Connected Things: Place
A Connected Things place is a conceptual location in the world where an interaction occurs at. Places exist in a natural hierarchy where at the top of the hierarchy are “large” places and at the bottom of the hierarchy are more specific “small” places. Often the top of the hierarchy are known places (continents, countries, states, cities…) and places at the bottom of the hierarchy are project specific (stores, departments, shelfs…). Places are of a type “place type” that describes and separates one type of place from another. There are several ways to determine the place an interaction occurs at.
Example Place Hierarchy
Determining an Interaction’s Place
There are several way to determine what place an interaction occurs at. Some methods are by proxy, whereas others are directly determined.
- Device Geolocation: Some types of devices have sensors, radios and methods to determine their location; common examples are GPS, WiFi and cell towers. When these devices participate in an interaction, the current place of the device at that times is used to determine the place of the interaction. These methods have varying degrees of reliability and accuracy which must be considered.
- Fixed Tags: If a tag is in a physically fixed location (ex: screwed on a door frame, stuck on a window…) then the tag’s place can be manually set by a project administrator at the time the tag was deployed. Subsequently when the tag participates in an interaction, the tag’s place is used as the interaction’s place. This has the potential for being highly accurate and reliable, but only works for fixed tags.
- Fixed Devices: The inverse of a fixed tag. If a device is in a physically fixed location, then when the device interacts with a tag the place of the device is used as the place of the interaction. The place of the device is determined by a project administrator manually.