Monday, December 04, 2006

What Really Is Physical World Connection?

I am starting to see more stories that discuss Physical World Connection (PWC), or the "Internet of Things", I thought it would be a good time to explain what the next big thing for the Internet will be.

The Physical World Web is when any object can be linked to the Internet. There is a difference between machines and objects that are continuously connected to the Net, they are already "online". The other form of PWC is when objects can be randomly connected to the Net. It is almost like giving a physical object a dialtone.

PWC was recently referred to as One Hot Trend

"Thing Connection" is when anywhere, anytime, anything can be connected through the Internet. All physical objects must have a physical world hyperlink (PWH) in order to link to the Internet. Websites have hyperlinks that when a mouse clicks on them, they resolve all of those letters as a Web address, and you are directed to that address.

Physical objects will have a different kind of hyperlink, that will allow connection to the Internet and specific information. Physical world "mouses" can be on mobile phone, camera phone, an RFID reader, fingerprint scanner (a few others to come soon).

Try to think of Physical World Connection as giving any physical object a dial tone and a phone number.

What is a physical world hyperlink?

Physical World hyperlinks include: RFID tags, numbers, bar coded, 2d codes (2d/QR/ Data Matrix), magnetic strips, images, sounds, fingerprints, iris, and hair/blood/saliva, odor, chemical and a few soon to come.

When a machine readable identifier resolves this object with a Web-enabled computing device you have Phase 2 of the Internet.

The most common examples are scanning a bar code (2d code, QR code) via a camera phone and receiving information.

The other is scanning an RFID tag.

This is a list of the companies that could play a role in this space.

I will have current examples of PWC, and some futuristic ideas shortly.

Why do I think The Next Google is this application? Google is so successful because they offer the ability to find anything on the Internet which consists of billions of websites.

The next Google is an application that allows a mobile user to access information on the Net from trillions of physical objects.

I will have current examples of PWC, and some futuristic ideas shortly.


Unknown said...

All this is well and good - however it cannot succeed unless we ensure the customers right to privacy. PWC is going to happen, the accelerator will be how they enable the customer to use it. Standards will be very important. Right now there aren't any.

Anonymous said...

PWC will continue to ramp up similar to what it has done in Japan with NTT DoCoMo, even more so when a Universal Reader is launched which will read both 1-D and 2-D bar codes. So far, nobody has integrated one. However, that is not to say that one such company is not going to do so, and very soon I might add. This will cahnge the way mobile marketing is done forever.

Anonymous said...

Peter, sorry there are standards (QR Code / Datamatrix) and one is getting a lot of traction lately:

Already in use by:
- Nokia (N93, but more coming...)
- Motorola (ROKR E6, but more coming...)
- Sharp
- Toshiba
- Panasonic
Windows Mobile (announced as Windows Live Barcode).

- Softbank, NTTDoCoMo, au (KDDI) in Japan
- Taiwan, Hong Kong
- China Mobile in China

In Europe:
- Kaywa

Anonymous said...

There are not only standards, but also a very easy to use website that let's you get started right away: