On the first day of SHiFT08 in Lisbon last week I participated in the workshop on SPIMEs by David Orban. SPIMEs are transient applications that are aware of SPace and tIME, hence SPIMEs and can interact with their surroundings through sensors and an internetconnection. Those spimes are the core of the internet of things.
In the workshop we split up in groups to come up with different spime applications. To be able to do this and have a reasonable change of coming up with something, David gave us a recipe to follow:
1) Choose the spime’s sensors for its interaction (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical, social sensors etc.)
2) Choose the level of spime data aggregation for your application (loca, global, non-geographic)
3) Choose a point in the timeline of technological development (now, at some specific point in the future)
4) Design machine to machine interaction (reliability, redundancy, systems needed etc.)
5) Design machine to human interaction (what is ‘friending’, information display, social objects)
Spime workshop
With that recipe our little group (as shown in the picture above) went to work. We ended up with a spime application that is based on detecting people falling.
The final presentation on our spime application, dubbed ‘All Fall Down’, that I gave on behalf of our little group has been taped and uploaded to YouTube by David:

On the sidelines of the workshop I had a little chat with David as he was preparing some slides for the other groups in the workshop:

One of the groups had drawn their slides on paper, which David then photographed. The pictures he edited and cropped into Keynote slides, after which the group gave their presentation. The interesting bit is perhaps not so much in the process of this, but very much in the last remark David makes in the video above: it means you can bring in the laptop as a tool at the very end. I totally like that. Because the laptop is not a social object in group work, but pen and paper is. During this workshop Jose (the guy on the left in the pic) and I both worked on our laptop, which helped to keep our notes and work organized, but which was a barrier in the conversations. Pen and paper on the other hand serve as just as good a means for note taking, but at the same time enhance the conversation. (As seen here, e.g. during Elmine’s Birthday Unconference)
An enjoyable workshop, the concepts and take-aways of which were reinforced the next day as I attended David Orban’s presentation on the same subject, and during the conversations we had during the conference, amongst other over a seafood lunch.


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