Ecology of Mind

The Evolution Revolution Is Now!

Smart Space is Coming… and coming fast!

with 7 comments

Smart Space Will Auto-Generate Human Synchronistic Events

Shopping aisles will suggest a cheese with that wine and even a possible date in aisle #3 who buys the same olive oil, pasta and ice cream we buy. Of course that person in aisle #3 may also now know who and where you are. The reactions to such data by both parties might be very entertaining to watch from the video monitors above.

This technology is here already. Have you seen the “Sonar” iPhone app?

Parking Spaces will know we have arrived –  Can there be any doubt where that is heading?

For starters our smart airport parking space might speak to us.  When it does it might say:

“Hello Mr. Hennessy. Your departing flight is currently on-time. Current security line wait time in International Terminal 3 is 45 minutes.”

Of course we will be able to ask “Smart-Spaces” questions, such as…
Q: “When will the parking shuttle arrive?
A: “5 minutes Mr. Hennessy. ”

Smart Parking Sensors _ @libelium

And “smart spaces” will obviously promote and sell to me. They will even appear empathetic, predicting our needs! 

Airport hallway “Smart-Walls” will speak to us. To me these interconnected and contiguous “sensing” panels might suggest…

“You have time for a beverage Mr. Hennessy. Would you care for your Guinness at the bar coming up up on your left in 100 yards? I can order it for you now if you’d like.”

Did I mention that the audio tech exists that can pin-point the projection of sound, i.e. to you and only you as you walk down a hallway :-)? Perfect huh.

Kiosks everywhere will know us… the level of intimacy we will most likely control, but they’ll still know something about us if we are carrying a Smartphone and our devices are switched on.

Outdoor Advertising is already digital and real time... and becoming smarter everyday @ClearChannelOutdoor

And we have all noticed the appearance of DON (Ex: Clear Channel Outdoor’s – Digital Outdoor Network) where we see outdoor space displays or “faces” such as highway bulletin boards, walkway panels, airports, street “furniture” such as transit enclosures – all migrating to real-time digital and I have NO DOUBT will become individually, or group, personal-data interactive: 

Now, speaking of big outdoor digital displays getting smarter and interactive, check out how people on the street are playing a game (in public) using their smartphones.
Their game-playing moments of fame are displayed on a huge digital billboard above a McDonalds. The game is called Pick & Play and if you last 30+ seconds you win a McD’s sponsored prize:

Social Game-Playing On The Big Outdoor Digital Screen. This smart-space knows who & where you are!

This is real-time interaction with a physical surface w/geo-location features all tied directly to your “person” via your smart phone…

(Think about it. I do. All the time. And it’s a love/hate thing for me.)

… and you can win an ice cream cone!

Incredible mass consumer social-psychological appeal, and great promotional platform and channel.

In our coming retail shopping experience Smart-Spaces will “know” us coming and going, and in the in-between.
Human + Smart Phone Meets Intelligent and Social Tablet in the Wine Aisle

Human + Smart Phone Meets Intelligent and Social Tablet in the Wine Aisle

So, you might ask your “Self”, where’s the risk?

I say, the risk exists in our habituation to the experience of this clever intrusion into, and dilution of, our privacy over time. From my window, our increasingly pervasive social-sharing produces a commensurate loss of privacy which then begets a certain thinning or speading of one’s very Personhood… a “diffusion of identity.”
From and Ecology-of-Mind perspective, we simply need to become smarter about our Self; to know more clearly who and what and why we are.
A more coherent “Self” can stand independent of context, as a significant and self-aware human being. Then we can enjoy the technology and support development directions that make sense to us while also fighting those applications that are not healthy.
Then the smart (and even learning-) spaces will serve our personal and social growth and development vs. only others.


I speak to these issues and other related matters throughout the Ecology-of-Mind blog; and propose direct social product and application solutions here:; and to solutions on a large-systems business scale here: 

J. Brian Hennessy

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I think if this progresses like this, we will forget to think for ourselves as all thinking will be done by preselected data that we share about us. In some ways that is frightening, and yet the world seems to be heading that way. That makes me want to head for a cabin in the woods for some reason. I know it seems the thing to embrace all this if we are to get along in this world and keep current in careers & such.

    Still, not knowing the end result or outcome is what can be the pleasant or unpleasant surprise in a situation. If this makes sense?

