the social, moral and privacy aspects of such a future.

The theme struck a chord with me simply for the fact that we use a lot of these technologies here in the Emerging Tech group in Hursley (well we are emerging tech after all) . Motes, Zigbee enabled devices, RFID and other funky Gizmos can usually be found spilling out from under Dave Conway-Jones office door. (shhh don’t tell the inspectors! )

Dave and other folks like Andy Stanford-Clark (No you don’t have to have a double barrelled name to work here) are experts in hooking up this kit up to messaging technologies like MQTT so that we can take real world sensor inputs and make them available to any other devices or computers that have expressed an interest in these events. The beauty of MQTT is that the client is so small you can run it on just about any device making it both a publisher and a subscriber of information.

Any of this starting to sound like Everyware yet ? In fact in his book Adam talks about the concept of an Event Heap which is used to communicate events to other interested devices. This is almost exactly the same principle as the Publish Subscribe (pubsub) mechanism MQTT uses which makes it such and effective tool for communicating realtime events around any local or remotely distributed system.

If you make it into Hursley at any point then maybe you’ll get time to come and visit Dave’s Pervasive lab where you can see all manner of Everyware enabling technology in use.

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