The World Right Now

“What’s Going On?” – Marvin Gaye

Art as Awareness; Awareness As Art

The World Right Now

“Electromagnetic radiation of active mobile phone sets off the LEDs in relative proximity. Light shadow follows the conversation through the space.”

All the Right Memes

The World Right Now

A home awareness system; Home Heartbeat; easy to carry “HomeKey” remote status monitor. World right now, organic metaphor, not quite jacked-in, but a nice integration of Neurospheric elements. Not quite cheap yet, but 200 bucks gets you started, and growing the system sensor by sensor is a good transition business model.

“With the Home Heartbeat system- easy-to-install wireless sensors check the pulse of your home. No technicians, no codes, no third party monitoring or complex manuals are required. Just use the included keychain-sized controller (or even your cell phone) to see the current status of your house at a glance–whether you’re at home or away from home.”

The Living Home

The World Right Now

Just back from CEDIA show, consumer electronics for the very high end of the market – folks who will plunk down $15,000 for a combo DVD/HDTV/iPOD player that controls every media device in the home. What caught my eye here were two things – the first is the use of biological metaphors for home control technology. The second is, in the midst of this testimony to rich consumer self-indulgence, both these products are built to run on the very mass market Windows Media Center Edition platform.

“The World’s First Home Awareness System. Security systems might discourage break-ins, but they can’t guard against breakdowns. With the Home Heartbeat™ system- easy-to-install wireless sensors check the pulse of your home. No technicians, no codes, no third party monitoring or complex manuals are required.

“Autonomic Controls Inc.’s MCE-CS Control Server brings the power of Windows Media Center to touch-panels, controls systems, and CE devices.”

The World Right Now Ticker

The World Right Now

One more for today. Simple and elegant, if selective.

Global Incident Map

The World Right Now

A little bit of a product brought to you by those who profit in times of fear, but so is your local newspaper, I guess.

“A global display of terrorism and other suspicious events.”


The World Right Now

Our dreams right now.

“Gaia’s Dreams is an experiment based on Carl Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious. It is designed to gather and analyze collective dream quality and content, and to provide reports on emerging trends based on aspects of those dreams.”

Chipped Luggage

The World Right Now

This one needs government approval, but is the kind of high volume market that would further drive the deployment of an environment you can sense.

“RFID Limited is currently marketing its chipped luggage tags to airline industries as a means of reducing human error and decreasing the amount of luggage lost in transit. Additionally, the company is adding a dash of glitz and glamor to its BagChipElite lineup, which will reportedly be designed to match luggage crafted by the likes of “Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.”

Rapid Prototyping of Technologies for Awareness

The World Right Now

SunSpot is Sun Microsystems’ technology program for small, wireless sensors for many applications. Here’s a recent example from their web site documenting different applications of the technology – think about this as how easy to actually build something that can tell you more about the world around you.

“So starting Friday morning, we built a rocket, embedded 2 Sun SPOTs in “Space Shuttle” vehicles, wrote the ground-telemetry software (in Java), developed some Sun SPOT antenna extenders and documented the whole thing from start to finish. The result? We launched two (redundant) Sun SPOTs on a single rocket that streamed light, temperature and acceleration data live over the radio to the ground stations that were busy plotting the data.”

Earth Portal

The World Right Now

If partisan administrations are going to kill science funding because it conflicts with government goals, maybe web-based networks of scientists will grow in response. This one happens to have angel investors, so no telling yet how sustainable it is. But let a thousand earth-sensing flowers bloom.

The Earth Portal is a comprehensive resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the environment. It is a means for the global scientific community to come together to produce the first free, expert-driven, massively scaleable information resource on the environment, and to engage civil society in a public dialogue on the role of environmental issues in human affairs. It contains no commercial advertising and reaches a large global audience.

Many Eyes

The World Right Now

A complex entity is a complex thing to perceive. This site enables you to roll your own Google Earth, if you have reams of data burning a hole in your pocket.