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1 Author(s)
J. C. Spohrer ; IBM Research Division, Almaden Research Center, 650 Harry Road, San Jose, California 95120, USA

As global positioning, wireless communication, and mobile display technologies continue to advance, our notion of place will change. Information objects—first geocoded signs and later animated special effects—will begin to populate real physical space on what we call WorldBoard channels. WorldBoard is a proposed global infrastructure to associate information with places and ultimately to provide people with enhanced information perception services. This paper explores the notion of a WorldBoard from four perspectives: historical background, technical feasibility, potential applications, and social implications. Recent developments, ranging from lower-cost Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled car navigation systems to Casio Electronics' first-of-a-kind GPS-enabled wristwatch, foreshadow increased availability of location-aware information services and products. While significant technical, application development, and social challenges remain before a complete WorldBoard infrastructure can be made broadly, uniformly, and cost-effectively available, some feasible first steps toward this important goal are recommended. Finally, a notion like WorldBoard offers an opportunity to reflect on how technological possibilities unfold.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 4 )