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April 2, 2009

Shifting to greater transparency

GLOBAL – The age of adaption is upon us. At least according to Chris Meyer, CEO of Monitor Networks and one of the latest contributors to Chris, who’s company works in the monitoring space, talks about sensors becoming cheap enough to be utilised pretty much anywhere. He talks about an age where we can move to universal feedback, an evolution from where we are right now. The more tech savvy amongst us will be well used to leaving feedback on products or, as happens at Beta Labs, actually take part in the development of products. Universal feedback though is a much bigger beast. Monitoring blood pressure reaction to certain situations, even rating emails the way we do books on Amazon is potentially within our grasp.
What this means is greater adaption by companies and organisations as the ability to gather and use data increases. This results in greater transparency, not out of want or obligation necessarily, but by the very nature of how things happen. Witness too, Smartphone 360, which is an app that gathers data on smartphone usage and feeds back to a central point. Or systems such as Kiwanja’s Frontline Forms which enables instant feedback in the field. Although the latter is automated, it’s the collection and application of the data that matters most.

Meyers though, paints an even more personal picture, asking us to imagine having a health monitoring device that’s kept in the bathroom. Given free to users, the only prerequisite would be to commit to using the device 200 times per year. The organisation handing over the device, and collecting the data, gets to pass the data onto whomever it wants, whilst you the user get a constant benchmark on your health. Whilst it doesn’t get much more transparent than that, there are plenty of benefits for all those involved.

Sensors already play a huge role in mobile devices, be they to detect screen orientation, or pin point where we are. And it’s going to increase too. Whilst I find all this stuff fascinating, I do have to question at what point do I want to stop being transparent. Don’t I get to keep anything to myself?

Check out Chris Meyer’s thoughts on