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Mobvis, Internet of Things, and Revenge of the Hyperlink

Fears of the marriage between the concept of Ambient Intelligence and the Internet of Things promoting skynet scenarios for the benefit of an adocracy or geek-elite are highlighted by a recent cool article on MOBVIS, one of a slew of mobile visualization and hyperlinking the real world application/platforms:

European researchers working on the MOBVIS project have developed a new system that will allow camera phone users to hyperlink the real world. After taking a picture of a streetscape in an urban area, the MOBVIS technology identifies objects like buildings, infrastructure, monuments, cars, and even logos and banners. It then renders relevant information on the screen using icons that deliver text-based details about the object when clicked. This project goes beyond today’s mapping applications like Google’s Street View, for example, which first identifies your location either via GPS or triangulation and then shows you pictures of that area. Instead, MOBVIS actually lets you “see” the world through your mobile phone. This is computer vision, or rather, mobile vision. [link]

Despite the possibilities of real-world spam attacking your mobile phone from taking a picture of a NSFW building in the background of a top flickr image search result for a Damien Hirst sculpture thats sitting right in front of you, props have to go out to the eastern european mathematics community for the actual meat of the matter:

The MOBVIS system’s main strength comes from its feature-matching algorithm developed by the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, one of the partners of the project. This algorithm can very accurately detect minute differences between similar objects. In real-world tests, it’s reported that this system was highly accurate, detecting the right building 80 percent of the time. Ale Leonardis, head of the Ljubljana team, believes that number can be improved, too. He also notes that that the system, though not always right, was never wrong. “It was remarkable that there were no false positives,” he says. “Sometimes the system couldn’t identify a building, but it never put the incorrect link on a building.”

I was actually trying to make it home the other day and followed the wrong link.


January 4, 2009
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