MIT Media Lab graduates Nadav Aharony, Cody Sumter, and Alan Gardner are building an open-source platform that simplifies mobile data collection and processing. Their start-up, Behavio, was awarded a $355,000 Knight News Challenge grant, and they plan to create a software development kit for programmers to build apps with smarter sensors. These will enable people to see social and behavioral trends in communities and explore information about their lives, making metadata more meaningful. A smartphone can sense things like location, movement, app activity, radio networks, and the devices around it, and could be used to infer more interesting and useful things about individuals, our environment, and our communities.
Behavio’s open source Android platform turns phones into smart sensors of people’s behaviors and surroundings – sensing how people use their phones, how they communicate with others, and environmental factors like sound, light and motion. As a result, Behavio can understand trends and behavioral changes in individuals as well as entire communities, and help them understand and make use of this information.