not quite everywhere

I’ve been (belatedly) reading Adam Greenfield‘s Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing. By ‘everywhere’ he means the pervasive insinuation of inter-connected computation into all aspects of our lives — ubiquitous/pervasive computing but seen in terms of lives not artefacts. Published in 2006, and so I guess written in 2004 or 2005, Adam confidently predicts that everywhere technology will have  “significant and meaningful impact on the way you live your life and will do so before the first decade of the twenty-first century is out“, but one month into 2010 and I’ve not really noticed yet. I am not one of those people who fill their house with gadgets, so I guess unlikely to be an early adopter of ‘everywhere’, but even in the most techno-loving house at best I’ve seen the HiFi controlled through an iPhone.

Devices are clearly everywhere, but the connections between them seem infrequent and poor.

Why is ubiquitous technology still so … well un-ubiquitous?

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reading barcodes on the iPhone

I was wondering about scanning barcodes using the iPhone and found that pic2shop (a free app) lets third part iPhone apps and even web pages access its scanning software through a simply URL scheme interface.

Their developer documentation has an example iPhone app, but not an example web page.  However, I made a web page using their interface in about 5 minutes (see PHP source of barcode reader).

If you have an iPhone you can try it out and scan a bar code now, although you need to install pic2shop first (but it is free).

By allowing third party apps to use their software they encourage downloads of their app, which will bring them revenue through product purchases.  Through free giving they bring themselves benefit; a good open access story.