I’m obsessed with connection. I crave sets of things. Why do we love Apple products? It runs deeper than just the user experience of a single device— it’s the experience of the entire ecosystem. I love things that just.. match. Fit together like puzzle pieces. Like, I have this weird obsession for IKEA. Not because IKEA furniture is the highest quality or the best (it’s not), but because IKEA has mastered the art of the set. Connected. Matching. I obsess over it.
But computers are still figuring it out. Technology and data still seem to have a hard time.. talking— and that’s frustrating to me, because I believe that there is an incredibly futuristic shift that happens at the intersection of the two. We’ve just touched the tip of the connected home, the connected person— Look at Nest, Wattvision, and Lockitron. This is the technology I grew up dreaming about.
The “Nest for XYZ” rush is just around the corner— alarm systems, light controls, fitness equipment, are just a few I can come up with off the top of my head, but the horizon of possibilities is seemingly infinite.
But, even with these awesome devices, none of the technology is truly interconnected. Each device, each set of data, lives in its own independent, segregated ecosystem. Another service to remember. Another account to add my girlfriend/wife/parents/kid to. It’s like playing Marco Polo all by yourself.
There is power in the interconnection, power in correlating seemingly unrelated pieces of data, power in the platform. I’m pretty interested in Nootropics and general self-tracking, but manually logging every input into your life is tedious and unrealistic, not to mention frustrating when it’s already being passively tracked by many of the devices I’m using every single day. What if Nest or FitBit or Google Latitude or Journal or RunKeeper or my car could talk to each other and share data that’s otherwise locked up?
I’ve kept a journal for the past 1400 days and track my cognition daily on Lumosity, just two independent areas where I collect data about my life, but there’s real power in being able to correlate them together. Like, on days when I log a higher mood in my Journal, my cognitive scores on Lumosity tend to be higher. Or, on the flip side, nights when I spend too many hours at the bar, my Lumosity scores plummet and take almost 4 days to recover to normal levels.
But accessing and correlating these two independent sources of data is a real hassle— often times, requiring manually shuffling data around.
Above you’ll see two massive sources of automatic data that’s passively collected about me— almost 3 years of location history and 214 days of cognitive performance history. This is POWERFUL data. But the two can’t hook up with each other and make sweet, sweet data babies. Like, my best day of cognitive ability was on April 30, 2013. Why? Where was I? What was my mood like? What was I doing? Did I go out the night before? The data exists, but the interconnection doesn’t.
So, the more I think about it, the more I see a pattern emerge. There needs to be a platform for the connected devices and apps that find their way into my life, and I think that platform starts with an app called Life360. Life360 is an app for keeping families connected using location sharing, but where some only see “just an app for moms”, I see family graph. Remember, just a few years ago, Facebook was “just for posting drunk college party pics”. Meanwhile, in 2013, my 81 year old grandfather is using Facebook to keep up in touch with me, 900 miles away.
It makes sense that the platform for the future of interconnectivity would be built primarily around the family— The people I share with most frequently are my girlfriend, my dad, my mom, and probably my cat. My close family. These are the people that I want to be able to access my thermostat, deactivate my alarm, see my location when I’m driving. The people I constantly want to connect with.
And the family graph already has some teeth, too— 38 million users and hundreds of millions of locations per day. Next, it just needs to become a platform.
Interconnection is my obsession. That’s why I’m getting involved. I’ve built an API or two, and know the foundation for building an amazing platform, for building the platform that I’ve dreamt about. The puzzle pieces are spread out across the table and just need to be put into place.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.