Interview with me in PSFK

The blog of future think design consultancy PSFK interviewed me by email.

In the interview I talk about the book (of course) and ThingM's upcoming products. I also took the opportunity to think about how I've noticed the trend of services that provide data streams, rather than just units of data:

I think that there’s a really interesting trend in opening up data sources. Pachube works as a free data stream brokerage that sits on top of TCP/IP and HTTP to provide a kind of semantic resource location technology for small net-enabled devices that has been missing. This kind of data openness is being matched by things such as the US Governement’s open data initiative at

The trend I see here is a combination of openly sharing data sources and streams and creating business models around making technology layers that make those data streams meaningful and valuable. Both Pachube and are a kind of search engine for data streams, rather than documents, which I think is a very powerful concept.

This is definitely related to the discussions around syndication that have been going on for years (since the launch of RSS), to micro-content, and to various services that add structured semantic information to Web-accessible data. However, I think what we're seeing now goes beyond those largely abstract discussions to create a more pragmatic understanding of what it means to create meaningful sources of data, rather than just meaningful units of data.

It means, as my last sentence implies, that there are enough data sources--whether it's sensor data automatically collected, organized and tagged by Pachube or the human-created sources of data presented by we can start having search services for such data. The conversation becomes again about "wrangling" information shadows, as I discussed in my NASIG keynote two years ago.

In that discussion I talked about how journal subscriptions--which are a kind of knowledge white hole, wellsprings of specific kinds of information--represent a model for how information shadows can be organized and managed in the future. Well, it looks like we may be closer to that, and that the wrangling may be a combination of automated tagging and human curation.

Does this mean that Google will soon be automatically cataloging data streams? I'd be surprised if they're not already.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:




A device studio that lives at the intersections of ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, industrial design and materials science.

The Smart Furniture Manifesto

Giant poster, suitable for framing! (300K PDF)
Full text and explanation

Recent Photos (from Flickr)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design

By me!
ISBN: 0123748992
Published in September 2010
Available from Amazon

Observing the User Experience: a practitioner's guide to user research

By me!
ISBN: 1558609237
Published April 2003
Available from Amazon

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on April 13, 2010 1:09 PM.

Smart Things: Chapter 1, The Middle of Moore's Law, Part 4 was the previous entry in this blog.

Smart Things: Chapter 3, Interaction Metaphors, Part 1 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.