We've had several discussions in the past about comingling virtual world technologies with physical spaces to form augmented realities. (E.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 ) To give credit where it's due, Jerry Paffendorf has often chimed in with some great links and interesting comments on this topic. (E.g. 1, 2, 3) From time to time, we've also discussed the increasing technological viability of virtual-real mashup games like Human Pac-Man.
This week, Nick Carr says:
There's long been talk of what John Seely Brown dubs "ecological computing" and what others call "pervasive computing" - the use of a multitude of wireless sensors to hook the physical world up to the Internet - but not much has come of the idea to date. That may be about to change, though, as the cost of sensors falls, as scientists learn more deploying them in the environment, and as military and commercial applications proliferate.
and he cites an AP article on point.
So here's an open-ish thread on this topic. Free associate: Where is the trend headed? What is your vision of the 10/20/100 year horizon of a pervasively wired, data-rich physical geography? What social problems will be created? What end-user technologies will provide the best design for an interface to the data layer? (Phones? PDAs? Books? Fancy sunglasses?) And most importantly, how will being able to "see" the history, interior, value, occupancy, etc. of that building across the street make life your daily life different?
References to relevant science fiction are encouraged.