Wouldn’t it be nice if the real world could be managed as easily as the online world? Online, we can save bookmarks, catalog files and photos, and clip interesting paragraphs and sound-bites for later. In the real world, however, it’s not quite so easy. Aside from writing down the things we want to remember (gasp), we have no reliable way of keeping track of things in the real world.
All that may begin to change very soon. Companies like Nextcode are hard at work trying to make sure we can “click” items of interest in the real world and interact with them much in the same way we do online. Picture this: you’re walking down the street, and pass a really nice looking cafe that you want to try for brunch some time. You pull out your camera-equipped cellphone/PDA, snap a picture of the cafe’s “intelligent barcode,” and are brought to the cafe’s website on your device’s mobile browser. You can then email yourself a link, or just bookmark the site for later. Easy. As. Pie. (Sure, you could just snap a picture of the cafe and save the photo for future reference, but where’s the fun in that? What if you want more information right now?)
Yes, it all sounds so futuristic and magical, but in reality, it’s very possible. Smartphones and internet-enabled mobile devices are growing in popularity each day, so its only a matter a time before more businesses begin integrating intelligent barcodes onto their products, signage, and marketing materials. Actually, maybe it’s not just a matter of time. This may very be one of those seemingly appealing technologies that just doesn’t have an eager-enough market. Either way – The American has a great article on the whole topic, entitled The Internet of Things. Check it out.