Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pervasive Computing and Advertising: Will the World Become A Space for Giant Banner and Pop-up Ads?!

My biggest fear about pervasive computing is that the world will become one giant space for intrusive banner and pop-up ads! Hopefully this will not be the case, since Pervasive Advertising is now a topic of scholarly interest:

"Pervasive Advertising Workshop: Building a community to forecast and create the upcoming era of advertising in pervasive information environments". (pdf)

Info from the Pervasive Advertising Website:

"The workshop seeks to bring together researchers, developers, practitioners and students from academia and industry who are concerned with envisioning, creating, and implementing future advertising systems. The workshop will provide a venue to present novel research in this field and to discuss ideas and problems on the topic."

Primary Topics

  • Digital Signage Advertising
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Location and context-based advertising
  • Tracking technologies for advertising (GPS, RFID, GSM, Bluetooth, sensors, vision)
  • Techniques for assessing sensor data
  • Advertising in electronic news papers and e-books
  • Assessing the effectiveness of advertisements in the real world (e.g. counting impressions, audience measurement, see-to-buy ratio, scan-to-buy ratio etc.)
  • Mixing content with advertisement
  • New pervasive computing technologies that are applicable to advertising
  • Dealing with limited attention (SPAM prevention in the real world)
  • Privacy and pervasive advertisements

Additional Topics:

  • What creates attraction and what pulls attention?
  • Use cases and experience reports of pervasive advertisement
  • Social impact of new technologies for advertisement
  • Business models and ownership models for future advertising systems
  • Integration of social networks with pervasive advertising
  • New context-sensitive advertising spaces (e.g. clothes, accessories, cars, etc.)
  • Experience with deployment of new advertising systems (e.g. lack of attention)
  • Coupling private displays with public displays for split content display. i.e. Generic advert elements in public for all to see with personalized/private elements remaining in ones private device.
  • Interactive surfaces as a means to get active engagement with advertising, moving from a passive viewing experience to an interactive everywhere experience.

The Pervasive Advertising Workshop was held at the Pervasive 2009 conference, May 11-14, in Nara, Japan.
The keynote speaker was Toshiuo Iwai, who presented on the topic "Expanding Media Art- from Flipbooks to TENORI-ON".


Prior to the conference was the Location and Context Awareness 4th International Symposium, "LoCa 2009", held in Tokyo, Japan, May 7-8, 2008.

Location and Context Awareness

4th International Symposium, LoCA 2009 Tokyo, Japan, May 7-8, 2009 Proceedings
Series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Subseries: Information Systems and Applications, incl. Internet/Web, and HCI , Vol. 5561
Choudhury, T.; Quigley, A.; Strang, Th.; Suginuma, K. (Eds.)
2009, VIII, 283 p., Softcover
ISBN: 978-3-642-01720-9

Wow! A view of the ClustrMap of my blog visitors from around the world
I have a ClustrMap widget on my Interactive Multimedia Technology blog- I forgot all about it until today, when I noticed it it was getting pretty full.

So I clicked on it to get a better look:

The world map above represents 24,254 visits between December 2008 and May 2009. I am amazed. My on-line file cabinets really are open to the world!

Measuring the World's Use of Technology, Measuring the Impact of Technology Use Around the World

If you are interested in digging deeper into the statistics behind technology-supported human-world interaction, the theme of this blog, take a look at the information behind the following links:

Measuring ICT Website

Measuring the Information Society: The ICT Development Index (pdf)

The Global Information Society: a Statistical View (pdf)

Manual for Measuring ICT Access and Usage by Households and Individuals, 2009 Edition (pdf)

2009 Revised Edition of the UNCTAD Manual for Information Economy Statistics

World Summit on the Information Society

Thanks, Albrecht Schmidt, for the links you posted on your User Interface Engineering blog!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Verizon/Novatel MiFi Personal Hot Spot: I want one!

David Pogue, the tech guy behind "Pogue's Post" of the NY Times, wrote an article about Novatel MiFi 2200, which will be available soon from Verizon. It is a slim device, a little thicker than a credit card, that provides Internet access to Verizon's 3G high-speed cellular data network. The service is $40.00 to 60.00 a month.

David had the opportunity to travel about with a MiFi 2200 and gives a great report about this experience in his article, "Wi-Fi to Go, No Cafe Needed". Basically, this provides 3G to Wi-Fi bridging, and allows you to share your connection with people near you. The MiFi can function as a server, too.

