Monday, December 22, 2008

Calm Technology

The best technology is truly the type that we no longer have to interact with. Along the vein of automated computing through the use of RFID tags (TikiTag and Mir:ror come to mind) continues to excite us for the near future, but on a grander scale, RFID tech, Augmented Reality, and the Internet of Things are all really a part of a idea known as Calm Technology. The phrase, coined by Mark Wieser of Xerox in 1991 (imagine talking about this then, who’dathought?), refers to any network of mobile and fixed devices that would do things for us automatically and so invisibly that we would notice only their efforts.

These systems are calm technology because they would make it easier for us to focus on our work or recreational activities, instead of demanding that we interactive with such systems, such as the typical computer does today. The overall concept of ubiquitous computing where small sensors would be embedded in everyday objects all around us and, using wireless connections, would respond to our presence, desire and needs without being actively manipulated, is truly the future of a Web that doesn’t exist solely online, nor offline, but literally everywhere.

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