Reality mining is a new technology being worked on by a team of people headed by MIT professor of media arts, Sandy Pentland. His hope for this new form of technology is to monitor people's behaviors in order to predict future occurrences such as disease, behavior, etc. Only time and people's willingness to jump on board will tell how successful this innovation will truly be.
Pentland explains how his whole project will work. He will use sensitivity devices within smartphones such as motion sensors, microphone, etc. in order to monitor people's behaviors at particular times. In my opinion, this is a bit unnerving in a way. Having someone I don't know being able to track my phone calls and every move I make is uncomfortable. Right now due to legal obligations, reality mining is not yet widespread, but as time progresses this could be a serious player in everyday life. Pentland states that his biggest goal is to influence the healthcare world. This being said, the technology being worked on can use tendency data to predict or track a disease. For example, it can track a difference in a person's gait to predict Parkinson's disease. It can also use voice monitoring to help diagnose mental diseases like depression. I think this could be a really good thing for the world. Not only can this technology monitor a disease, but it eventually can also determine the source and why the disease entered the person in the first place. On paper, reality mining can actually put an end to terminal diseases like cancer and ALS. This technology will solely be used through cellular devices. A person can purchase this reality mining software in order to allow this technology to run its course. I think it is a fascinating concept, but still leaves many questions unanswered.
One large question this article did not address was privacy. I don't feel comfortable knowing everything in my phone can be monitored. I would want to know more about what particular things are being monitored and how i can suppress certain things from the software. Secondly, the article does not address a smartphone's ability to actually carry out these tasks. According to an MIT forum, modern day cellphones do not have the data capacity to carry out every function Pentland intends them to. We are still a while away from this technology becoming a serious thing due to these restrictions. Finally I would like to know a bit more about how the software uses data in order to monitor my behavior. I would like to know a bit more from the IT side. I think reality mining has much promise, but also has many issues that need to be addressed first.