(2003) "Social, technological and scientific trends are converging to shape a new conception of what it means to be a human being.

Through the MEMEX project (commissioned by Iniva), interactive artist Rokeby turns himself into an cyborg, equipped with a wearable computer, a digital camera, a portable brainwave monitor and a global positioning system tracking his precise geographical location.”

This was the future in 2003.

BusinessWeeks Stephen Baker explaining (in March 2009) the latest location-tracking software, Sense Networks and Google Latitude, and how companies may target advertisements to users of these programs.

Alongside the obvious privacy issues I think the fear is that services like CitySense that allow you to find out where “people just like you” like to hang out will begin to erode the things that (arguably) make cities so great - like the collision of such a wide range of people.

If you take something like ASBOrometer that uses open government data and your GPS coordinates to display the level of anti social behaviour in the area you’re in* and extend it slightly you could make a route planner app that avoids bad areas of the city. Some people might think that’s a great idea but the effect it could have is that these areas lose their through traffic. People stop noticing, stop caring and we end up making things far worse for the people that live there.

Of course that might not happen - but I definitely think it’s worth bearing in mind.

* There’s league tables and everything.

At this year’s Wimbledon IBM allows tennis fans to see through walls and never miss a big point again.

IBM has updated its ‘IBM Seer' mobile application to combine augmented reality with live location-based video streams of all showcourt matches and 'busy areas' such as the Aorangi Terrace (aka Henman Hill), and the taxi queues.

IBM Seer is your virtual guide to the Wimbledon tennis championships 2010. Watch live feeds of the top matches on your phone from anywhere inside Wimbledon, get live stats and scores, and find anything and everything from taxis to strawberries and cream.

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists right to safe travel. 

Director: Christopher Hewitt
DP: Will Humphris
Production Company: Knucklehead
Audio: Shervin Shaeri
Edit: Dan Sherwen at Final Cut
Post Production: The Mill London
Colourist: Aubrey Woodiwiss

Facebook Presence

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At the f8 conference in San Francisco Facebook gave all attendees an RFID tag attatched to their conference badge. It allowed them to “check in” at physical locations around the conference simply by tapping the tag on a reader.

Tapping in at a location updates your Facebook status - and allowed them to do some really cool visualisations.

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It’s the same technology Facebook use for their Keg but it’s expanding on the concept a little further. If you think about the kinds of things this is hinting at you’ll get physical “like” buttons and all sorts of things. Interesting for sure, but it raises a really important question.

How long before something like Facebook Presence becomes an ID card that contains your entire social graph?

Facebook Presence