Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Personal Assistants in a Networked World

Inhabitat recently feature Nissan's new electric prototype. I'd seen pictures of it in Intersection, but I didn't realize that it came with a motorized assistant. Dubbed RA (Robotic Agent), it can read the drivers facial expressions and comment. For example, it will ask you if you're doing OK if you look sleepy. Of course, in my mind, I'm thinking something like HAL or Marvin. Yet, this video makes it look cute.

One of the more interesting parts of the RA video is that it was shown as being able to find parking for the driver. That would mean that either the city meters or the parking lot was wired & was able to transmit information wirelessly. Now that's pretty cool.

Then I started thinking about RFID in libraries & scanners in cell phones. I wondered if we might build a resource locating app (i.e. a library branded, digital assistant) that allowed patrons to find books using their cell phones. This would be especially helpful if the range had not been shelf read in a while. Furthermore, it would empower the patron. I guess, though, there would have to be a greater need to have RFID scanners in mobile phones in the 1st place.

No comments: