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Making Things Talk, 2nd Edition by Tom Igoe

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Chapter 8. How to Locate (Almost) Anything

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Address 2007 by Mouna Andraos and Sonali Sridhar

This necklace contains a GPS module. When activated, it displays the distance between the necklace and your home location. Photo by J. Nordberg.

By now, you’ve got a pretty good sense of how to make things talk to each other over networks. You’ve learned about packets, sockets, datagrams, clients, servers, and all sorts of protocols. Now that you know how to talk, this chapter and the next deal with two common questions: “where am I?”, and “who am I talking to?” Location and identification technologies share some important properties. As a result, it’s not uncommon to confuse the two, and to think that a location technology can be used to identify a person or an object, and vice versa. These are two different tasks in the physical world, and often in the network environment as well. Systems for determining physical location aren’t always very good at determining identity, and identification systems don’t do a good job of determining precise location. Likewise, knowing who’s talking on a network doesn’t always help you to know where the speaker is. In the examples that follow, you’ll see methods for determining location and identification in both physical and network environments.

Supplies for Chapter 8

This chapter is all about sensing location, so most of the new parts are sensors. You’ll also ...

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