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Designing for sensors…


instead of designing for computing or communication –

Luke Wroblewski predicts the next wave of technology products, based on the ubiquitous availability of smart sensors, as listed in this post:

  • Multi-touch input from one or more simultaneous gestures
  • Precise user location detection: through a combination of WiFi, cell tower triangulation, and GPS
  • Device positioning & motion: from an accelerometer
  • User orientation: direction from a digital compass
  • Audio: input from a microphone; output to speaker
  • Video & image: capture/input from a camera
  • Push: real-time notifications “instant” to user
  • Device connections: through Bluetooth between devices
  • Proximity: device closeness to physical objects
  • Ambient Light: light/dark environment awareness
  • RFID reader: identify & track objects with broadcasted identifiers (Apple patent)
  • Haptic feedback: “feel” different surfaces on a screen (Apple patent)
  • Biometrics: retinal, fingerprint, etc. (Apple patent)
  • NEW Gyroscope: 360 degrees of motion
  • NEW Dual cameras: front & back facing

He quotes David Pescovitz’s keynote presentation in WebVisions 2007, where he discussed the three waves of technology:

  • Three waves of technology: computing (increase productivity, process data), communicating (email, IM, etc.), sensing (sensors embedded across world).
  • In the next decade these three curves will come together. Most objects will have communication, computing, and sensing capabilities.
  • Sensor networks will serve as the eyes and ears of the geo-world and provide information relevant to wherever you are. This means the end of cyberspace as a place you go. Instead it is a seamless overlay of the world.
  • Zillionics: zillions of unrelenting rivers of sensory data coming at you day and night.
  • The fourth wave (after computing, communications, and sensing) is sense-making: helping us to deal with an overload of info.

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