Sensor Nets Get Social

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Read Write Web reviews on Citysense and WikiCity, iPhone applications that integrate sensor networks with social networks. A recent W3C Workshop on the Future of Social Networking, held in Barcelona in January, reviews the trend of sensors mixing with social networks and offers some real-world applications.

Both Social Networks and Sensors information can be modeled using Semantic Web technologies, says the paper. They can be connected in an interoperable and straightforward way. The W3C’s Resource Description Framework (RDF), is an open Web standard that can be freely used by anyone.

By combining social networks and social activities to Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities, the Semantic Web can map existing applications in new and innovative ways.

Products involving Web-connected devices include flood gauges, air pollution monitors, stress gauges on bridges, and mobile heart monitors. CardioSign hopes to commercialize a wearable blood pressure sensor.

Sensor Web XML-based specifications were created in consideration of Semantic Web technology, which allows data from various sources to be used with a common semantics for the data.

Read Write Web says mobile app like Citysense or Brightkite (their pick last December for Most Promising App for 2009), promise great power and flexibility and may find favor in both popular mobile applications as well as in areas like healthcare. Dailywireless also wrote about CitySense some 2 years ago.

Flash applications like EarthBrowser can give an animated 3D global view of traffic to any website.

Winners of the Flash Lite Application contest provide lots of inspiration. has tutorials.

The free Daisy Phone application is now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Daisyphone is also a java applet that can be downloaded free to a variety of cellphones.

It lets you create collaborative public media. Individuals can compose their own sampled sound, then upload it to a public sound sculpture.

The tempo is set by the speed at which a ‘radar arm’ rotates around the daisy. You place notes on the petals of Daisyphone and choose your instruments from the stamen. People are assigned different colors and compose collaboratively.

How about a giant umbrella on Waterfront Park that visualizes “city cloud” status and provides collaborative public art:

  • The umbrella handle, resembling a small tree trunk, is created from hundreds of recycled cell phones. They randomly ring with bird and animal songs.
  • The umbrella would be 12 feet in diameter and composed of 2,000 LEDs (or microprojectors), changing colors depending on node activity in the city cloud.
  • Electro Luminesent wire (ElWire) would delineate 8 sectors and “sweep” like a radar
  • An iPhone app or java applet, based on the Daisyphone, could be downloaded into cellphones or laptops to create a collaborative musical composition as the radar sweeps around the umbrella.
  • Cell phones would control this public art project. It would display a variety of visualizations, from traffic to weather or tweets from actual birds using TwitterVision and TwitPic.
  • An Open Source architecture encourages application development.
  • A picnic table under the umbrella provides shelter.

Smule’s iPhone app, Leaf Trombone, is a Massively-Multiplayer Musical Game that’s becoming a big hit.

The 99 cent app lets you “play” your iPhone like a trombone, sliding your finger on the touch screen to play different notes. It also features a musicbox-like accompaniment.

Related stories on Dailywireless include; WiMAX Innovation Network, Bar Code Redirects to Stories, Mapping Goes Live, Kids Unwire Salmon Stream, Cyclists Monitor Air Pollution, Low Power WiFi Sensor, RFID Tracking via Dutch Umbrella, Municipal Wireless Flash Applications, Grape Networks, Spy Squirrels, Sensors Expo 2007, Open Source Zigbee Net, MaxStream ZigBee module, RF-ID Giants Merge, RFID Tracking via Dutch Umbrella, Active ID & Temperature: On the Road.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 11:49 am .

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