Talking trees and the power of me

I’ll see John Tanner’s Kibot and raise him a…connected tree.
Yes, you read right – a connected tree that talks to you and even tweets about the experience. It was one of the innovations demonstrated to myself and a select bunch of journalists at the Ericsson Consumer Lab in Stockholm last week, and isn’t as crazy as it might sound.
The point of the demonstration was to highlight a new development by the vendor called Capacitive Coupling. At its simplest, this involves using the human body’s inherent electrical circuitry – capacitance and resistance – as a cable. Ericsson aims to show that we can become a core part in transmitting data to and from mobile devices, at speeds up to 10-Mbps.
While Ericsson foresees applications including automatic access to buildings – where doors unlock simply by touching the handle -, exchanging business cards through a handshake, and even making purchases by touching the point-of-sale terminal, I can see a practical application for the tree itself in farming.
Crops of fruit trees are the best example. The technology would enable farmers to know what’s been checked – an important factor when looking for pests or even picking the fruit once ripened.
We’ll have more from the Consumer Lab visit, including the views of the senior management who were on hand, on Friday