Biological data will crush what’s commonly called Big Data when it comes to making use of Cloud Computing, world-renowned cloud security executive and “biohacker” Dave Asprey wrote last week on the Trend Micro company blog. Looking at that from a wireless perspective, you’ve got to wonder: can networks handle so much data?
Jeremy Geelan caught Asprey’s original post and wrote it up on Sys-Con, calling it a “vision of a world in which personal biometrical data is shared via the cloud.”
Asprey writes: ”I want to see my brain waves, my temperature, my pulse, my heart rate variability, my galvanic skin resistance, the number of steps I take, what I eat, what I breathe, who I talked to, my hormone levels, how happy I was, my brain’s efficiency at any time, and anything else I can think of stored in a very large, very secure, very friendly cloud analytics application. And then I want to share that data anonymously with any researcher who is doing something cool.”
At first blush it sounds like it could be a cloud storage issue, but this may be one of those special problems that’s so quantitatively different as to create qualitatively new circumstances. ”That data isn’t going to be stored, there’s not enough space even to store data we’re generating from machines,” Edd Dumbil, Chair of the O’Reilly Strata Conference on big data told me. ”What this means is that we’re going to have to get better at processing data in real time.”
Matthew Cornell, writing last year on QuantifiedSelf.com, describes a world where self-tracking “will be smart enough to answer questions needed for our experiments, like ‘How much water did I drink?’, ‘How active was I today?’, or ‘Did I raise my voice this week?’…These [tracking] artifacts will seamlessly transmit data to a central place that each individual owns and has complete control over. Also contributing data are medical professionals and any other person or organization that learns something about us. They will be contractually obligated to share it.”
Cornell argues that the hardest parts of a whole new cycle of self-tracking, sense-making and learning will be the sense-making and the learning – but the data transmission demands on the network can be no small challenge either. Especially if the data is being analyzed in real time in the cloud and not stored.
That’s something that Bradley Kreit, Research Director at the Health Horizons Program at the Institute for the Future, argues could come with its own problems, like an over-reliance on short term thinking.
However that future develops, all that data will need to be transmitted over the networks.