Wednesday 9 October 2013

Applying Big Data Transparency to Improve Our Lives

By Mickey North Rizza

In 2002 I was using a Handspring Treo, a personal device assistant (PDA) to capture my address book information and emails. A few years later, I was using a RIM Blackberry to do the same, but it had the added benefit of being a mobile phone too. These days I can do a thousand things on my smartphone which is a PDA, mobile phone, camera, media player, GPS and an internet tool that lets me tie all my interactions together in one device. WOW, it’s pretty cool and a superb all-in-one personal device. But nothing compared to all the information that it touches and captures.

Think about what is in my smart phone: it knows when and how often I do something based on the applications that I use and the interactions I make. On any given day my smart phone (and my network carrier) knows where I am, my diet, my bank account status, how many steps I have made, how many emails I have received/answered both for work and personal, who are my friends, what common statements I may type or say, what my tastes are based on what I choose in Pinterest or my likes on Facebook, the news I am most interested in, what community I live in vs. where I travel, and yes, it even knows my habits of when and how I use certain applications.

So let’s turn around the information in our smartphones and put it to good use. Let’s demand to look at our smartphone intelligence and build a better, healthier life. Here are a few ideas that I would love to see someone build so we can use the data for our own health (disclaimer – you saw it here first so if you build it, I only ask for 5 cents of each sold application).
Clock counting down the minutes of the day showing you how you spend your day on the smartphone. A time investment tool

HealthStat – an app that collects all the data on what I eat, what exercises I do, calories burned, etc and then with my current weight, height and overall fitness level it predicts what my weight and health will be and when it will be if I stick to a certain displayed regiment.
Suggestions on loyalty programs that I should join because of my lifestyle: Retailers, Restaurants, Travel, Hotel, etc. Or perhaps one program that lets me trade out what I have in abundance for something I don’t have — but want.

Mixed Content Media – Allows me to listen to, read or see all the news I need to know.
Tailored News – Avenue to click on my local home news, state news, country news and global news that is pertinent to my everyday life based on where I live, where I travel, my friends’ locations and where my investments are located.

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