Digital Urban Living

Browsing the Danish Research Council’s homepage — searching for some info on my own grant but failing at that — I stumbled upon this press release (in Danish, sorry). A large project in digital urban living will run in Aarhus the next four years.

I haven’t heard anything about this until today. That really shows how much I’m out of the loop these days. Since I started doing “Real Science” I haven’t been keeping track of what was going on in IT and computer science in town.

Sarcasm on!

Anyway, reading the press release it looks like a lot of the “usual suspect” visions in pervasive computing: mobile phones for news browsing (local news, in this case, probably because they want a digital Aarhus and not just any old digital urban living), mobile phones finding the closes restaurants when you go out, etc.

Let’s ignore for a sec. that I can already do that with any smart phone already. I am sure there are more visions than that…

Well, one thing they mention that smart-phones cannot do is houses changing colour according to the weather. My brick house sort of changes colour between sunny days, cloudy days and rainy days, but all shades of yellow. I am sure changing between red and green is an improvement.

Sarcasm off!

Ok, the press release is a bit daft on the concrete examples, and the remaining examples are too vague to comment on. This doesn’t mean that the project is crap, though. Boiling things down to the length of a press release is bound to dumb it down a bit as well.

I look forward to hear more information about the project. Concrete examples of what they plan to do. Find out what is in it for me! How will digital living change my life? Smart phones, ubiquity of laptop computers and wireless network has changed our life, so there is certainly a potential for IT to change the way we live.

How will this project add to this? Would the money be better spent just providing free wireless Internet downtown? ;-)

The budget is DKK 43.5 million, so it is well funded, and there is a lot of collaborators in it, so it will be interesting to see where it will lead.

More links, but all in Danish, here: