This is a perfect example of technology being used to help people. And there was plenty of examples of that at this year’s NextFest.
What I like about this idea is that it’s simple to explain the use – you don’t even need to speak the language. Show someone how to use it. They get it! Plus, you don’t have to wait for some idiot government to implement the building of a facility to purify water. Each person can take care of their own needs AS they drink. They take that power in their own hands. No waiting, grab your LifeStraw (R) , go drink!
MOTEiv has been working with the Chicago Fire Department to develop such a system. The project is called Fire Information and Rescue Equipment (FIRE).
Buildings over a certain height (basically highrise buildings) would be required to make digital floorplans available to Fire Departments. SmokeNet is the system for installing a network of “nodes” in a building. One type is the smoke detector used to convey info about smoke and temperature. “Stoplight nodes” are placed in critical areas (like above certain doorways) showing three bright LEDs to help civilians and firefights locate exits and negotiate around the building and have info about the rooms yet to be entered.
eICS is basically the software running on the Chiefs’ laptop at the scene of the fire. All the information is coordinated from this. The digital floor plans will have live data from each firefighter layered on top. The list of all engines and their personnel is available for review.
For an interactive Flash example see here. That should give you an idea of what it’s like to be a Fire Chief. Without the stress.
P L A Y M O T I O N ! has created several interactive “games” that brings you back to that playful time. What I saw at the FEST reminded me of that Amiga program called “LIVE” which was certainly the first interactive computer program I ever saw. Move your ams and legs and sounds and pictures would occur.
I found the P L A Y M O T I O N ! displays quite colorful and fun. Even just to look at others “move” digital objects around is enjoyable. Some are on walls, others are on the floor. I must say, it’s good exercise at least! I saw a couple of kids jumping around kicking a “red spot” between each other. Take a look at some movies of the available titles
DigiWall is actually a computer game. Sensors are in each hand-hold. So the computer knows when someone is touching it. Various games can be constructed and programmed using this simple concept. Kids can make music on this wall. Touching the Hand-Holds lights them up and plays a sound (from the hi-fi system behind the wall). The DigiWall can become a musical instrument.
Several kids can “play” the wall like an orchestra. It’s not the orchestra experience I had as a child, but it sounds fun.
While this may give some people a “second chance” to raise their pet again, this really sets up the expectation of doing the same with people. At least that’s what my science fiction reading tells me. Anyway, while I’d love to see my dog and my brother’s dog again, it’s a little bit scary.
About 50 ragpickers working in the slums of New Delhi collect plastic bags. The plastic is then washed and separated by color. About 60 plastic bags are pressed in a machine creating a thick “sheet”. From here the sheet is cut and lined with cloth to make shoulderbags, backpacks, shopping bags, organizers (diaries), and wallets.
They look attractive and interesting. This process helps clean up the planet, gives jobs to poor people and ends up making useful products. There’s no negative here and it’s all about People Power!
Written by Cecilia