The Connected Effect

I Sense Therefore I Am

Posted by Dale Calder

Feb 25, 2011 1:47:00 PM

ZeoImage resized 600

Before leaving for Barcelona, I read a really cool article by Scott Kirsner titled “Tiny sensors make it possible to track life’s little details; start-ups hope for big sellers.”  The basic premise - startups are leveraging new advances in sensors and connectivity to track things that were previously untrackable – providing people with insights into all sorts of life’s minutiae…

Examples in the story included a Boston startup named Zeo Inc. that provides a personal sleep coach. Zeo, which just raised $12M from Best Buy and J&J, provides an alarm clock size device that communicates with a headband that you wear while you sleep and then uploads information to a “myzeo” web site where it provides you with a view on your sleep habits along with useful tips on how to improve your sleep and restfulness.  All for about $200 - wicked cool.  I’ll have one by the end of the week…

While I am a huge advocate of personal connectedness - one thing that I don’t like is the proliferation of islands of information and my personal lack of ownership and control over that information.  I am envisioning that in the not too distant future there will be a fairly complete picture of me online:

  • My driving habits
  • My sleep habits
  • My exercise habits
  • What I eat
  • Where I go
  • How much energy I consume

Each of these “islands” will be managed by someone like Zeo – who then provides me with a cool connected gizmo.  This would provide a useful service - but it could be so much more if the information were openly available, sharable, and mashable – under my total control, of course.

What I really want is a centralized place online where all of my information is securely collected and available at my finger tips. Imagine the concept of personal data collectors - sending information to a personal repository … and then … imagine a marketplace where I can consume value-added applications that let me slice and dice this data in anyway I want.   My Zeo feed becomes just one source of information about me …

Think about it.  I bet my doctor would be interested in how my heart rate has reacted to my exercise.  A feed from me and my treadmill should provide some very interesting insight that might be useful in my overall health.  Heck, my mechanic knows more about my car!

As machine-to-machine (M2M) applications become more widespread, we are simultaneously entering a new world at the individual human level – a world where everything about our very existence becomes collectable and will find a home online.   In this virtual world – I will exist.   The question is – do I exist in parts or as a whole?  Will I be in control – or will someone else be?   Hmmmm…

Topics: M2M, machine-to-machine, cloud

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