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Dewey Decimal Carpet

Fibre optic carpet that lights up your destination
  [vote for,

Our public library is pretty huge, and every time you find the book you are after on the computer operated catalogue system it then takes you 15 minutes to write down the numbers and then navigate to the actual location of the book.

My idea is that once you have located the book you were after on the terminal you click on the "take me to the location" button on screen, and the fibre optic carpet (it is out there in sheets), lights up for approx 30 seconds in a flowing path from your terminal to the books location, or its rough location, hopefully not to someone else's house cause it is booked out...

It would meerly run on a grid system that highlights each section of the library and came configurable in several colours so you wouldn't loose your way. Route detection and potential collision detection would have to implemented.. Plus around Christmas time your could spell "Merry Christmas" on the carpet...

Supercruiser, Nov 11 2003

Similar... http://www.halfbake.../idea/Dewey_20Light
[jivetalkinrobot, Oct 04 2004]


       I want to like this, and I do like the fiberoptic carpet part a lot, but how would it deal with a multitude of people looking for books at the same time? "Which path is mine?"   

       I wonder why, other than expense, libraries don't have a simple receipt printer attached to the terminals (quiet: ink jet or thermal). You could add them to a "shopping cart" as you find books in the catalog and then print the list (complete with a grid location to help you quickly locate the right neighborhood for the book).
half, Nov 11 2003

       [half] We have a fairly similar system at my university: you scan the book's barcode at a terminal at the end of the shelf as it is removed so you can withdraw books without queuing at the desk. Don't ask me how it works tho.
Mistress Bling, Nov 11 2003

       [SC] I like this, but if your library is as large as you say it is you should give people more than 30 seconds. You don't want people madly running around the library, do you?   

       [MB] I have no idea why that would be the same as the idea [.5] is describing.
Worldgineer, Nov 11 2003

       Because it checks books out instantly ...however, maybe I misunderstood.
Mistress Bling, Nov 11 2003

       I voted for just 'cause I like the general spirit of it. I'm also concerned about people not being able to tell which path is theirs. Could we have colored paths? That would increase the number of people that could use the system at the same time.   

       And definatly you need more than 30 seconds. Also, it would probably be more practical to have the person pick up the trail after they get to the appropriate floor - "Proceed to 3rd floor and follow orange trail."   

       Bonus - high-tech multi-colored lighting that can swivel and cast the appropriate color on the actual shelf containing the book - you don't want to have to find it yourself, right? And when nobody's looking for a book, the light system could go into freaky club mode, giving patrons the atmosphere of studying in a disco...
sycorob24, Nov 11 2003

       I reckon in my initial second paragraph that I mentioned the colour thing, or you could you a miriad of stripes. But I like the idea of a bit more than 30 seconds, and I had not considered multi-level libraries.. what if there is no power down in the basement.. muahahaaa
Supercruiser, Nov 11 2003

       Every now and then lead people in endless circles around the library.
Worldgineer, Nov 11 2003

       Generally, I check the on-line catalogue at home before I go to the library, and then I've got a list of several books, not just one. The problem occurs when a book is misplaced, or intentionally placed in some other area. So, ideally, each book would contain a transponder with a unique address, so that library personnel could find it for you by some sort of wireless device.
ldischler, Nov 11 2003

       I guess you would see large, different coloured arrows, glowing through the carpet. HHHmmm, now what book do I need to get, so my orange arrow path crosses the green path of the cute blonde chick...
Micky Dread, Nov 11 2003

       What happens if you're on a campus library, and the book you want is in one of the other libraries? Does a path light up all the way across the university? Nice. :)
Detly, Nov 11 2003

       Detly - A small Marvin like robot comes out a whinges its way across to the other library, or you could simply use your 'Faster than light drive'...
Supercruiser, Nov 11 2003

       If nothing else you'll have to run really fast. You only have 30 seconds.
Worldgineer, Nov 11 2003

       This could be simplified by making the book code and shelf location a single number/system. e.g. by embedding the shelf location in the book code (or labelling the shelf locations according to the book codes)
OnionBread, Nov 14 2003

       Heh. I think I've been here too long/much because I know what [UnaBubba] is talking about.

At least if she ever does a vanity search on Google she'll have something to find.
half, Nov 14 2003

       Another idea is to have a system using transponders similar to that mentioned, where users wear headsets with microphones as a wireless interface with the library's catalogue server.

       A user would run through a voice recognition set-up during the procedure of checking out a headset. After selecting a book or subject, the wearer would hear a voice prompt offering navigation assistance. This would work much like a back seat driver.   

       Options can include voices such as the female computer in the movie 'WESTWORLD", to HAL, or even Katie Courick.   

       One advantage of the headsets is reducing the chance you'll lose time in conversations with acquaintances you might run into. Renting headsets could also raise revenue for the library as an exclusive service.
Tiger Lily, Nov 14 2003

       [TL] I like, but will take it one step in a different direction. Instead of a headset, you will be given an orb. The orb glows sightly green from your touch - it's translucent and there's a bulb inside. Also inside is a servo-controlled stick attached to the bottom (you know which way is the bottom by an affixed red dot). The stick has a heavy weight at the top, which, using servos, always leans toward the book you are searching for.   

