The real world is about to become part of the internet. Small radio tags of sensors which is integrated into objects can communicate with Facebook, Twitter and other online services. The physical world become virtual and the virtual world becomes part of the physical world.
We humans are slipping more and more into the virtual world, and machines slips more and more into the physical world. At present, there is a silent fusion of the real and virtual world. If we continue develop at this pace we will not notice the difference if we where part of a virtual application or if things happens in the physical world actually happens by natural causes.
Today we may develop shoes that is equipped with movement sensors, and is self-sustained by harvesting energy from the step we take. Energy capture is so high that the shoe never requires manual recharge, and can communicate in real-time to the rest of the world via the Internet. The shoe starts to exist by his own in the physical world since no maintenance is required.
When one day you go to the store and buy a pair of shoes you’ll be able to sign it into optional services online. The shoe inherits characteristics of the service you are using. The shoe itself ensures that the service is updated with data corresponding with the context structure of the service. The shoe is always connected via some radio technology and is constantly online. If anyone Google’s you, they will be able to see the shoe walking around on the virtual map in real time.
It’s interesting when studying these new sensors that are integrated into smart objects. They can change the properties, behaviour and adapt to surroundings. The smart objects get their intelligence and attribute defined on the web. The user registers his smart object and attaching it to an online service. By doing this, it is the service that determines how the thing should work and what properties it will inherit.
For example, the intelligent shoe you’ve purchased can become a keyboard by signing shoe into a keyboard service. If the shoe is equipped with a motion sensor, different types of motion semantics, trigger a specific letter of the alphabet. So that when you move the shoe in a specific way you can write virtual letters. Are you good at it you can move around and write “Hello World”. The shoe has suddenly becoming a keyboard. It looks indeed like a shoe, but the property is completely changed to support keyboard features. Same shoe can be enrolled in other services with other properties. There is no limit on how many different services the shoe can provide activity for and there is no restriction on how the shoe is used.
When physical thing has characteristics defined virtually one will get a world of intelligent sensors that can almost do anything within the virtual limit the physical thing gives.
So what’s going to happen when smart little things can be used for anything and have access to all the worlds computing power, and characteristics can change based on what and how you want to use them?
In a space where the physical world becomes more virtual and the virtual world become more physically arises interesting possibilities. We’ve only seen the beginning of a new era in human-machine relationship.