How Smart Is Your World?
The physical graph is something you’d call ‘extraordinary’, to say the least. Many of us have heard of social graphs such as Facebook’s Open Graph. You may have also heard of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which tracks and organizes all Internet data across domains and websites, with the intent of providing quick, deeply relevant and focused search results presented with an additional dimensions, of say a timeline or map.
The Physical Graph takes it to another level
Collecting detailed tracking information from items in the physical world, and interacting with the data online with physical graphing. These physical Graphs allow you to link people, objects, animals, and actions in your physical life to the Internet allowing for automation, monitoring, and reporting, ultimately ushering in a new world of conveniences.
Physical Graph platforms are accessed through the Internet or an application on your device such as a phone or laptop and allow you to control or interact with the physical objects you have connected. Technology manufacturer Belkin has some inexpensive devices called WEMo that allows non-tech savy consumers to enter the world of home automation using the physical graph. Electric Imp is another company and they are dedicated to helping bring everything online. Increased access to the Internet and decreased cost to connect your stuff is making way for a profound and potentially life-altering shift in our culture and greater society.
There are clear benefits and concerns around making ordinary objects “smart”. Say you want to use your devices to turn on lights when you come into the house. After a few keystrokes you can carry the connected device into the room and your lights turn on, simple as that. If you’re away from the house but want to make sure your dog is okay, you can set up a tracker to let you know where Spot is—did he make it outside to stretch his legs? Or if you’re like me, you could receive a text message while you’re out searching for your escaped dog who has already returned home. If you’re disabled or handicap, utilizing the physical graph can improve your quality of life, with your interactions with people, caretakers, your electronics, household items, appliances, systems, etc.
As to be expected there are privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Tracking human beings is a little more troubling, particularly if you consider a child being tracked by anyone other than their parents or those designated by the parents. Your fate could be planned out, in a sense. With so many possibilities being presented in utilization of the Physical Graph’s capabilities whether for utility, fun, assistance, safety, etc., there’s a potential for, danger, unwanted accountability, and abuse. When we bring data gathered online into the real world, many people start asking questions. Do you? Are you using home automation or features of the Physical Graph in your life right now? As this technology is innovated businesses and people need to be aware of their footprint left behind when using these systems and responsibly protect and promote their data.
Mashable has a video on Electric Imp