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Spatial Googling(2010)

Fig. 1

Patent for “ Spatial Googling ”
( 0 ) Explaination of the Category the methode, the operation and/or the device ( 1 ) Inventors: Lauren Matrka, Stacy Morton, Peter Zuroweste Correspondence Address: 10 Akron Street Cambridge, MA 02138 TEL:847.219.2637 (2) Keywords:RFID, bluetooth, tracking, searching, library, archive



Fig. 2

The explosion of the internet as a search tool has taken away the exploration inherent in man. Instead of exploring a city, it has become habit to surf the web and find a destination before the physical journey has begins. This leads to less time in the physical environment where serendipity and social interactions occur. RFID technology is greatly changing the way products can be tracked; outdating barcodes. RFID tags store relevant data of the object on an almost invisible chip can be read by an RFID reader when in proximity to one another. This combined with the recent influence of mobile cell phones and specifically the device’s wireless connectivity protocols such as Bluetooth, creates an opportunity to generate new ways of searching and exploring cities. Spatial Googling is the ability to create purposeful serendipity by means of passively moving through a city and simultaneously searching for an object or researching a topic of interest. An individual is able to enter keywords on their cell phone and using a combination RFID and Bluetooth technology, be alterted when passing a tagged objects with matching keyword to their search query.

Spatial Googling(2010)




Google as a searching platform is a great source for finding specific research material or places within a city, but requires significant research online in the virtual realm before one is able to find the specific object or place in the physical realm. Spatial Googling takes away the pre-research needed to find an object or place and instead allows the user to explore a city in his everyday life and let the object or place come to him. RFID tags are embedded within objects, such as books, to include information of the object including, in this case, the book title, author’s name, and keywords associated to the text. By placing RFID readers within thresholds of buildings and rooms, readers can detect the presence of the book associated with the tag and track its location dependent on the static RFID reader. Using computer software, the RFID reader is able to keep track of which book moves within the threshold and which book leaves. Where serendipity plays in is when a user is able to walk by an RFID reader, linked to that specific location, and be notified that the location is associated with a keyword the user is also interested in. In order to accomplish this, the user must have access to the RFID reader and visa versa. With the prevalence of cell phones, the most relevant technology for such a connection is through Bluetooth. As long as the cell phone user has their Bluetooth capabilities turned on and searching for other devices, it will recognize the RFID/Bluetooth reader at which point the two devices will connect. If a keyword the user entered on the cell phone matches one of the tags registered by the RFID reader, the cell phone will alert the user that the location corresponds to a keyword (ie. a book located in that room).

Since there are an infinite amount of object within a city and more being added each day, the cheapest and most common RFID tags are necessary; passive tags. Passive (meaning non-powered) RFID tags are cheap ($0.50-$3.00 per passive tag), as thin as a sticker, and can easily be adhered to almost any object (in particular books). Tags are embedded with a microchip and have read and write capabilities; allowing data to be changed, updated, and locked. Each tag has its own ID number which is then associated with the data of that tag. The RFID reader must have a mid-range read capability (approximately 3-4 feet) so that it reads the width of the threshold. With a close-range reader, the object must be consciously scanned less than five inches from the reader; with Spatial Googling, the reader must scan the tag by a subconscious force. When the RFID reader reads a tag, it automatically retrieves the tag ID number and records it the a database on an internet server. If the tag is read twice, the database recognizes the tag has left the threshold of the reader and is no longer in that location. Attached to the RFID reader is a Bluetooth modem which allows the reader to become a remote unit powered by a battery source and have wireless capabilities. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communication technology that is not only inexpensive, but also automatic. When devices come in each other’s radio range, their link managers discover each other and engages a peer-to-per message exchange. Since most cell phones are equipped with Bluetooth capabilities already, this allows an easily integrated connection between a user’s cell phone and the RFID reader. Once the RFID reader and cell phone create a connection, the cell phone queries the database online in which the RFID reader is recording to. If a keyword the user put in their cell phone aligns with a keyword associated with a tag in that location, the user is notified via their cell phone as to the object, it’s keyword, and it’s location.