July 24, 2003

Where's My Stuff?

The future really is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet.

This will only be really important to *me* when each of my books knows what it is. Those are the only things I regularly fail to find...

Mercury News | 07/21/2003 | Wozniak's latest project: GPS locator tags for everything: Steve Wozniak, the guy who brought us the personal computer, has another idea.

His new company has created a wireless network that he says can help you find almost anything -- lost keys, lost dog, lost child. His Los Gatos company -- Wheels of Zeus (WOZ, get it?) -- has designed tags that you can attach to a child, a dog or just about anything. A handheld monitor uses global-positioning-system satellites to show where the tagged items are.

The genius behind the idea, called wOzNet, is in the use of a low-power, long-range wireless protocol that operates at about 1,200 baud. That's roughly a fifth the speed of a dial-up modem, but fast enough to send a quick burst of information about an object's location...

Posted by DeLong at July 24, 2003 10:58 PM | TrackBack


Wow, GPS moves out of sporting goods in a big time way! Well, whatever you do with your GPS stuff, I hope your wife gets some good laughs out of it, and that you look as ridiculous as possible as you set up all your coordinates.

Sure you don't need a remote controlled trolling motor to go with that?

Posted by: northernLights on July 24, 2003 11:51 PM

1,200 baud is the not about a fifth the speed of a modem, it's about a fifth the speed of a 9,600 baud modem, whereas the most common type of modem nowadays is a 56k baud modem.

Posted by: Factory on July 25, 2003 12:13 AM

Brad, it seems like you should respond to this:

Posted by: chomsky on July 25, 2003 02:22 AM

I do hope that this w.o.z. gps thingy could be made to set off an alarm if one's tagged toddler fell into the simming pool, as that would by far be the best possible application of the WOZ's new widget. I'd damn sure buy one.

Posted by: Tom Strong on July 25, 2003 09:17 AM

I have a kid who turns three next month. Malls are scary. I wanted this since before he was born. If I had WOZ's connections, I would started this company. I can not come on the market fast enough for me.

Posted by: Decnavda on July 25, 2003 10:37 AM

baud is not bits per second, but signals per second. I do not remember the actual bauding of 56k modem, but it is quite lower that this 56000 value, I think it is at a ratio of six bits per signal. A signal is a change of state.


Posted by: Antoni Jaume on July 25, 2003 11:09 AM

sounds like a actual Marauder's Map is in the works!

Posted by: David on July 25, 2003 11:51 AM

...AN actual...

Posted by: David on July 25, 2003 11:54 AM

They have little outfits for kids that make them look like little suicide bombers but that keep them afloat in the pool. That's my technology of choice for kids and pools.

Case in point, it's an awkward technology for kids and pools. But for documents it would work. (I know I know, just put the document in the suit that makes it look like the suicide bomber. I'm just not that organized. Better to throw a sticker on it and walk away.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on July 25, 2003 01:41 PM

If you're trying to find which room a book is in, GPS is probably the right tool, but if you already know it's in the library, or at least on a particular wall, I don't imagine it tells you much.

But those RFID chips that Gillette and Walmart have been toying with recently might already provide the hardware you want. The main problem is probably that no one's marketing them to individuals.

Posted by: L on July 25, 2003 08:36 PM
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