Novatel's MiFi, a 3G Wi-Fi router, is shown at the CES Unveiled, the official press event of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Info Vis from Hans Rosling: Swine Flu vs Tuberculosis Deaths and the News/Death Ratio

In this video clip, Hans Rosling uses information visualization to highlight the differences between the number of swine flu deaths and deaths from tuberculosis in the world from 4/24/09 through 5/6/09, and calculates a "news/death" ratio.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Everyware Health Care: Vena, the Wireless Asthma Inhaler Delivers Readings to PC, SmartPhone, or Online Electronic Health Records

According to a recent CNET article written by Dong Ngo, Cambridge Consultants is offering a wireless asthma inhaler that links patients with health care providers via wireless technologies and electronic medical records such as Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault.

"The platform, called Vena, employs two emerging wireless standards, including the Infrared-based IEEE11073 and the Bluetooth Medical Device Profile. Vena embeds the two into a single chip as the combination of them ensures compatibility of data exchanged between different types of devices and the security in the transmitting of medical data."

Design Matters


The design of this inhaler is stylish, and I'm sure that children and teens with asthma wouldn't mind carrying this around at school. Why is this important?

Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness of children in the U.S.

According to the American Lung Association, "
Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness of children in the U.S. In 2006, an estimated 6.8 million children under age 18 (almost 1.2 million under age 5) currently had asthma, 4.1 million of which had an asthma attack, and many others have "hidden" or undiagnosed asthma. In 2006, the highest current prevalence rate was seen in those 5-17 years of age (106.3 per 1,000 population), with rates decreasing with age. Overall, the rate in those under 18 (92.8 per 1,000) was much greater than those over 18 (72.4 per 1,000). Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and one of the most common causes of school absenteeism."

A less-attractive alternative for the connected teen is the bulkier prototype, a collaboration between SiliconSky GPS and David Van Sickle, a University of Wisconsin researcher.

According to another CNET article by Dong Ngo, "
The prototype GPS inhaler is packed with technologies. It features Assisted GPS, a GSM modem, integral antennas, an embedded microprocessor, and an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery. The battery allows for up to 10 days of operation between charges."

The GPS inhaler might be useful and usable, but will not used as medically intended unless it has a great "look & feel".

With the increase in the numbers of children and teens with asthma, it is important to design on-the-go medical devices that increase compliance and healthy choices. It has to be cool.

Some references from the American Lung Association:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey Raw Data, 2006. Analysis by the American Lung Association, Research and Program Services Division using SPSS and SUDAAN

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy Youth! Health Topics: Asthma. December 7, 2007. Available here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy Youth! Health Topics: Asthma. December 7, 2007. Available here. Accessed on December 20, 2007.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics. The State of Childhood Asthma, United States, 1980-2005. Number 381, December 12, 2006 (Revised December 29, 2006). Available here. Accessed on December 20, 2007.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

World Builder Video: Dream of the future of technology- supported human-world interaction?

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

If you've seen this 9-minute video, you won't mind taking another look. It was created by Bruce Branit depicting a man who builds a holographic world sometime in the future. Branit is a visual effects artist, who reportedly used the Lightwave 3D graphics platform for post-production.

The music was composed by Randy Skach.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Pachube and the Internet of Things: Design, Ubicomp, RFID, and Usman Haque

I have a growing interest in the emerging "web of things", and figuring out how computers and gadgets can inter-operate more smoothly. This summer, I'm planning on playing with my RFID toys and learning more about wireless sensor networks. I can't wait until waiting for my MIR:ROR and Nabaztag arrive. I'm also looking forward to exploring the Pachube concept.

So what is Pachube?

Pachube: "A web service that enables people to tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices and spaces around the world, facilitating interaction between remote environments, both physical and virtual."

You can sign up for
Pachube on the web, and learn more about it by exploring the following links:

Pachube, Patching the Planet: Interview with Usman Haque
Ways to User Pachube
Pachube Website
Pachube Tutorials
Extended Environments Markup Language
EEML library for Processing
Pachube iGoogle Gadget: Create a monitoring dashboard

Usman Haque is
an architect and director of Haque Design + Research.

"The domain of architecture has been transformed by developments in interaction research, wearable computing, mobile connectivity, people-centered design, contextual awareness, RFID systems and ubiquitous computing. These technologies alter our understanding of space and change the way we relate to each other. We no longer think of architecture as static and immutable; instead we see it as dynamic, responsive and conversant. Our projects explore some of this territory."

(cross-posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Interactive Digital TV for the "Barfly" Generation..!?

Barfly is a glossy marketing tool, played out on interactive displays, designed to entice bar patrons to drink even more, as you can see from the demo. I'm older than the target age group of 21-34 that the Barfly Network is seeking to reach, but I can see the point.

I wonder how the concept - minus the alcohol - would play out in a neighborhood Internet cafe or sandwich shop, the sort of places I frequent....

