January 17th, 2013

Check it out: PTRCK.nl

Small update on the Social RFID project demo

June 29th, 2008

The story videos are back online.

My Red5 Media Server hosting the Social RFID stories has been down for quite some time, making the story videos unavailable. I decided to make a little work-around for the web-version. Now the story videos run off of the webserver itself, making the thumbnails and videos available again.

Play around with the working demo!

Social RFID

RFID 2.0

September 7th, 2006

While I wrote about social applications making use of existing business RFID infrastructure, RFID in Japan mentions HP Japan and BEA Japan proposing a business kind of “RFID 2.0″:

Systems that allow for a company to integrate the data with existing business applications (and share the data with other companies) are “RFID 2.0.”

A nice analogue indeed. Unfortunately their source, nikkei, is in Japanese. Judging from the summary in English, it looks like both companies thought about the way data is treated within the RFID infrastructure. But did they mention end-users?

Social RFID

August 23rd, 2006

A PDF version of my thesis (2MB) is available for download:

Social RFID thesis cover

The website accompanying this thesis can be found at www.socialrfid.org. I will publish a demo application of my graduation project there soon. Right now it’s using RFID input, so I will have to make a workaround. I’ll try to publish a web version soon.

Thingtagging Google Base items

August 23rd, 2006

As an example to my thesis findings I wanted to publish my thesis through Google Base and provide it a Thinglink code. As Google Base is still in beta fase, this does not work like it perfectly at the moment.

The first problem I came across was the addition of the attribute ‘Thinglink’. Google did not approve this attribute name. After contacting Google about this, they approved it for my particular item, but I’m still unable to add more items and provide them with thinglinks.

Google Base

The second problem is the layout of the actual thinglink. Google Base attributes do not allow colons in them. So it’s inpossible to use an attribute name of ‘Thinglink’ (which should be possible as soon as Google approves this attribute for new items) with the value of ‘thing:189THS’. A workaround could be the use of just the part after the colon: 189THS. Google comes up with the following solutions:

I have researched your question, and unfortunately, at this time there is not an easy way to include the formatting “thing:123ABC.” As you stated our system will strip colons ( : ) in custom Google Base attribute value fields.

At this time, you can include the formatting “thing:123ABC” in the following locations: title, description, or in custom attribute field of the type “Large text.” The “Large text” option is not very practical in your situation, as it needs to be text of few lines to allow the attribute to remain specified as type “Large text” otherwise the attribute specification reverts back to “text.”

A working Google Base item example of my thesis is public and searchable at the moment. At the time of creating it, I did not publish the actual thesis yet. Earlier this month, Google Base allowed you to attach more files than just images. A very detailed digital representation of an object can be now be created!

My Google item was of the Item Type ‘Thesis’. It is impossible to use custom item types at the moment. I suppose this will be fixed soon. Because my current item already is of the type ‘Thesis’, and I cannot change it at the edit page, I am unable to update information on my thesis.

Update: My thesis ‘Social RFID’ is now available and more detailed on Google Base.

Additionally just like Matt Biddulph explains thingtagging used on Flickr, the same can be done with Google Base items, linking the description layer of Google Base to the actual thinglinked object. Unfortunately also here Google is currently stripping the colon from the thinglink.

Internet For Things

August 23rd, 2006

You always know Google is up to something. After my request for an XML feed from individual items I got the answer:

We currently do not have an RSS feed for individual items, but we’re always working to further refine and enhance Google Base.

Of course it was only a matter of time until Google would release an API for Google Base just like all its other services.

In my thesis I wrote about setting up a primary description layer for objects. To create a public counterpart of the EPCglobal network one of the best central description databases would be Google. And that’s what is possible right now! By using Google Base as primary information layer we can create a second layer of applications for things. These applications all have their own database and can combine the central descriptive information in the primary layer with their own or other secondary applications.

The objects (or items as Google refers to them) all need a unique identifier, and that’s where Thinglink appears: the public alternative to the commercial EPC (Electronic Product Code). At the moment Thinglink is doing great, but what they are doing right now is a double job. They provide unique identifiers: the actual thinglinks. But they also allow their users to create a descriptive layer around these things. At that point, Google is doing the same, but better, and gives people more flexibility to create a much more detailed digital representation of the ‘item’ concerned.

Thinglink’s job is to provide unique identifiers: Thinglinks. Its website could give a nice overview of thinglinked objects, just like it does now, and it does a great job at that. The descriptive information about things though, belongs in Google Base, because we have more than just thinglinked objects.

The term ‘Internet Of Things’ is creating smart networked environments where objects communicate with each other. With the Google Base API becoming available we are one step closer to building applications for objects in the analogue world: an ‘Internet For Things’. More about this can be found in my MA thesis.


August 22nd, 2006

Yesterday I had my final exam, and I made it! It was nice to finally present these months of work and I was pleased to see the jury being so enthusiastic about both my project and thesis. In my examination committee were John Hennequin, Dick Willemsen, Rob van Kranenburg and Eric-Paul Lecluse.

The thesis has its own unique identification code, the thinglink thing:189THS. Its description layer is stored as item at Google Base. More on these layers of information can be found in my thesis. At the moment Google Base is experiencing technical problems so updating its details and publishing the PDF through Google Base is not working at the moment. I will retry soon.

Thesis Social RFID - Patrick Plaggenborg

At the HKU Faculty of Art Media & Technology Graduation Exposition 2006 I will present my project. It will take place at the 13th and 14th of September.