Monday, February 03, 2014

Big Data from Connected Cars

I am thinking about all the data which you take for granted in developed countries, which we need to collect through crowdsourcing here in developing countries like India.

One example of data which is really badly needed, is traffic information and information about infrastructure defects, such as potholes and unpaved roads.

While this information might be available for urban areas, there is almost no chance of such data being made available for rural areas, hence the need for crowdsourcing.

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Why we need a "Connected Car"

For me, the mobile device, is just a small little jigsaw puzzle in the game of connected life, where it provides different functions, depending on location.

Hence, when the mobile device is in the house, it acts as the TV remote, as the video conferencing tool over WiFi, as the controller for your lights, music and garage door.

When the device is in the office,it acts as your office number and email device, connecting you locally with your colleagues for easy exchange and creation of documents.

Finally, when the device is in your car, you would like it to become your GPS navigator, your information finder about nearby points of interest. When friends pass your car, especially long lost ones, the device alerts you to the same and gives you opportunity to exchange local contact information so that you may continue to be in touch with them.

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Why Google built the Google Car

Google has built the Google Car, to provide one more avenue for advertising, by changing the advertising technique from content based advertising, to location based advertising.

We know that Google has many applications around location, such as Google Maps, Google Navigation, Latitude etc.

But the only one to date, which has the capability to actually map my movement, is Latitude, which thankfully, people only use when they have to meet someone in real time.

Having worked on vehicle tracking devices, my worry lies on data regarding actual vehicle movement being made available to Google, thereby reducing the level of real life ambiguity to the level of nakedness, for example, data showing that a man is going to visit his mistress, when he has told his wife that he was going for a business meeting.

This is the kind of data which I am really worried about Google owning.

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