What Is Barfly (demo)
(Warning: The demo provides glimpses of sports violence, skin, and alcohol advertisements, which are topics that aren't on my list of interests...)

One problem I have is that the concept still looks like it is a huge interactive billboard, pushing product, but with interactivity, allowing the potential consumers a little bit of control. In my opinion, the ads are like huge web banners and pop ups, but the consumers can't zap them away if they find them annoying.

Here is some information from the website:
"Barfly converts existing television screens in bars into engaging interactive systems for entertainment and advertising.

  • Barfly provides a mechanism for companies to advertise to 21-34 year-olds on television screens in bars
  • Barfly introduces the culture of digital technology and interactivity into the bar environment
  • Barfly delivers for beverage companies at the Point of Purchase, Influence & Consumption (POPIC) in a new and persuasive way"*
  • Full control over the entire video screen of every TV connected to Barfly Interactive Networks
    Full motion capable in all sections of screen
    Live video from any source feeds into existing displays
  • Turn your existing television into digital signage for:
    Food and Drink Specials
    Live Music Schedules
    Hours of Operation
    Special Events
  • Generates revenue with Barfly's menu of creative and interactive SMS text messaging games
  • Enhances the customer experience and increase bar patronage:
  • Engaging local and national content draws customer attention and encourages active participation
  • Enables bars to build on-site social networks "

*The other problem I have related to the "barfly" concept, geared to promoting increase alcohol consumption, stems from my personal experience as a school psychologist. I have training in the area of traumatic brain injury, so I am well aware of the statistics regarding the consequences of driving while drinking. I also have worked with a variety of children who have disabilities related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a consequence of a mother drinking during pregnancy.

I don't usually get on a soap box, but here's my 2 cents:

I'd like to see this technology used to transform public service ad campaigns that promote awareness of the consequence of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drinking while pregnant. But there is no immediate profit in this.

If you look at this in a different way, new technologies that result in a decrease the number of injuries sustained by auto accidents caused by drunk drivers, as well as a decrease in the number of babies born with disabilities, requiring expensive special education support throughout the formative years, will save millions in taxpayer's money in the long run. Oh, and lives.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Internet of Things Europe 2009 Conference:- wish I could go!

The Internet of Things Europe 2009 conference - "Emerging Technologies for the Future" - will be held on May 7th and 8th in Brussels at the Sofitel Brussels Europe hotel. Rafi Haladjian, a co-founder of Violet, will be presenting at the conference during the following session on Thursday, May 7th:

Session 2: Innovation and emerging technologies and business models
"This session will explore what emerging innovations, technologies and market trends are being seen now, and which are likely to emerge in the future. What are the research requirements and obstacles in terms of affordability, usability or accessibility that need to be addressed? How will economic, technological and application trends drive the evolution of architectures for the ‘Internet of Things’? What successful business models are already being seen today, and how can these be adapted with future technological developments?"

In a previous post, "The Internet of Things can be Cute: MIR:ROR by Violet", I discussed how RFID is being used in a variety of playful ways to trigger a link to information.The following video from the Violet website explains how MIR:ROR uses little RFID stamps to interact with the Internet and activate things through the MIR:ROR. Each stamp has an e-mail address.

The rabbit in the picture below is called Nabaztag, from Violet, the first Internet-connected Rabbit. He hears, he reads, and he speaks. He can wake you up, give the weather forecast, update you on your friends face-book and twitter status. He can also send music, e-mail messages, and read stories.

The little rabbits have been around for quite a while. Below is an opera composed by Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birge, following an idea by Guylaine Monnier:

90 of the rabbits were brought to the performance by their owners, and ten were supplied by Violet.

On a more serious note, here are a few other sessions that I'd be interested in attending at the Internet of Things conference:

Session 5: Privacy, Security & Data Protection
"Although privacy and data protection policy has become increasingly sophisticated since the emergence of the Internet, controversies are likely to accelerate with the new applications likely to be encountered in the Internet of Things. Security issues, particularly surrounding unauthorised access to and unintended disclosure of data are becoming more prevalent. What qualitatively new challenges are presented by the Internet of Things? How can the rights of citizens or businesses in one country be safeguarded on global networks? Whatrights pertain to Things on the Internet of Things?"

Session 6: Service Architecture and Communication
"The range of connectivity options available is bewildering - but the challenges of scalability, interoperability and ensuring return on investment for network operators remain. How will communication needs change as a result of the Internet of Things? What new service architectures will be required to cater for the connectivity demands of emerging devices? How will spectrum rights holders participate in the Internet of Things"

(A similar post is in the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.)