    I like the challenge of trying to find something out for myself or someone. I guess that is why the GPS gets left at home and I continue to buy the maps that get clearanced in the store. So I can study the towns, the routes, and open the accordion style lay of the land before me. The thrill of the pioneer spirit lives on…….

    I see all this down the road in fact it’s already here. I am looking for the nearest exit to an unbeaten path where others want to discover life in the old way.

    Well written above Brian! That is one thing I cannot argue with…..

    Elaine DeJesus

    June 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    • Thank you Laney, as always. You get no arguement from me regarding the more organic old ways. I love a number of them and find I prefer some of over their digital analogues.

      I am simply pointing out where we’re heading. Although I would like to meet people that I share some “authentic connection” with as I travel about my day, at least be given the opportunty to meet anyway.

      That said, “choice” will be one of many interesting variables in our more predicted smart-space life futures. Hey, we can always turn off our “tracking” and any other form of future “Here I Am.” feature… right? We can only hope (and demand!) – 🙂


      June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  2. Thought inducing stuff.

    The music and movie suggestions from iTunes and Netflix come to mind. I agree with wanting to find my own way. I’d rather discover music at a live show in a small club, or learn about a new movie through a friend that has a passion for film. However sometimes I am looking for a quick solution and am eager to take a suggestion.


    June 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    • Thank you Sean. Great thoughts, and as you might suspect constructive comments are always appreciated.

      Let’s go shopping.

      Imagine 12”x14″ touch screen tablets in the wine aisle of your fave’ food store. “The Smart Store-as-Space” has memory now. It knows you; knows what you have bought; when you buy what and how many times; and all of this and more analyzed as contextual and conditionally weighted variables, e.g it’s Friday night vs Sunday morning.

      It, our smart-shopping-space, knows also how you “move” through the store. There is a great deal revealed in not only what we actually purchase but how we shop! This smart-space knows where you “pause”; for how long, and with a contextual sensitivity to all previous behavioral patterns…. You’d think tons of data right, not for our cloud-based smart-stores.

      Now, the interactive smart-tablets in the wine aisle are always very personable and happy to see you, Sean. Why? Because they know you, in particular. The smart-space shows this right off the bat by saying (voice or text screen (on tablet and/or your smartphone) “Hi Sean!” and doing so in Gaelic. Just kidding.

      Anyway, the smart store tablet say hi, each one of them, as you walk the aisle and they offer a suggestion… actually they show you what you like to buy after you stop by the deli and put a wheel of triple rich brie in your cart… knowing this pattern of yours the smart store through its tablet interfaces shows you a perfect 90+ bottle of wine, a new and risk free suggestion, for 50% off, that just happens to be on sale one aisle over.

      Now, always wanting to impress your spouse (I am projecting here) with your keen vintner sensibilities you go for the chance to delight (and impress). Your new best (tablet) smart-shopping friends wave you sequentially (the tablets can follow you thru your phone, right.) to the exact space on the aisle so you can find that kewl new bottle of vino that will make you look a god among before lesser men.


      June 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      • Looking back to my days as a process engineer in manufacturing I imagine a ‘spaghetti diagram’; a tool to trace the steps of the line worker to see where they go to get tools, equipment, etc. to get the job done. Capturing this data was always very manual, time-intensive, and intrusive. To automatically have this data at your fingertips through tracking on a phone or other electronic device would yield so much useful data. I can only imagine the behaviors that could’ve been uncovered if we had that kind of information in our plant.


        June 7, 2011 at 6:59 am

  3. There’s some part of me that totally rebels against all of this. There are days when I so enjoy being ‘incognito’, quietly going about my day. I have never had a smart phone – or anything else smart, for that matter as I’m not huge on technology, just doing the basics that I need to get by. I dare say the day will come when everything simply evolves in that direction and we have no choice in the matter .

    But for now, I’d rather not be monitored every step of the way and have even the simplest of thought processes taken out of my hands. When everything can be had at the press of a button, what happens to spontaneity and creativity? And there are no questions left to ask.

    Fiona Stolze

    June 8, 2011 at 3:16 am

    • Hi Fiona and thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am a bit of a monk myself so a certain facet of me resonates to your thoughts. Other facets speak up as well.

      For me the beauty of science – and its’ more vulgar at times derivative, technology – is that pure science is an art form. No matter how far out on the edge of it we find our self’s, no matter how hard we push, new questions and new mysteries always remain.


      June 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: