Routers as Traffic Cops…Literally
One of my pet peeves of living in the Bay Area is that people just don’t use their turn signals. I don’t know why it is so difficult, but I would say that 1 out of 2 Bay Area drivers look at the turn signal as an irrelevant appendage. There is now technology being developed that allows a user to “think” something and physically make it happen…something called Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). Say, turn the lights on or off or open the garage door. You have to train your brain to do this, but with the device on your head, it can read your brain waves and you can make inantimate objects (albeit electrical or motorized) move. Here’s hoping that technology can also be applied to the turn signal.(Image from Flickr – by Rogue Soul)Which made me think a bit about traffic…another cross that Bay Area residents must bear. Sure, we’ve got nearly perfect weather all the time. We’re close to the beach, the mountains and live in an area where thousands upon thousands choose as their vacation spot every year, but we’ve got the whole turn signal and traffic thing going against us. Somehow we’ll survive.You’ve likely heard of routers as the “traffic cops” of the Internet. Why can’t we use similar technology for actual traffic? Think about it. Routers move packets in the most efficient way from A to B. There are routing tables and if one section of the ‘net is down then the packet will find another route, etc. Just like we do with our cars when one route is too busy or a wreck occurs. Can we give IP addresses to all of our vehicles, imbed wireless devices in them and let them communicate with their fellow cars on the road to find the most efficient, quickest, traffic-free way home? We’ve already got a GPS system (just like the Internet, initially developed by the government) that will help direct cars from point A to B. Why not just program in where you are going and let your GPS and car’s IP address take you there? Maybe it sounds a bit like a Woody Allen movie, but can this be that far off?