With wireless internet, traditionalists feared that ‘place’ wouldn’t matter anymore. Indeed, it’s never mattered more. Here are some of the ways, as highlighted in Salon’s Urban renewal, the wireless way.
– All that digital communication is inevitably going to lead to face-face communication. Since digital dialogue encourages multiple participants simultaneously (depending on how cool you are), nothing provides a better physical meeting spot than the third place.
– Athens GA’s 24-block wireless downtown (the Cloud) has led to more people visiting its third places, restaurants and live music venues. Find out how here.
– Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are ‘invisible flyers’ that allow passersby to wave their cellphone at a restaurant or theater to get other patrons’ reviews, or leave their own, or download an audio tour of a neighborhood as you walk through it.
– You can even play place-based games, or enjoy a ‘walk-in’ movie where you plug your earphones into your digital-sound-capable cell phone to watch a movie in a town square.
The point is, this evolving digital infrastructure begins to shape the physical infrastructure around it rather than vice versa, and in the name of a higher quality of life.