I ran into an interesting post today on a blog I frequent. It showed a Microsoft "Second Light" demonstration of I suppose what is a newer version of the Microsoft Surface technology.
The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfzplPIrzjY&eurl=http://gamesalfresco.com/2009/02/02/stimulant-xray-exposes-whats-under-the-microsoft-surface/&feature=player_embedded
Now, let's just imagine that I am wearing plain old sunglasses (what they call a cheap bit of plastic in the video). I come upon a nice looking visual advertisement in the street; say at a bus stop. Or, I'm thinking of a visual map I saw in a mall in San Francisco recently. I stop to watch it and then, it watches me. It analyzes my face. It decides it either knows who I am because it's seen me before or guesses close enough based on my features based on some kind of algorithm. Or, I'm registered perhaps by shopping at a store in the mall. Remember, your glasses are the 2nd diffuser they discuss in the video. Or, you can just hold up a bit of plastic or trace paper for the special advertisement just for you. Your face is the ad target. You can watch the ad without your glasses and see the generic information. You can watch the ad with you glasses and get a very interesting and targeted personal advertisement.
The Source Blog: http://gamesalfresco.com/2009/02/02/stimulant-xray-exposes-whats-under-the-microsoft-surface/
Interesting indeed. Perhaps a little off topic for this blog. But, not so much when you realize the amount and variability of computing that will have to go on very quickly in the background to support such an application. That, my friends, will most likely be done on a Cloud Computing or Cloud-Like Infrastructure and a distributed asynchronous application for the search; something map-reduce I'd imagine. Perhaps it'll have an nVidia Tesla based "supercomputer" inside to do much of the heavy calculations locally inside the display only reaching out over the network for the bits it needs; as little as possible.
If you want to fund this idea, just drop me line. :) Very fun! Intrusive maybe. But, it's coming one way or another. These are interesting and exiting times I think.