The historic city of Bath, England is to become the scene of a city-wide wireless computing network as part of a research project that could influence the future of mobile phone technology across the globe.
The GBP1.6 million Cityware project, based at the University of Bath, will turn the city center into a ‘pervasive’ computing zone where users have access to computer services wherever they are and at all times.
As a part of the experiment, volunteers will be given state-of-the-art mobile phones, which will grant them access to a network of services including online maps, interactive city-wide games and cultural activities. The volunteers will work with the project for three years and will constantly provide feedback on the system.
One of the first new services that will be available through the Cityware project is a new location recognition tool that uses the photographs people take of buildings to help them find where they are. The service will also provide information on the history of the building and other local points of interest.
The Cityware project will make use of wireless networks, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication at different locations across the city. Researchers will be able to measure the volunteers’ usage of these technologies, as well as looking at other key issues such as security and privacy.
Bath & North East Somerset Council are closely involved with several aspects of the project and are also helping ensure that it provides the kinds of services that will be of use to both local people and visitors.