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July 17, 2008

Is ‘Internet of Things’ already under our noses?

INTERNATIONAL – There are some ties to the physical world that we just can’t seem to shake off, like the humble old business card. Appreciating that, the new Multiscanner business card reader built into the E71 and E66 enables you to take a photo of card and then squirt the info electronically into your address book. You might need to change the odd bit of info here or there – the tech used is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and can sometimes be more of an art than a hard science – but it will do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

This got me thinking. Is this the first evidence of the concept of Internet of Things in day-to-day action – using your mobile device to suck information from real-world and convert it into a useful digital resource at a most basic level.

Sure, the idea of the Internet of Things, which is being worked on by the Nokia Research Centre, extends far beyond this collaborating technologies such as GPS, fast data connections and beyond, nonetheless, as you witness a real object being hocus-pocussed onto your phone into a manipulatable digital form. It’s a subtle piece of software, but I believe hugely significant, even though the technology has been out there for a while.

What do you think? Is the business card reader a taste of a mobile future you can associate with and get excited about? Let us know using the comments below.

Photo from Simon Zirkunow

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