If you stroll outside IBM’s offices at 11 Madison Ave in New York City with an iPhone or Android-powered smartphone, you’ll discover something strange and new in Madison Square Park, and it’s not the Gormley sculpture exhibit imported from London.
Using Tagwhat — the augmented reality (AR) content creation service just launched — we’ve scattered bits of content about Smarter Cities, analytics and the Internet of Things throughout the park. On one corner there is an item about Cabsense, a new app that predicts the best nearby corner to find a taxi, based on crunching a year’s worth of GPS data and traffic patterns from NYC cabs.
Right smack in the middle of the park you can find a post pointing to the wonderful Internet of Things video with IBMers Mike Wing, Andy Standford-Clark and John Tolva.
Towards the southeast corner, near the popular Shake Shack eatery, is another tag hovering in virtual/physical space. It touches on how RFID tags are being used to track sensitive shipments such as strawberries, like those used in the Shack’s delectable hand-spun shakes.
The aim was to create, literally out of thin air, a kind of location-specific walking tour or exhibit of how cities and urban centers can become suffused with new kinds of intelligence. AR is one of the promising new dimensions of that kind of ambient intelligence converging at the cross roads of digital and physical realms. In fact, we’re calling this little pilot MadSqAIR, as in Augmented Intelligent Reality, to undescore the connection. You can follow developments at http://www.tagwhat.com/smartercities and via Twitter at @madsqAIR.
We’re also using the Foursquare location-based social media network to let people in the Madison Square Park neighborhood discover this open AIR experience.
To see this array of posts in the park, download the Tagwhat app from the Android market (an iPhone version is pending). You can post comments on tags, or even create some of your own. In fact, you don’t even need a phone to create AR content. Just use the Google Maps tool on Tagwhat’s site. We hope this experiment can grow across New York City, as well as in other metropolitan centers. We also hope to put this new platform and approach to work for the upcoming 2010 Global CEO Study launch.
What uses of Augmented Intelligent Reality can you imagine that would help make our cities, systems and entire planet smarter? Please share your thoughts and comments.