Social object – Boundary object

Social objects somehow resonate with the concept of boundary objects discussed in a technology-enhanced learning context.
 “Boundary object (BO), originally introduced by Starr (1989), is a concept to refer to objects that serve an interface between different communities of practice. Boundary objects are an entity shared by several different communities but viewed or used differently by each of them. As Star points out, boundary objects in an organization work because they necessarily contain sufficient detail to be understandable by both parties, however, neither party is required to understand the full context of use by the other – boundary objects serve as point of mediation and negotiation around intent. Boundary objects are flexible enough to adapt to local needs and have different distinct identities in different communities, but at the same time robust enough to maintain a common identity across the boundaries to be a place for shared work. Boundary objects are not necessarily physical artifacts such as a map between two people: they can be a set of information, conversations, interests, rules, plans, contracts, or even persons.” 

Op-Ed: Objects Aren’t Social


“…Trouble is, I just don’t think that Internet-connected everyday objects have much social value.
Say I tag a book that I bought and attach the following ‘memory’ to it: “I read this book in the summer of 2010, it was a great read. I’d give it a 4/5.” Even if I wrote a much more in-depth review, what value does that have on a single object? If I uploaded that review to Amazon.com, then it’s put into context and gets aggregated with other reviews to form ratings and other ‘wisdom of the crowd’ intelligence.
But on the object itself – my copy of the book – the review has limited value. If a friend of mine happened to scan my book with their phone, they’d see my review…and then probably head straight to Amazon.com to see what other people thought. Or perhaps check out what their own social network thought, via an app like Glue (a social network based on the media you consume). Objects aren’t social, they never were and they never will be. The real value of Internet-connected objects is that they can become part of the network, which means they can connect to one another and they add more data to the giant computer we call The Cloud. But social networks aren’t going to form around single objects, other than perhaps public ones – like the Eiffel Tower, for example. But then you are just talking about a location, which the likes of FourSquare and BrightKite can take care of…”
Source: Richard MacManus, April 18th, 2010. Available: http://readwrite.com/2010/04/18/objects_are_not_social. Retrieved 25 Oct 2012.

Jyri Engestrom on growing networks around social objects

Jyri Engestrom’s presentation about growing networks around social objects (december 2006).

Conference on Pervasive and Embedded Computing and Communication Systems – PECCS 2013

Position Papers
Paper Submission: November 2, 2012
Authors Notification: December 6, 2012
Final Paper Submission and Registration: December 20, 2012

Acoustic barcodes: passive, durable and inexpensive notched identification tags

Interesting paper by Chris Harrison , Robert Xiao and Scott Hudson presented at UIST ’12:

Acoustic barcodes: passive, durable and inexpensive notched identification tags

“We present Acoustic Barcodes, structured patterns of physical notches that, when swiped with e.g., a fingernail, produce a complex sound that can be resolved to a binary ID. A single, inexpensive contact microphone attached to a surface or object is used to capture the waveform. We present our method for decoding sounds into IDs, which handles variations in swipe velocity and other factors. Acoustic Barcodes could be used for information retrieval or to triggering interactive functions. They are passive, durable and inexpensive to produce. Further, they can be applied to a wide range of materials and objects, including plastic, wood, glass and stone. We conclude with several example applications that highlight the utility of our approach, and a user study that explores its feasibility.”

Why wait for the IoT?

Guest post by Rob van de Linden, CEO of Ciseco, in the IoT SIG of the UK Technology Strategy Board: 
 As a researcher, research director, and CTO, I have been privileged to have witnessed the birth of the Internet of Communications, the Internet of Programs (distributed computing), the Internet of Data (the web) and the Internet of People (Social Networks). In each case, the impact on business has been beyond any early expectations.