Libraries: sandbox space for new technology

May 01, 2012

Libraries could be a testing ground for new technology such as Google's augmented-reality glasses and advances enabled by the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, a QUT expert says.

Associate Professor Marcus Foth, director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab at QUT, said and other cultural institutions could showcase how to think beyond traditional uses and engage the public in new technology.

He said , for example, had released the design for its futuristic glasses in April so the public could give input before the glasses go on sale later this year.

Professor Foth said libraries and other cultural institutions had the opportunity to become places for everyone to experiment with new technologies, particularly with the roll-out of the NBN.

"New engagement spaces such as The Edge at the State Library of Queensland provide the perfect environment for the public to trial and explore new devices," he said.

"Similarly, governments of all levels have started to organise local 'hack fests', such as last year's Library Hack, releasing some of their datasets and asking the public, how would you use this?

"Libraries can become a sandbox space and educational outlet for these user-led developments in addition to being used as a place to archive and preserve knowledge and collect books."

Professor Foth said Google's Project Glass added a new interface to the "bits to atoms" technology trend which includes laptop, tablet and mobile phone screens.

"Google's augmented-reality glasses are an example of the global network being used for local purposes. Everything is becoming more localised. That has repercussions in many areas," he said.

"The excitement for the NBN won't be those big visions from the 90s of virtual universities and shopping centres in cyberspace. That's something we've already visited.

"What is far more exciting is how the NBN can be brought into the real world to amplify local relationships. More and more people are using smart mobile devices to stay connected in new and interesting ways."

Explore further: LifePaint spray is Volvo's safety offer for cyclists

More information: eprints.qut.edu.au/46113/

Related Stories

EU OK with Google-Dutch Library deal

Jul 15, 2010

(AP) -- The European Commission said Thursday it does not object to Google digitizing 160,000 books in the archives of the National Library of the Netherlands if they will be made publicly available.

Google to scan Dutch library collection

Jul 14, 2010

Google said Wednesday it is teaming up with the National Library of the Netherlands to scan more than 160,000 of the books in its collection.

Major universities see promise in Google Book Search settlement

Oct 28, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Stanford University, the University of California and University of Michigan announce today their joint support for the outstanding public benefits made possible through the proposed settlement agreement submitted to the United States District Court, S ...

Recommended for you

LifePaint spray is Volvo's safety offer for cyclists

5 hours ago

For cyclists sharing the road at dark with cars and pedestrians, a useful motto is to stay safe by staying seen. Volvo, which continues to build on its brand of safety-first, has come out with LifePaint. ...

Wearable technology can help with public speaking

7 hours ago

Speaking in public is the top fear for many people. Now, researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Rochester have developed an intelligent user interface for "smart glasses" ...

Lightbulb using graphene is to go on sale this year

18 hours ago

The BBC reported on Saturday that a graphene bulb is set for shops, to go on sale this year. UK developers said their graphene bulb will be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super- ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.