Pervasive Internet: “Remote Control, With a Wave of a Hand”
At some point, the data network (Internet) becomes so pervasive, it is no longer a network – in the sense of connecting nodes. It changes into something closer to what a physicist would call a field. Perhaps, a more homely analogy is that we will not be connected to the Internet, but will be swimming in it. I’m not sure that anyone sees clearly what the implications are.
© 2011 Norman Jacknis
Soon gestures may be controlling more than just games. Scientists at Microsoft Research and the University of Washington have come up with a new system that uses the human body as an antenna. The technology could one day be used to turn on lights, buy a ticket at a train station kiosk, or interact with a world of other computer applications. And no elaborate instruments would be required.
“You could walk up to a ticket-purchasing machine, stand in front and make a gesture to be able to buy your ticket"
Instead, the technology uses something that is always with us, unless we live in the wilderness: ambient electromagnetic radiation emitted as a matter of course by the wiring in households, by the power lines above homes, and by those gas pumps at the service station.
The human body produces a small signal as it interacts with this ambient electrical field. The new system employs algorithms to interpret and harness that interaction.