       Not that all this detail is required, I just like the image of people following their glowing orbs around campus.
Worldgineer, Nov 14 2003

       Can the orb hear you speak? Or would it matter...
Tiger Lily, Nov 14 2003

       Oooh. I like that. It can contain a microphone and a speaker, and the glow will modulate with speech. That way you can search for more books while walking. "Tell me, great orb, do you have any books about rhinoceroses?"
Worldgineer, Nov 14 2003

       Awsome! But this creates a need to have nurseries available as a place to keep orbs on student exam days.
Tiger Lily, Nov 14 2003

       Can't you just have a librarian in a tower, watching everybody... like the lifeguard at the neighborhood pool, with a megaphone, shouting "You're getting WARMER!!!" Ooops, shhhhh you're in a library.
stringstretcher, Nov 15 2003

       Woulden't need fiberoptic carpets, just have server moter moved flashlight dots where the lights would be. (estimated cost for our library: $1000 ( ~$12 each, 75 of them ( our library has 2 floors, total ~2000-3000 feet^2 ) )
my-nep, Nov 15 2003

       While not a terrible idea, I gotta think that the total implementation cost would be more than $12 per unit.
half, Nov 15 2003

       Change it to servo controlled lasers, and I like it. Especially at the amazing $12 each.
Worldgineer, Nov 15 2003

       Yeah, I'm afraid that [my-nep] estimates project costs like I do.
half, Nov 15 2003

       Worldgineer, I take it the servo controlled stick is vertically oriented thereby indicating directional headings only, if so, how would someone legally blonde discern whether to look on a higher or lower shelf relative to the level of the orb? I think the stick should tap on the inside of the orb, from gently to persistently for indicating "warmer" and "cooler"
Tiger Lily, Nov 15 2003

       I know better than to put anything in my ear bigger than my elbow.
Tiger Lily, Nov 16 2003

       awesome idea... this could be used in more than just libraries... any large institution could implement a system like this that could lead them floor by floor to where they need to go. I like the idea of having this used for security as well...
sheep, Nov 16 2003

       For anybody looking for a book such as "learning to waltz" the carpet could illuminate the footsteps (different colours for left and right) following which would then allow the seeker to find themself waltzing across to the right shelf.
dobtabulous, Nov 17 2003

       [TL] Once you reach the correct bookshelf, you just have to raise the orb up and down - it flashes when it's next to the correct book.
Worldgineer, Nov 17 2003

       Every book should have a magnetic transponder tape inside the front cover with an identifier code. The borrower then need only scan a barcode from the computer directory into a handheld locator using 802.11d low power wireless protocol and the locator will guide you to the book or possibly to Starbucks.
murpee, Nov 17 2003

       Oh, for goodness sake, I thought this was the halfbakery. Books should be fetched and carried by voice-recognizing GPS enabled robotic bluetoothed cats.
egbert, Nov 17 2003

       Egbert - The robotic cat is fine until some evil feindish cat hater, releases there bluetoothed pyscho dog robot loose in the library and all hell breaks loose...
Supercruiser, Nov 17 2003

       They probably already offer this as a dating service in Japan, but glowing bread crumb trail for you. +
k_sra, Nov 17 2003

       Wouldn't it be easier to have a system where the books are delivered to the borrower? Rather than the borrowers delivered to the books?
Alcin, Nov 23 2003

       Alcin! That would take the fun out of getting distracted by all the other books along the way, plus, you would miss out on the fun of skipping along your own lighted trail.
Tiger Lily, Nov 23 2003

       honestly I was thinking the exact same thing through all this as Alcin put. Make the library much smaller by putting all the books in a mechanical vault that is linked to the terminal computers and deposites them in a ares designated to each terminal. But TL is right, it is fun to just wonder the library and look for captivating spines.
LED Prism, Nov 23 2003

       Gr8 idea! I think there is definitely a use for it in the supermarket as well.   

       <rant> Those signs above each aisle that try to summarise aisle contents are pathetic!! Are IceCream cones in 'Party Needs', 'Confectionary' or what!!?? And I can never find the Vegemite at Tesco's....grrrrr.....</rant>
rumbletumbler, Nov 25 2003

       I was discussing this notion with friends the other day and they have suggested to keep track of your light trail, you can nominate a symbol and a colour, I would go the smiley face and green....
Supercruiser, Dec 22 2003

       Honestly, the GPS, or rather Regional Positioning System (I just made that up), idea is quite applicable. The radio transmitters are placed strategically throughout the library on all levels. The computer only needs to know the relative location of where the book should be and not the precise location of the individual book. (it would be nice in case a book were misplaced, but I think too far fetched)   

       The individual positioning units might be a price issue but I still think they would be much cheaper and more practical than a light up floor. I have a Garmin GPS unit that I purchased for US$100 (€83) that can give my location to 3m accuracy. I think this is quite cheap considering it must use a multi-million dollar satellite 60-200 miles away. I believe at this rate the cost can be estimated at about US$40 per unit.
Trebors1989, Jul 09 2005

       I vote for good ole' witchin' sticks! Er, divining rod?   

       Is this an app. for RFID?   

       Possibly, put all books on several long conveyors, like the drycleaners have, and just use a computer and motor to bring the book to the terminal. There is no fancy FCC stuff involved. The computer only has to know that it is currently at book number x and it has to cycle z feet of conveyor belt to get to the required book.
wittyhoosier, Mar 31 2006

       Guiding you to the right shelf would be a good use for those Sony Aibo robot dogs. A big library could have lots of them.
hippo, Mar 31 2006


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