People, Places, Things: Web Presence for the Real World

Tim Kindberg, John J. Barton, Jeff Morgan, Gene Becker, Debbie Caswell, Philippe Debaty, Gita Gopal, Marcos Frid, Venky Krishnan, Howard Morris, John Schettino, Bill Serra, Mirjana Spasojevic


The convergence of Web technology, wireless networks, and portable client devices provides new design opportunities for computer/communications systems. In the HP Labs' "Cooltown" project we have been exploring these opportunities through an infrastructure to support "web presence" for people, places and things. We put web servers into things like printers and put information into web servers about things like artwork; we group physically related things into places embodied in web servers. Using URLs for addressing, physical URL beaconing and sensing of URLs for discovery, and localized web servers for directories, we can create a location-aware but ubiquitous system to support nomadic users. On top of this infrastructure we can leverage Internet connectivity to support communications services. Web presence bridges the World Wide Web and the physical world we inhabit, providing a model for supporting nomadic users without a central control point.


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