The only limiting factor is our own imagination

Visionary ideas

When thinking about the future, one thing is for sure: the only limiting factor is our own imagination. Who ever thought in the 1970s that mobile communication would change our daily lives to the extent that we’ve changed our way of doing business and of being with friends? The ideas presented here may not yet have materialized in large scale or been industrialized, but could serve as the spark for developing something great. What do you think?

Windows of opportunity

When a window is a part of the high-speed mobile broadband highway.

Window of Opportunity is an exploration project where Ericsson tests what happens when ordinary windows are connected and act as connectors. Using a transparent antenna, an ordinary window could easily become part of the mobile broadband network, boosting indoor coverage for a great mobile experience inside buildings.

For commuters, public transport – say when riding the bus – is a time when we want super surf. By connecting the bus windows, our commute to work becomes an effective, extended office or a haven where we can unwind with entertainment on our way home. But why stop there? Clearly connected windows offer a spectrum of new and exciting possibilities such as automated blinds and cloud control for ventilation, lights, and other household appliances. The connected window presents opportunities to reduce building energy consumption and by adding transparent solar cells to produce electricity, these applications can power themselves and deliver excess energy into the smart grid. Windows could be used as a whiteboard that captures what you have written and emails you the notes and much more.

Connected tree

Connected tree

Our “Twittering Tree” senses changes in the electromagnetic field around it as people pass, and sends Tweets that reflect its mood directly to its Twitter account, ConnectedTree. This tree also reacts to people´s presence and movements by playing music, speaking and turning on and off lights.

The tree´s responses aren´t random – they are based on the activity around it. When someone moves away from it the tree will express its “loneliness” with a particular tune and a tweet. When several visitors are competing for its attention, it will comment on how busy it is. A special response is generated when someone touches the tree and an SMS is sent to the passerby´s mobile phone.

So how does it work and what is the technology behind it?

When someone walks by or approaches the Twittering Tree, its sensor transmits information about that movement and the changes it causes in its electromagnetic field to a processor in a nearby laptop, which then activates a number of responses.

Read more