Microlocal networking (was Re: WEARABLES: Smart sneakers)

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp-lib.org)
Wed, 08 Dec 1999 05:46:56 -0800

>I read about another idea for a "smart sneaker", this one was prototyped at
>MIT I believe, and I think I read about someone putting it into production
>but I'm not sure. Additional info would be appreciated.

I seem to recall it was IBM who was touting this... They may have funded some work at MIT's Media Lab.

>This sneaker contained information about you: your phone number, stats,
>resume maybe, stuff like that. When you shake someone's hand, who is also
>wearing this type of sneaker, a small voltage transmits all your info to
>them, and theirs to you. Later you go home and look at all their info on
>your computer.

I'm not sure it was sneakers per se. But the cool (if safe) idea was to use your entire body to carry the
low-energy electric field needed to support a robust LAN protocol. It could work in conjunction with other
devices, too, such as a door handle that could interrogate and authenticate access privileges when you
come into contact with it, etc.

>I think this would be great. Socially, it would serve the same function as
>having a web page: you can have a store of information about yourself and
>your interests that people can look at which might be awkward to bring up
>out of the blue.

Like your Geek or Freak Codes? :) The official patter was "exchange business cards without fumbling".

>Zeb Haradon