Android/iOS: We often look at the silent tracking conducted by our mobile devices as a bad thing, but that data can help us solve problems and learn more about each other if it's put to good use. The Human Face of Big Data is an app for your iPhone or Android that anonymously tracks you and asks you questions over the course of a week in hopes of drawing some interesting and useful conclusions about how we live and work.
You may remember an app called [email protected] that asked you to donate your excess computing power to create the world's largest distributed supercomputer. This remotely networked machine of donated CPU cycles could then solve mathematical equations related to protein folding and help unlock mysteries behind diseases. The Human Face of Big Data is a similar project in that it asks you to anonymously contribute the data your phone collects on a daily basis. Additionally, you can answer interesting questions about yourself and the collected information may point to your data doppelgänger amongst the world's population (of smartphone users, anyway).
The data collection process will take place this week, between September 26 and and October 2. At the end of the week the massive amount of information will be processed, interesting conclusions drawn, and the findings published for free online. We could discover the best and worst times to catch a taxi, which cities have the most active and healthy populations, how the weather affects our day-to-day experiences, or something else entirely. It's hard to say what will be discovered from participant data, but the app presents an interesting opportunity to find out more about how we live and work. If you're interested in participating, check out the site and download the app.