Locative Lab

researching locative media

The Future Has Arrived: Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard

Remember when you were promised all those amazing future techinnovations? Just around the corner was supposed to be a shiningtechnology utopia with flying cars, personal space travel to distantgalaxies, and bio-implantable cell phones. It’s almost disappointingenough to make you sit at home and watch old episodes of “Space 1999”.

Don’t lose hope! An amazing glimpse of this promised future has justarrived at ThinkGeek in the form of the Bluetooth Laser VirtualKeyboard. This tiny device laser-projects a keyboard on any flatsurface… you can then type away accompanied by simulated key clicksounds. It really is true future magic at its best. You’ll be turningheads the moment you pull this baby from your pocket and use it tocompose an e-mail on your bluetooth enabled PDA or Cell Phone. With 63keys and and full size QWERTY layout the Laser Virtual Keyboard canapproach typing speeds of a standard keyboard… in a size a littlelarger than a matchbook.



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RFID tags embedded into staples – to track important documents

S7087851-LOW_IMAGE_URL-11390.jpg This is wild. RFID tags could be embedded into staples, according to a post in Gizmodo.

“A company called Swingline plans on embedding RFID tags onto staples so that when an important (stapled) document goes missing, it’ll be able to radio its location (most likely from underneath your desk) to a nearby tracking device.”


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Hello to less privacy

sandrabullockstalkedgawker.gif Cellphone cameras continue to haunt both celebs and Ordinary Joes. Can morals keep pace with technology? USA today doesn’t think so.

“We no longer have to worry only of Big Brother government watching us. Now we have Little Brother to contend with, too — and he’s got a camera phone.

“The days when something happens in front of a crowd and it’s not captured on camera are over,” says Josh Calder, a trend tracker at Social Technologies. “We have to assume anything we do in public is potentially going into the public record.”

… Here’s one possible peek at the future: More camera phones, more camera phone images, more people watching camera phone images — and little control over any of it.

“We do get pleasure and pain from other people’s embarrassment — it makes us feel better about ourselves,” says Cal State’s Wehr. “We see people’s failings and we’re relieved: Thank God I didn’t get drunk and take off my clothes.”

Picture above left from Gawker Stalker, which tracks celebrity sightings around Manhattan called in by ordinary citizens and publishes them online. This one is of Sandra Bullocks spotted at a Starbucks in Soho yesterday.


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BBC strikes Google-YouTube deal

The BBC reports that it has struck a content deal with YouTube.

“Three YouTube channels – one for news and two for entertainment – will showcase short clips of BBC content.

The BBC hopes that the deal will help it reach YouTube’s monthly audience of more than 70 million users and drive extra traffic to its own website.

The corporation will also get a share of the advertising revenue generated by traffic to the new YouTube channels.”


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RFID Card as ID For Cigarette Vending Machines

picture_4_7.pngTeenagers under 18 won’t be able to buy cigarettes from Japanese vending machines as of next year, according to Tokyomango.

“A new system, called “Taspo” (Tabacco Passport), will require every smoker to carry around an RFID card – issued only to people 18 and over – if they want to buy cigarettes.

… Currently, 65% of the 30 million smokers in Japan purchase their cigarettes through vending machines



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Mobile TV is not the same as TV on the mobile…

In other words, the experience is different and any attempt to shoehorn regular programming into the mobile form factor will be problematic. Nonetheless, many trials of mobile broadcast TV standards,…


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Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.

366 maps and PDF posters will be finished by February 2007. Use the menuabove or click on a thumbnail image below to view a map.


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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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