An Animating Spark: Mundane Computing and the Web of Data

Network connectivity is reaching more and more into the physical world. This is potentially transformative – allowing every object and service in the world to talk to one other—and to their users—through any networked interface; where online services are the connective tissue of the physical world and where physical objects are avatars of online services. It’s a world where objects know who owns them and can tell the world where they are. A world where ‘things’ are services, and where their functions can be strung together in daisy chains across the planet. Now the only question is how we make it useful and comprehensible for normal people…

Tom Coates is the founder and president of Product Club, a new product development and invention company based in San Francisco. Before that he was Head of Product for the Yahoo incubator Brickhouse where he developed the pioneering location sharing project Fire Eagle. He’s also run a small R&D group at the BBC and been Production Editor of TimeOut.com. He writes and talks extensively about many areas of technology, including the Web of Data, social software and network-enabled physical objects and environments. He also advises start-ups like Lanyrd and Weathermob.