The future of the web relies on connected objects (iThings) that will allow us to interact fully with our close environment. The ever-growing number of sensors will send so much data over the network that it will need to be sorted to be of any real interest. The development of the Three Dimensional Query algorithm by Dr. James Carswell already offers one way of shaping the future for mobile users.
You can also read this article in French: "3DQ, l’avenir des applications mobiles". It was translated by Timothée Froelich.
Component diagram for the overall 3DQ system architecture - Source: ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
We all know the Web 2.0, or social web, based on information shared between users. Facebook, Twitter, and so on: even if we don’t use them, we know them! Nowadays, more and more data around us are available on the network and need to be shaped in order to be used via Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 applications. In their latest paper, published in ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information [available on MyScienceWork], Dr. James Carswell and JunJun Yin describe the development of 3DQ (Three Dimensional Query), their novel mobile spatial interaction (MSI) prototype, part of Web 4.0.
Web 4.0, the future of iThings
You probably wonder what this new Web 4.0 is all about. Some people call it the “intelligent web” where the network itself takes initiative. This is possible thanks to the development of the Internet of Things (iThings) that can collect and send data through the cloud. All everyday connected objects using an IP address are part of iThings, like a scale, a fridge or a washing machine. According to ABI Research, more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected in 2020 and, thus, will be available to send information about position, movement and environment, such as air and water quality, ambient light, noise, or radiation data, energy consumption, etc. Dr. Carswell did not wait for the complete set up of Web 3.0, the “semantic web”, to work on solving Web 4.0 problems. One of them is the information overload on mobile displays that will continue to increase over the years. “Optimizing all available information to personal needs through intelligent search and display is at the heart of 3DQ,” said Dr. Carswell.
3DQ: Sorting the tons of Web 4.0 data
Nowadays, a 2D query is already used by the general public in various applications like the “what’s around” of Google Maps, Twitter, AroundMe, etc. But, with the evolution of the technology and the increasing number of sensors around us, we will be able to look in a third dimension. Indeed, applications like 3DQ will sharpen our request. Not only will we be aware of what’s happening around us, but we will know precisely where to look, knowing even which floor to go to before entering a building.
For this, 3DQ uses the latest open source technologies to collect data inside a virtual dome that is created all around the mobile user. “Non-spatial attribute information is linked to geo-referenced buildings, points-of-interest (POIs), windows, doors and any sensors, iThings, that may be attached to these objects.” After identification of the physical objects, their typical Internet information is retrieved and their links are presented to the user.
3DQ in our daily lives
Of course, a 2D query could be sufficient to plan a jogging route or cycling trip. But the combination of the browser-friendly web service delivered by 3DQ and the real-time access to many layers of Big Data could allow the elaboration of an ideal route in terms of air pollution, noise and green space conditions.
For Dr. Carswell, “the future is for 3DQ to function on the mobile device itself, without need for network connections - except for retrieving linked attribute data.” This approach could help in avoiding the network latency in the query process with the additional benefit of reducing the network data transmission cost.
Future work will combine this approach with “semantic based filtering mechanisms of Web 3.0 and map personalization techniques that monitor past user task and map behavior to further adapt maps and information display,” added Dr. Carswell. Now, imagine the power of such an algorithm coupled to new technology, like Google glasses: SciFi movies are becoming real...
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The “A la Une” picture: By Spoorjan (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons