The thing I love most about the developments emerging from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program lately (e.g. Pac-Manhattan), is that they're all heavily influenced by the street. They aren't lofty proof-of-concept articles, nor are they prototypes clearly designed to win the hearts of venture capitalists. They're technologies that real people can understand, interpret and participate in, the entire time with two feet planted firmly on dirty asphalt. I like to think it's the influence of The City itself.
The latest nugget of genius to hatch at the ITP is John Geraci's Grafedia. It's basically a way for the average city dweller to encounter hyperlinks, written on walls, as they navigate the five boroughs. An initial user can post media content to the system, and then write (in blue, with an underline) a hyperlink to their posted content on any surface.
When a second user encounters the link (it might be the word hum, though it could be any word or series of words the initial user chooses) they can send an email or text message from their phone to firstname.lastname@example.org. A few seconds later the piece of media originally posted to the system is sent to the viewer.
The system has many, many possible uses. The first that came to my mind was that we can now tag tags with metadata. Allowing the casual fan of graffiti to quickly download information about the artist, when the piece was put up, what materials it employed, etc. Consider it the open-source, networked version of gallery placards for the street.