Internet Geographer


Posts tagged hybrid
GPS Real-World Gaming in Hybrid Space
A real-time, multiplayer, GPS game for mobiles is being played out in the real-world. The game, played by groups of four or five people, uses a one kilometer radius around any point on Earth to delineate spatial extents in which three or four chasers try to capture one runner. Each one of the players is tracked via a GPS phone and their coordinates are mashed onto a map that they can all see. The only twist that that the runner is always allowed to view the map, whilst the chasers only have access to the map every six minutes. The game is a fascinating way to roll elements of the physical and virtual together into an adrenaline-pumped experience.

What’s next? Fast Foot Challenge is essentially a high-tech version of tag. But, more complex games combining the physical and virtual worlds are already starting to appear. A variety of shoot-em-ups in which the mobile phone is used as a gun have been designed, and it seems only a matter of time until we start seeing a lot more of the Earth and our daily lived environments being used as a setting for interactive games. Let’s just hope we don’t ever see Grand Theft Auto ported over into real cars in the real world.
Invisible Geographies: The Street as Platform

A nicely written quote about invisible geographies, hybrid physical/virtual spaces, and urban data streams from the City of Sound blog:

The way the street feels may soon be defined by what cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Imagine film of a normal street right now, a relatively busy crossroads at 9AM taken from a vantage point high above the street, looking down at an angle as if from a CCTV camera. We can see several buildings, a dozen cars, and quite a few people, pavements dotted with street furniture.

Freeze the frame, and scrub the film backwards and forwards a little, observing the physical activity on the street. But what can’t we see?


We can’t see how the street is immersed in a twitching, pulsing cloud of data. This is over and above the well-established electromagnetic radiation, crackles of static, radio waves conveying radio and television broadcasts in digital and analogue forms, police voice traffic. This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and closed, constantly logging impossibly detailed patterns of behaviour. The behaviour of the street.”

The Tesco API: A Link Between the Physical and Virtual Worlds

Today the Guardian reported that Tesco has launched a beta API for its online shopping service. This may seem rather unremarkable given how many other websites already have fully funtional APIs. However, apparently this is the first ever API offered by a supermarket.

What this means in practice is that all sorts of applications andwidgets can be written to order groceries from You could be reading a recipe book on your kindle and click on a link so that all the ingredients you need are ordered from the online store. If integrated with a smart fridge and smart cupboards (via RFID tags), your account might even automatically know not to order milk because your fridge knows that you already have enough.

So here we see the first step in creating a hybrid virtual/physical kitchen, and for better or worse an idea that will surely speed up the development of the Internet of Things.