(Or why our project’s name wasn’t wrong after all)
First and foremost, because the Internet isn’t available everywhere all the times. To put it simple: 3G (and 4G) suck. The latency is a joke in even the most modern countries, even at the center of their capital cities. Reliable availability of The Internet simply doesn’t exist for most people. Not even after a decade of promises and billion dollar investments from advertising firms like Google. Balloons that bring The Internet everywhere? Yeah, sure.
I invite you to try a serious Google maps use-case in a Swiss tunnel. The kind of use-case the nineties Microsoft Automap Streets & Tips – like software easily managed for planning vacations and trips across Europe decades ago (without The Internet). Or how about reading the newspapers on the airplane? Technology of pre the year 1700 could do it. Today Google’s tablets & glasses can’t, because I have no reliable Internet (the flight-attendant will reliably give me a newspaper, though – go ahead, try it Sergey). And if Google installed 3G routers in those tunnels, airplanes, forests, all third world countries, seas and the truly remote areas of the planet , I could still come up with a lot more places. Everybody can. By the time the Googles of today are finished, we’ll all travel to Mars with latencies of up to an hour while Google’s data still only travels at the speed of light (that, or fix quantum entanglement to be workable and more importantly: scalable to billions of users).
For the car industry it’s probably cheaper to provide a storage hardware upgrade when the car must be serviced, than it would be to sell your company’s soul to privacy invading Cloud hosting services. Because in future I would like you to provide Facebook-like services in my car, as reliable as my airbag works. Without the Internet being everywhere. I want you to deliver it to me when I’m visiting Mars. And my kids … who knows what they’ll want?!
Your embedded technology needs to provide graph data about the users’ activity to services that your business wants to share the data with. I’ll illustrate this with This-is-Possible-Today use cases:
- The fridge contains no more milk. While walking the street watching his smartphone, the user opens a recipe for a meal that requires milk. When the user is at the supermarket the technology that will in future be installed on supermarket shopping carts (or his glasses) needs to show the recipe, its ingredients and highlight the fact that the fridge doesn’t contain one of the required ingredients (milk, sugar, butter). And if the user allows this, advertise different brands of milk, sugar and butter based on who paid most plus his wife’s buying habits.
- Your kid talked with a school friend on Facebook about an amusement park (De Efteling! Phantasialand!). Your wife decides that because it’s good weather this weekend, the family should (will) go to an amusement park (yes, she’s the boss. And that’s fine: you own the car – don’t worry, she’ll drive the way back so you can have your weekend nap). So the entire family gets in the (your) car and you ask your son: what amusement park shall I drive to?! Your kid opens the infotainment system at the back seat of the car and sees what he has been interested in last few weeks. After privacy authorization (or not) you as the driver of the car sees the list on the dashboard infotainment system. You select it and the navigation software of the (your) car navigates to it. What a dad! Meanwhile your front passenger seat’s infotainment system goes to the ticket ordering website of the amusement park. What a mom! Advertising related to amusement parks and ticket vending is shown. Of course! Phantasialand!
That is why you need Tracker’s Nepomuk based storage with its SPARQL querying and updating capability.
It lets your embedded appliance do what Facebook does. But in a light way, isolated (or not) from the rest of the world. You decide what happens with the data and who receives it. Allowing you to provide a trust relationship with your customers and consumers. You are the industry providing those cars, fridges and TV sets.
As a BMW driver myself, I would stop buying BMW cars as soon as I learn that BMW sells my driving habits (or whatever) to Google or Facebook (or the NSA). Today I’d trust BMW to integrate those habits into the infotainment system of my next car. IF I can trust BMW. I think that in future it’ll be the difference between succeeding and failing as a industry.
With Tracker you get the use-cases and features. But it’s not for free: you must hire brains instead of paying Google or Facebook’s marketing boys. This comes as a surprise? It has always been that way in tech: Brains and hard work, innovate. Ask Wernher von Braun. They landed on the wrong planet, but in the sixties and seventies his rockets got us to the moon.
A car is a car. A fridge is a fridge. A TV set is a TV set. They shouldn’t be Google’s or Facebook’s data mining devices. Besides, why would you give the data away? Your appliances collected it, not theirs. Talk with your customers fairly and openly on how it can and how it can’t be used.
As managers at these industries it’s up to you to solve the crisis of social features vs. privacy mining.
Kind regards, from one of the guys who developed such technology for Nokia’s N9.