Physical hyperlinks presentation at XTech

Our presentation on Physical Hyperlinks has been accepted to XTech 2007. The presentation will be an overview of some of the concepts around physical hyperlinking, and perhaps some ideas about why it may not be a good interaction model for all situations. Here is the description:

From Cooltown to CueCat, the physical hyperlink has been a recurring theme in ubiquitous computing. As the name suggests, this is about the interactions involved in getting information from the physical world into a mobile device. There are a number of recent projects including Yellow Arrow , Semapedia , Thinglink and Microsoft Aura that offer some form of linking or tagging of physical things with web-like content.

Why is there such interest in these applications? Mobile devices are getting more complex and capable, but significantly they are aslo getting smaller. Everyday web-applications are generally difficult to use using small screens and limited text input, so we need ways of easily grabbing information, downloading applications and participating in these services. If we are to get out of the ‘walled gardens’ of operators menus, and towards a more open mobile internet, there must be simple ‘service discovery’ that will allow us to easily discover and use new things.

Outside of Japan - where QR Codes are widely used and RFID-enabled phones are mass market - most trials have failed. Does this technology hold the key to integrating web applications with mobile phones and the physical world, or is it a fundamentally flawed interaction?

We give an overview of the history of these interaction types and the different technologies involved. We have experimented with a number of prototypes in this area that we can demonstrate using RFID and Near Field Communication (NFC) to connect web-applications and services to mobile phones. By moving beyond the ‘hyperlink’ metaphor we are able to see new sets of applications that allow new ways of using mobile devices.

Related things:

  1. RFID and physical social networks Poken is offering a physical networking platform, with physical, RFID-based objects that plug into a PC via USB (where have we heard that before?) A Poken is a connected business card, when you meet......
  2. Hybrid World Lab slides This week at the Hybrid World Lab at Mediamatic I have given five presentations related to NFC, physical, tangible, social interactions and design methodology. Here are the slides for each of those presentations. They......
  3. RFID and unique physical form Lisa Smith is a Masters of Design student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago / Designed objects. I first encountered her work through pictures of her project ‘Cuteness generator’ on Flickr.......
  4. Framtidens mobil / near future of mobility Norsk Form, the centre for design, architecture and urban area planning, hosted an evening seminar on the Near future of mobility on 11 April 2007. The seminar intended to look at trends and patterns......
  5. Workshop: Near field interactions This is a call for proposals for a workshop on user-centred interactions with the internet of things at Nordichi 2006, October 14 and 15, 2006 in Oslo, Norway. The user-centred Internet of Things The......

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