How Ubiquitous Networking Will Work

Information Hoppers and Smart Posters

A smart poster will have buttons printed on to it that can be triggered by a bat.
A smart poster will have buttons printed on to it that can be triggered by a bat.
Photo courtesy AT&T Laboratories Cambridge

Once these zones are set up, computers on the network will have some interesting capabilities. The system will help us store and retrieve data in an "information hopper." This is a timeline of information that keeps track of when data is created. The hopper knows who created it, where they were and who they were with.

Think of the hopper as a ubiquitous filing clerk. It will change how we think of our computer filing systems. By using a digital camera that is connected to the network, a user’s photographs are immediately stored in his or her timeline. Tape recorders could also send audio memos to the information hopper.

Two items of information created at the same time will be found at the same place on the timeline. The system knows who the user was with when he created the data, and the various timelines of the users working together. This way another timeline can be created to keep track of particular projects.

Another application that will come out of this ultrasonic location system is the smart poster. A conventional computer interface requires us to click on a button on our computer screen. In this new system, a button can be placed anywhere in your workplace, not just on the computer display. The idea behind smart posters is that a button can be a piece of paper that is printed out and stuck on a wall.

Smart posters will be used to control any device that is plugged into the network. The poster will know where to send a file and a user’s preferences. Smart posters could also be used in advertising new services.To press a button on a smart poster, a user will simply place his or her bat on the smart poster button and click the bat. The system automatically know who is pressing the poster’s button. Posters can be created with several buttons on it.

Ultrasonic location systems will require us to think outside of the box. Traditionally, we have used our one computer at work to store all of our files, and we may back up these files on a network server. This new ubiquitous network will enable all computers in a building to transfer ownership and store all of our files in a central timeline.

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