I came across a competition recently that sounded interesting (and of interest) – the competition is organised by a UK Government technology board called IC Tomorrow and sponsored by Google Chrome (details here). The competition is to explore new ways of initiating web apps using new technologies, description shown below:
“New technology can change the way mobile web games are shared and initiated between players. Typically, mobile web games (i.e. those run in a browser, not native apps) are started by typing in a web address on a mobile device and shared by sending the address to friends. More innovative ways to start games’ sessions between users on the web will increase the potential for games to engage and attract players. This challenge seeks the development of a new service or new interaction that will encourage players to start their games’ sessions with other users with as little effort as possible.”
Update (2013-10-14); this has been implemented and will be available on Google Play by the end of the year. For those interested; the source code is available on GitHub – more information can be found on its site: www.findaplaymate.net.
Up until now, technology has isolated individuals, forcing its users to work with machines rather than people – but thanks to the advancements in technology we are starting to see a trend where technology is becoming more natural and complementing our human (social and active) traits rather than conflict with them. There is still a lot of work to be done, especially with how we interact with a smarter environment/devices (ambient intelligence), which will take time, but there are two components of this that will become mainstream within the next few years – that is Personal Area Networks and a standardised Proximity Service Layer. Personal Area Networks are networks that connect personal smart devices e.g. your watch connecting to phone etc. Bluetooth 4.0 being the ideal facilitator for this. The other, Proximity Service Layer, refers to smart devices offering services to other devices in close proximity (very similar to PAN’s and possibly leverage the same technology). The big drivers for this are Wifi Direct for h/w and AllJoyn (from Qualcomm) and Chord (from Samsung). For this to become a reality a open standard (mimicking the success of the web) needs to be formed.
Bottom line – devices will start chatting to each other like girls at a dinner party.