4H/ Picos Everywhere

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Picos Everywhere

Tuesday 4H

Convener: Bruce Conrad


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


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Picos are persistent compute objects. They allow us to restructure data, moving it from a manufacturer silo and giving control of it to a consumer. Both consumer and manufacturer benefit. There was much discussion about this.


Doc Searls described the buy/use cycle as viewed by a manufacturer, mostly "buy" with very little concern about "use", and as viewed by a consumer, as very little time spent in "buy" but a whole lot in "use". The information produced during use of a product could be extremely valuable to a manufacturer, resulting in improvements enjoyed by both manufacturer and consumer.


D.S. and Jimmy Pasquale both had "square tag" QR codes attached to their backpacks, and J.P. also has one on his snowmobile. When he scans it, he is given access to maintenance history, etc. When someone else scans it, they are told, "if you are scanning this I must be under it. call 911." When D.S. scans the QR code on his backpack, he is given access to his relationship with the manufacturer, but if someone else scans it, it is assumed to be lost and contact information would be given to the finder so that it can be returned.


Talk turned from these passive things, which are represented by a pico in the cloud, identified by the QR code, to devices which can communicate directly. Phil Windley spoke of his connected car project, join fuse, and there was much discussion of the role that picos can play for vehicles. J.P. spoke of an aged relative whose vehicle's location could be tracked. We spoke of a pico being created when a car began manufacture, and ownership of that pico transferring with it when sold, maintaining all its history. When sold as a used car to a new owner, the pico could be transferred, but without trip and other confidential information, leaving maintenance and other information intact.


P.W. diagrammed the relationships among a drug manufacturer, a pharmacy, batches of pills, pill bottles sold to customers, with each party represented by a pico. When the manufacturer detected a bad batch, its pico would notify the batch pico, which would notify the pharmacy pico, which would notify the bottle pico, which would be able to notify the end consumer. All because of the relationships among the parties.