This past week I was in Lund, Sweden at a conference called “Innovation of the Mind”. I was among a very diverse set of speakers which included Ray Kurzweil, Darryl Hannah, Danielle Lanyard, and Charles Leadbeater among others. Below you’ll find slides and notes from my own presentation.
Globally, there are 1/3 trillion unindexed images between Facebook and MMS alone. These massive troves of image data from social networks like Facebook or Twitter aren’t available to be indexed by search engines.
Although people send more textual data in terms of quantity, visual data (image and video) may be shared less but in regards to costs is more expensive to transmit and store. People consume more information faster using images and video than text. Thus, the opportunity to innovate areas of visual data technologies has potential to not only save money, but improve experiences for people.
As the mobile web and number of networked devices grows, the number of images available to traditional search products is decreasing exponentially. So visual data is rapidly exploding, but unfortunately the methods for consuming it are not. Therein lies the opportunity.
“Investigators calculate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. By comparison, an Ethernet can transmit information between computers at speeds of 10 to 100 million bits per second.” - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2006
Let’s take a look at great example of traditional data visualization technologies. For the past year and a half, I’ve worked with a company called Ushahidi. Ushahidi began as a company that made interactive maps that served as real-time situational awareness tools in disaster scenarios. The idea is simple, the public can contribute information about how they are experiencing an event, while first responders gather deep insight in ways that weren’t possible before.
One popular use of Ushahidi is as a data collection and visualization tool. Collecting reports of violence or discontent via SMS and plotting it on an interactive map.
Most contemporary visualization tools work by using stored data, then generating graphical representations of that data. Much of the visual data that’s available on the web is constructed like this. Interactive maps, data visualizations, excel charts, websites and more are each generated from data containers that exist prior to the visualization. One of the things we’re working on at metaLayer is turning this problem on its head - generating the data from images.
When the objects contained within photos or video become sortable, it will be possible to crawl the web in new dimension and this gain deeper insight from information collected from communication.
Networked imagery is the linking of objects in images to relevant targets (wikipedia page, realtime conversations, search results etc.) Once it’s possible to parse and search static media (images), it becomes possible to do the same for moving objects (video). Then it becomes possible to do it in realtime, with real world objects.
Earlier today, Ray Kurzweil mentioned that with solar energy we are capturing information that already exists and converting it into new forms that modern technology can consume. Likewise, with the internet of things we are capturing information that already exists and translating it into information that our devices can consume.
Rather than projecting an additional layer of information onto reality as we do with augmented reality, the internet of things allows us to augment our consumption of actual reality.
This is how we begin connecting non-networked devices to our networked devices like laptops, mobile phones and PCs. We believe this is the future of networked communication - when a glass that exists in the physical realm can share its information with electronic devices which can then relate that information to the user. That might make ordering a beer a little easier the next time I’m here in Sweden.
The future of computing is in connected things. This is where we will find our missing information.
Presentation by Jon Gosier
Innovation in Mind 2011
Lund University - Lund, Sweden
September 14th, 2011