Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking into the Future

This weekend, I had two [three?] futuristic experiences.

Firstly, on Saturday morning, I played a game in the musée des arts et metiers known as "the secrets of the museum". Each participant was given a cellphone which could read and write on RFID tags, which had been attached to certain articles in the museum, including a model of the statue of liberty!

The game began with each participant having 4 images in their cellphones. Our job was to gain as many points as possible by

  1. "putting the item back where it belonged" by going to object in the museum [using the map they gave us] and waving your phone next to the tag attached to the object. Funny thing, when you did that, the tag talked back to your phone, adding a new item to your phone. So then you had to go and put that back, and get more points :).

  2. "answering simple quiz questions about the object that one just put back". Upon being put back, the object asked you a multiple choice question, which you could answer to gain points :).

  3. "collecting 4 objects of the same color in your phone before putting them all back". The 16 objects that were involved in the game were divided into four "colors", and if at any time your cellphone contained 4 objects of the same color, you got extra points. Kinda reminded me of the LEO "jackpot" game which I loved as a kid.

  4. "by exchanging objects with fellow gamers". To help in objective 3 above, you could also exchange objects with another person by putting your cellphones close to each other. So I was occasionally seen stopping people and asking "hey, you got a green object? I can give you a yellow one in return."

The game was cool, and we passed an hour without feeling it. The museum is also very nice, and I will surely visit it again. Pictures of the event are here and here. The ones containing me start at this place [pic 35 of 64]. Huge thanks to F for being my teammate [you can see her in the pics].

Of course, the game above was part of an experiment in pervasive computing, and I look forward to meeting the researchers again. I believe that technology has a lot of potential for making education interesting for kids, kinda like this experiment of teaching English to village kids using radio.

The second "futuristic" thing that I did on Saturday, which is something I had never done before, is something I won't talk about quite yet :P.

The third thing was to read this post on A's blog on the focus of Japanese auto-makers on research to make cars of tomorrow, and not cutting R&D funds even in the recession of today. Also, see the second video there where they interview the CEO of their airlines, JAL.

That's it for now, will be posting details about item 2 above in some time ;).


  1. suspense is not good for health! jaldo batao :)

  2. Anonymous10:53 PM

    hmm...whats this we're hearing? bolo bolo....;)..I already have a few guesses...

  3. Rajini10:54 PM

    oops, i clicked anonymous by mistake. the above comment was me.