May 14, 2013 01:40 PM EDT
It sounds a bit 1984-ish or Brave New World but your every footstep will be monitored by Google using the open-source ‘Data Sensing Lab’ software during the I/O conference. The sensors will help keep track of the movement of the 6,000 attendees and provide Google with anonymous crowd data about things like noise level changes, footsteps, temperature, humidity and air quality.
The purpose, according to Michael Manoocheri, developer programs engineer for the Google Cloud Platform is, "We wanted to help attendees gain more insight about the conference space and the environment itself. Which developer Sandboxes were the busiest? Which were the loudest locations, and which were the best places to take a quick nap?"
Or it could track farts and BO as some commenters on TechCrunch joked:
Of course that’s not the only thing that the project will do. It’s biggest purpose is a test-drive of Google’s cloud platform and its ability to interact among different devices. O’Reilly’s Data Sensing Lab is setting up the 500 Arduino-powered environmental sensors which are connected by a ZigBee-based mesh network, controlled by Etherios’s Device Cloud, all while the Google Cloud Platform gathers and manages the data and Google BigQuerey analyzes it.
It sounds like a daunting amalgamation but Google seems to be up to the challenge. If the experiment is successful the open-source technology may be adopted by event managers to provide a better and more responsive experience to attendees with the potential for ad-tracking by stores and other businesses in the future.
Interested in I/O 2013? You’re in luck! We’re covering it starting Wednesday!
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