Sunday, January 30, 2005

Geo-location Architecture

One of my fellow students is writing a paper on systems architecture for RFID. There is a great deal of interesting proposals for RFID from homeland security to smart highways with with RFID tags embedded in the lanes to distributed sensor networks (or Super-RFID).

Geo-location technology means "the Net always knows where you are." Said Lynch, "People are building all sorts of fascinating distributed sensor networks, and they are beginning to hook them up to the Internet." Potential applications are very useful: 911 emergency services, "smart" highways, RFID tagging for inventory control, etc. But, as Lynch pointed out, "We don't know where all of this is going to take us." The privacy implications could be enormous. |Link|

I like that phrase, geo-location, b/c the issue of geo-location is much larger than RFID. What's really exciting are machine vision, augmented reality and the internet of things. GPS and distributed computing are as important as RFID. Verisign is planning ONS servers to enable the internet of things. Saw this post over at Slashdot about RFID enabled robots as guides for the visually impaired.

Back to RFID and big brother, here's an interesting article discussing how much all of this would cost and suggesting that little things like the laws of physics and the astronomical cost of these implementations would discourage significant invasions of privacy.

In contradiction, Stapleton-Gray suggests that these networks would be built by private industry and harnessed by gov't. This is actually quite similar to what the British did by networking all the private security cameras in London together. Stapleton-Gray calls this a bottoms-up network.

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