I’ve followed this publication since inception, and it is becoming even more important and interesting these days. Every issue has links to interesting projects and products, and articles that sketch the state of technology in mobile, wearable, and Internet of Things-hot topics that I blog about.
I also can see reflections of my own “approach-avoidance” conflicts in these pages. The authors lay out exciting technologies, and new ways to use them. But there are also cautious and worried discussions of the truly evil prospects of universal surveillance coupled with weak security and non-existent public policies. And many times, it is the same person expressing both excitement and wariness.
Like I said, this publication is more interesting than ever. Have a look for yourself.
If I may be grumpy for a minute, I’d like to complain about the frequent cases of academic tunnel blindness I see here. Too many projects are framed (marketed) in terms of narrow use cases that everyone agrees are good ideas.
For example, the current issue has a theme related to “Smart Spaces” includes, for example:
- A Tabletop-Centric Smart Space for Emergency Response
- A Smart Environment for Children with Autism
- A Smart Fiber Floor for Indoor Target Localization
The third one is described as useful for assistive environments for elderly.
The research is sold by telling these “feel good” stories. But the technology is, of course, completely general purpose. And the other uses are far from warm and fuzzy. “Emergency Response” mean police surveillance, “smart environment” is total surveillance that can be applied to anyone, and “target localization” is tracking people inside their home.
It is disingenuous at best, and deceptive at worst, to pretend that we don’t know the broad and deep implications of this technology. That’s why it is exciting, for goodness sakes. So I wish people would stop wasting our time with these sugar coated press releases. Don’t apologize for working on stuff that is revolutionary, but do face facts.