yesterday's technology tomorrow
Thursday, August 31, 2006Over the last year there has been a huge amount of discussion around web 2.0, what it means and where it is all going. No news to anyone there.
So, I've been thinking about what's next. Not only on ye olde interweb but also what is converging tech wise that is going to create the next wave or x dot zero meme.
For the last few years I've been heavily focused on mobile applications both from a development point of view and also from a more strat-direction style focusing on not just what apps we can build now but also what is coming along the path.
I remember back to 1994 or there abouts and my flatmate had a copy of the ACM journal which talked about General Magic and I was hooked. I got into the whole Intelligent Agents thing, attended conferences on Agents and recommendation systems, was in awe of Pattie Maes at a conference and found myself doing R&D into recommendation system for Accenture back in 1997. This developed into founding AgentArts back in 1999 and focusing fully on recommendations and personalisations, 2 patents, 7 years and many learning experiences later I have developed a good appreciation for the data generated as a by product of peoples activities.
Implicitly created data, that's where the future lies. Especially when combined with the underlying concepts behind the whole Maker , crafter and mashup movements.
Taking a slightly historical view, we have seen the movement in user generated content from Geocites through personal home pages, blogs, personalised media such as youtube and podcasting, all of which represent a transition from consumer to producer and what could be thought of as prosumer methods as people have become more sophisticated and, I would argue, technology has become more accessible.
So where does this lead me? Well, I view these transitions as a move towards being more aware both of yourself and your surroundings/community. In a way it harks back to centuries? ago when we participated in village life. We are rediscovering our desire to create, to make and thus, with our hands in the mud so to speak, we are rediscovering an awareness for the world around us, be that global issues (warming) or local such as urban discovery and how our interactions with the physical geography impact it as well as its impacts on us. Currently, manifestations such as Blogjects and Spime head in this direction.
Merging these topics together, I see that personal interactions with the physical environment leave digital traces, and making use of this data in a humanistic manner is where I see plenty of opportunity, both intellectually and entrepreneurially.
How can we take the implicit behavioural data, generated through our physical interactions, and recast or repurpose it in useful ways that enhace both our understanding of our physical surrounds and the interactions we have with each other.
Already, we are seeing start ups headihng in this direction; Jaiku with their rich presense, Justin Hall with Bud making a MMPOG out of his digital interactions, Imity and many many more.
So to sum up my point, I see meme x dot zero as being around services and products that take the implicit data, generated through our interactions with the physical world, data mine, repurpose and make available meaningful data, summaries and statistics that we, the makers, crafters and hands on types, can mix, match and reuse in forms that suit.
Taking the most current toy de jour, the Chumby. Imagine a service that takes a real time aggregate of cell phone tower connection volumes and provides this as a feed available to the public. All of a sudden my Chumby can access my Goggle maps mashup of my route to work with any abnormal cell phone density based on tower volumes mapped to location and push it out to my chumby as I'm about to head to work. Useful info indeed.
Random Pile of Ben
ben at neuronwave dot com