Knowing What's Where
So far today the most interesting talk I've been to is the one on RFID techonology by Sun. They've built it on Jini and Rio, which itself is built on Jini, and they have an impresive platform for dong stuff with RFID applications. The match is good because these systems require customization and smarts at the edge of the network, where the data is gathered, because otherwise too much data would be sent back to the central processing systems. Jini is built on the idea of moving behavior to where it's needed. They also have to deal with failures all the time, so having something that is low maintenance to install and heal is critical.
What's going on with RFID itself is also interesting. We're getting to the point where tracking objects -- real objects -- will be a major focus of computing. When you can know where every piece of paper is in your files we will have a new scale of relationship modeling. (Well, new to most -- in the past anyone dealing with this much specific information was using large-scale systems that were very hard to build.) I think there will be a lot of interesting work in figuring out how to correlate all the information in a timely fashion.
Tomorrow's candidate for "Most Likely to be Wow" is the Orbitz talk. Ever thing you book on Orbitz runs on a Jini backplane.