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Spime is a neologism for a futuristic object, characteristic to the Internet of Things.



The six facets of spimes are:

  1. Small, inexpensive means of remotely and uniquely identifying objects over short ranges; for example radio-frequency identification.
  2. A mechanism to precisely locate something on Earth, such as a global-positioning system.
  3. A way to mine large amounts of data for things that match some given criteria, like internet search engines.
  4. Tools to virtually construct nearly any kind of object; computer-aided design.
  5. Ways to rapidly prototype virtual objects into real ones. Sophisticated, automated fabrication of a specification for an object, through “three-dimensional printers.”
  6. "Cradle-to-cradle" life-spans for objects. Cheap, effective recycling.

With all six of these, one could track the entire existence of an object, from before it was made (its virtual representation), through its manufacture, its ownership history, its physical location, until its eventual obsolescence and breaking-down back into raw material to be used for new instantiations of objects. If recorded, the lifetime of the object can be archived and queried.

Spimes are not defined merely by these six technologies; rather, if these technologies converge within the manufacturing process then spimes could indeed arise. Due to physical limitations and cost-effectiveness, objects that perform similar functions to a spime but exist in a heterogeneous ecosystem where some of their spime-like functionality is performed by and/or shared with other entities may be precursors to spimes. For example, integrating a GPS receiver into every object is currently impractical because of size, power, and cost, among other reasons, but a base station that provides location services for one or many nearby devices may be more practical.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spime" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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