IoT Guest Post No. 10: Internet of Things or The Re-Mix of Now

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”

(Mark Weiser in The Computer for the 21st Century)

The Internet of Things (IoT) envisions an interconnected world where everyday objects are smart and able to connect to a network and run different services, mostly by associating objects to RFID-type of tags. Moreover smartphones, which are always at our fingertips, make a variety of services, enhanced by the already built-in sensors and the connection to the Internet possible. What does this imply for the role of the Creative Industries within these changes?

Connecting the real with the virtual world will be the main goal of many IoT applications, whereby the technologies used will slowly but steadily retreat into the background. The Creative Industries can benefit from this by anticipating smart objects and applications that support and entertain users in their everyday life. When those applications are based on web-based standards and widely-used smartphones that are already now capable of sensing and interpreting data, the benefits for the creative industries can be even larger.

Additionally, many applications will rely on their users to provide information at hand of their current location. The trending topic of User-Generated Content (UGC) and the growing number of smartphone users will have an influence on how content is created and perceived in the future. Also the idea of Open Data that already gains more and more followers will play an important role in linking information over wider networks.

As location-based services grow, we as a company take part in the developments by supporting the Creative Industries with applications to ease the process of reusing, publishing and connecting content in new ways. As an example, museums can make their collections more accessible and visible to their audience by creating virtual exhibitions and allowing visitors to receive information directly on their mobile while walking through the museum.

All signs we see point towards content material that will be remixed and reused within a new context. In this way, content holders will become curators that create and connect content in meaningful ways, in many cases also related to specific locations.

To support effortless exchange of information and data between devices or services it is necessary to consider flexible ways to orchestrate and customise functionality on a service-oriented architecture (SOA). One of the reasons to base our web-based multimedia information management platform ON:meedi:a, which we have previously introduced in the Members of the Spotlight article, on SOA was the quick adaptation to different requirements and services.

Moreover, with web-based applications we minimise platform specific developments and the need of adapting services to new technology in more and more frequent periods. In this respect we also think that simple and established solutions e.g. sharing and creating collections using e-mail, allow faster development and result to better user experience. Especially now, where every mobile device is able to connect to the Internet, send and receive e-mails and open web pages, this type of interaction is more convenient. We implemented this approach in our FollowThePlace web application, where sharing geo-tagged photos is as simple as sending an e-mail with the pictures to photos@followtheplace.com. In the web interface and as well in their e-mail inbox, the users can then receive real-time updates about their favourite spots and their friend’s updates. Thereby everyone can connect a location with their personal memories or augment information about the best surf spot in an instant.

Jana Wedekind is a Business Developer at IN2 and she holds a BSc in Media and Communication Informatics from the University of Applied Sciences Reutlingen and an MSc in Digital Media from the University of Applied Sciences Bremerhaven as part of the International Inter-University Study Programme Digital Media Bremen/Bremerhaven. Her academic training focused on Software Engineering, Multimedia Production, Web Design & Development and Media Art. As a web developer she was involved in designing Web User Interfaces, Content Publishing, as well as Online Marketing in projects that dealt with diverse topics such as E-Learning, Computer Art and Marketing. She has also been involved in the business development part of the European-funded projects IM3I and ImaGeo.

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