A Smarter World Starts With an Exchange of Value

by | Feb. 2, 2016

At some point or other, digital immigrants over the age of 50 have stared boldly at a new technology or device and wondered where it was 30 years ago. As in, running out of gas with no filling station in sight and only a payphone off in the distance. Or, stuck in traffic, late for your child’s birthday party with no way to phone home.

Smartphones and other similar gadgets are built to get us out of jams, but often the prefix “smart” belies their value. In truth, like a television set, radio, or computer monitor, handheld communicators are only as clever as what sits beyond the screen well beneath silicon fused into boards in the chassis. What separates the boys from the toys is continual, mountainous flow of information that fuels those cute-looking apps. From the simple—movie times at the multiplex around the corer—to the valuable—flight status, stock quotes—the future of all things smart is about the data.

Which leads to my fascination with a new app from, of all places, the City of Los Angeles. GoLA was developed in a partnership between Xerox and the city led by its chief innovation technology officer, Peter Marx. What makes this app-based service worth noting is its use of multimodal data. In layman’s terms, that is data from disparate sources including bike paths, traffic, taxis and ride sharing. Finding these real-time info streams is challenging enough, but making them speak to one another in a way that makes sense to the consumer and then offers solutions (in real time, no less) is herculean.

Be it smart homes or smart cities, the future of these blue-sky scenarios will depend on how solo threads of smarts are turned into intelligence. The ability to take any number of data sources, combine them, analyze them and present the results as useful advice or direction will fuel our futurama. As with the LAGo app that uses multimodal data to flip the nightmare of SoCal traffic into an easy ride on LA Metro, the alchemy of a sensor gathering your home’s ambient humidity concurrent to personal info from your health wearable might result in your air filtration system getting kicked into high gear.

With an opaque focus on a fail-safe future, the crucial element of data privacy and security must not be taken lightly. As with any transaction—that is allowing you access to something important to me—there must be an exchange of value. Real value. You want to know what’s inside my smart fridge—I ask, “What’s in it for me?” This exchange of value—or value proposition—is the bedrock of real and digital marketplaces and economies around the world. As the stakes get higher—that is you want to know really personal things like my specific health data—the value best be high. Cost savings on insurance or medical care? Will that be enough?

As we move forward into a smarter universe, the value proposition offered to consumers for their participation in data sharing will need to continually grow. It will be an about face for some digital marketers who operate in a world of misdirection and sleight of hand. For smart things to matter, it will require honest buy in from all sectors. Simply stated, everyone must get smarter. In the meantime, for Los Angelinos, getting from there to here will be a little bit easier.


Tags: none

Next: IoT, Emotional Engagement, and More about Uber
Previous: Amazon Adds Its Voice to Super Bowl 50

Comments

    Be the first to leave a comment.

Post a Comment

Have a comment? Login or create an account to start a discussion.


Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png