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April 14, 2008

Overdoing it with mashups

Filed under: Data Mashup — Alena Semeshko @ 10:24 pm

Here’s how you can overdo it with mashups. Ok, an internet umbrella

Pileus is an umbrella connected to the Internet to make walking in rainy days fun. Pileus has a large screen on the top surface, a built-in camera, a motion sensor, GPS, and a digital compass, and it provides two main functions; A Social Photo-sharing and A 3D Map Navigation.

…erm…hello!! What in the world? When it’s raining, you usually try desperately to watch your feet so as not to step into water, so as not to trip, so as to know where you’re going. Just how are you supposed to watch the umbrella and walk properly? Or are we supposed sit on a bench under the rain and enjoy it? Sorry, I’d rather go home and get online, or use WiFi in a coffeeshop inside… but outside in the rain?…no.

The photo function is connected to a major web service “Flickr”. A user can take photo with a camera on the umbrella, and pictures are uploaded to Flickr in two minutes with context tags via a wireless Internet connection. User can also enjoy theirselves watching photo-streams downloaded from Flickr with simple operation of wrist snapping.

Come on, what’s wrong with the good old camera?

3D Map Navigation is powered by “Google Earth”. Detecting a location data from GPS, it shows a 3D bird view around the user. User can walk-through a city comparing the 3D views and real sights, and the map is always updated by GPS and a digital compass. As it has a large screen, it create virtual reality but not immersive.

I’ve got GPS on my iPod, thank you very much.

Now these two functions can be switched by simply fliping a switch. As a future direction of its development, putting a context data on the Internet (e.g. geo-tags on photos), it will be able to provide social local-navigations, social local-ads, and real-time in-place communications. The product aims to provide an augmentation of everyday life synchronizing information on the Internet and the real place.

mm…that’s more like it. Wouldn’t mind knowing what’s around while walking in the rain…To jump inside and have a cup of coffee, wait for the rain to pass. That’d be nice.

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