Nov 1, 2008

Emerging Technologies: SHiFT 08 Conference - Sensor Networks and Data for the Open Internet of Things

This is a cross post from the Technology-Supported Human-World Interaction blog:

I first learned about the "Internet of Things" nearly two years ago when I was taking a Ubicomp class. Since that time, things have sped quickly along in the research arena, but I don't think most folks are aware of how this technological transformation will impact our daily lives.

The videoclip below is from David Orban's presentation at SHiFT 08, "Why We Need to Listen to our Things":

Orban discusses how we currently spend much of our time taking care of our mobile devices, but as the magnitude of devices increasing, it is difficult to manage things as we have in the past. There is just too much data...There is a need for obtaining information from sensor networks. "We must derive deep knowledge of the environment from these sensors." In the video clip, Orban goes on to discuss the various challenges in this field:

  • Signal to Noise problem.
  • Signal to Signal problem.
  • Management of the sheer volume of data that is generated, or will be generated - how data is filtered and analysed.
  • Dependability - managing spime systems and sensor networks of tens of billions of elements.
  • Aggregation of data to derive second order knowledge.
  • New phenomena will surprise us in the future, we will learn more about our environment, and listen to our planet more clearly.
Video by Wide Tag Inc.
October 2008


SHifT 08 was held in Lisbon, Portugal on October 15-17. The focus of this year's conference was Transient Technologies, "in the sense that technology is breaking up with it's digital boundaries and it's becoming a vital part of a lot of the things we do and interact with in our daily lives."

The themes of SHiFT 08 included user experience, mobile computing, sustainability, the social web, web design, open technologies, digital media, artificial intelligence, spimes, and knowledge & innovation.

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