Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Air Tags Everywhere

Air tags are all around us and we don't even know it! I downloaded the Sekai Camera and Layar apps today (both available for iOS and Android) and I was shocked to see how many things have already been air tagged around our Palo Alto office. Various business calling cards, location based tweets from individuals, facebook photos, are all now visible
While it is still a bit wonky, it definitely shows the potential of having all of this information tagged so that it becomes more relevant in the moment, in the place. But it immediately begs the question of whether holding a small -and relatively heavy- screen is the appropriate form factor to experience this information. Yes, the AR glasses are a form factor that have their own detractions, but you can easily see that this is where we are headed.

As we continue to explore ways that real life and virtual life merge, we can now see the location-based information that has in some way been, at least figuratively, hovering around the reality we occupy for some time. How will our physical environment be altered to except this layer of metadata? Before long we will be able to map Wikipedia onto the world that it attempts to cumulatively explain. We will create alternate and distorted versions of the reality we live in and we will create gaming experiences within our daily lives (tomorrow I'm going to give Sekai Apps a try).

Thanks to Kenichi Nonomura and Soramist Chintanamanus for turning me on to these AR apps!

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Eddy in the Flow

Whenever I mention to people that I grew up in Charlotte, it's funny how often people say, "oh, that's the airport with the rocking chairs in it. There's something simple and charming in a locally relevant way, that makes this a distinct moment among an otherwise mind-numbingly dull and generic public space typology, the airport terminal.

Rocking chairs are designed for leisurely relaxation, and as I sit here now writing this post, with free WiFi, an AC outlet clode by, it really sites make the perfect pause in travel. With a ficus tree to either side, two people movers behind me and a major corridor of fast moving travelers in front of me, it's as if the pair of chairs we're sitting in is an eddy behind a rock in the river.

The airport is really generous for offering the rocking chairs for everyone to enjoy, and judging by their popularity you would think other airports would follow by giving people individual moments to rest. If not with rocking chairs, some locally relevant place to pause.