Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

The Internet of Thingemebobs

August 31st, 2009

So over the coffee break chat leads to a discussion about “The Internet of Things” and how it might pan out …. little radio tags on everything, everything connected to the net, you can interact with everything and you can … you can … build in SECURITY!
Now hang on a second, am I wrong but is there a contradiction going on there, everything in the first case is open as we discuss the possibilities but it always seems to lead to a closed, wall gardened system, which for me may indicate that the vision for an Internet of Things may not be realised.
So do I BELIEVE. I’ve been trying, I have on my desk TikiTags ……. sorry correction in 2008 they were TikiTags, in 2009 they’re TouchTags.

Its a small RFID enabled system in which RFID tags (stickers) once read connects with the touchatag Application Correlation Server (ACS) which manages the link between an RFID tag and a corresponding action to be initiated. The ACS then directs the internet-enabled device to access the appropriate online content and applications. The price point is responsible.
Now I have the device so what to tag ….. hmmm what to tag indeed, what exactly shall I tag, its driving me mad!!!!
The first tag was rather easy I placed it on my WIT card (a card based purchasing system for cafeteria food). The top up system has a related website so when I need to add funds to the card online I just place my wallet over the TouchTag reader and off we go …… and immediately there lays the problem, I have a laptop, the TouchTag reader is USB based, so I have to make sure I have it plugged into the laptop everytime, which after a month just doesn’t happen. Is the solution that the RFID reader has Bluetooth connectivity so the laptop can connect to it wirelessly? But then how do we power the RFID reader?
Also I cannot put any more TouchTags in my wallet, as the reader will pick up all of them and carry out the related action, (I was thinking of 3 tags for 3 cards) but really there can only be one tag per 10cm area.
Okay the next tag ….. I was going for one on the coffee cup, one wipe close the TouchTag reader and a Twitter or IM message pops out “miguelpdl is going for coffee” and then I thought “So What” after 20 message like that and people are just not going to be interested and so all this really does is mark the exact time I go for coffee everyday. Also clean the cup a couple of times and the tag is gone. Is the possible solution that the tags are fabricated into the product?
So right now I’m not a believer …. yet, but I have 16 tags left, if you have some ideas as to where I should place them on things, let me know and I’ll give it a go.
Photo credit ginnerobot http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/ on Flickr

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