Monday, August 30, 2010

Tomorrow's GUIs

The concentration of web cam feeds in some "security office", where it's impossible to monitor in real time, is not the only sensible arrangement, when it comes to gluing work / study positions into co-functioning circuitry.

Imagine your dispatcher could watch the pallets pile up on the loading dock, as the truck backed into the bay. The trucker has a comm link that includes video. There's room in the rear cab for multiple feeds, for consulting when not rolling.

This video view of the warehouse loading dock could be in one of several HTML5 windows. The point is those web cams connect people who communicate with one another, aren't just for monitors looking for someone doing something wrong (which depresses morale, inspires anger at "big brother").

Web cams need not be about intrusive monitoring, invasions of privacy (although they might be), as many a video blogger will attest -- because they were in control. If that's your friend on the other end, watching your back, helping you manage, then you'll not have the same bitterness as when snooped on by enemies, unseen voyeurs behind one-way glass (the setting in many a movie, especially cop shows, also Bruno).

The "silent spy in the sky" model might stay in the picture, but it's selfish to hog all the warehouse video and not let people who work with the warehouse actually see what the scene is.

Civilians could be so much more productive if allowed to enjoy what some soldiers of fortune already get to play with. Viewing audiences know from sporting events, from the Discovery Channel, how routine it is to place multiple cameras around an event space.

Having a web cam on the truck, usually pointed at the road, would be an option. Some enterprises use that to match up with a maps view. Here's where the truck is, here's what the truck is looking at on the ground, in terms of traffic and weather.

In the case of Wanderers, we tracked a blip in real time but the Google Street Views were not updating in real time, were just a rough approximation (whatever happened to be in the database from the last time a Street Views car went through). We were sitting at our HQS in Portland while the Buxtons traversed middle America.

Looking at bio-diesel options for Blue House heating. The idea of an extended campus might include a college finding a heating oil supplier that met Keith's criteria (one of my advisors on fuel). Once again, trucks are involved. Or should we phase out heating oil entirely?

I used to write science fiction on one of the Physics lists about robot trucking systems (ZTSs) that'd extend DARPA's research into self-piloting vehicles. Some particular freeway might be set aside for testing, not shared with unsuspecting motorists.

Low volume studies in macro-sized packet switching using machine intelligence need not take priority over outfitting ordinary trucks with better GIS/GPS however. This was never about ending all the driving work out there. That would neither be practical nor desirable.

Speaking of GIS/GPS, NASA's concerns about a possible solar eruption, hard on satellites, is percolating to the top of the inbox as something to talk about in concert with other brands of 2012er.

This beats getting hit by an asteroid or invaded by ETs (new ones), in terms of realism.