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April 8, 2008

“Internet of Things” powered by human-like senses

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Somewhat of a head-scratching phrase, the “Internet of Things” is the core concept behind a new long-term research partnership between Nokia and the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology.

So what does it really mean? The “Internet of Things” is the concept of using your mobile device to collect and share information about your physical surroundings. And perhaps not as you’d imagine. See, this research is exploring the use of technologies and smart sensors that could replicate human senses to help gather information.

Recently, we brought you news of BBC tech reporter Darren Waters’ recent visit to the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, where a GPS camera phone could be used to capture info on a real-life object, dubbed ‘augmented reality’ (see video below). However, this project delves into even more unconventional methods for capturing useful info to share with your community of friends. Smells? Sounds? Touch?

“The initial joint research agenda will focus on pervasive communications: Exploring new interaction experiences and technologies utilizing all the human senses; Services and applications based on the user’s context, such as location, and personal preferences, e.g., information provided by sensors within a mobile device or in the surrounding world; Internet services and technologies – enriching the Internet experience on mobile devices.”

Dr. Bob Iannucci, Nokia Chief Technology Officer and head of Nokia Research Center, reinforces this approach:

“Nokia has already carried out a great deal of research in the field of pervasive communications, and sees the fusing of the digital and physical worlds as a key objective in mobility. We have chosen to work with the Swiss Institutes of Technology because of their expertise in this area”

We’re fascinated by this area of research, and will be pursuing more information from the people involved, so watch this space for more on the “Internet of Things”. Are you as intrigued by this concept of multi-sensory devices and services?