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Sense and Sensibilities: What Happens When You Can Measure Our Offline Reality Like You Can the Online World?

Computing, GeoLocation
Location: Empire Room Level: Novice
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If I were to tell you that someone can observe where you go, what you look at, where you spend your time, and where you spend your money – would you be concerned? Even if it was anonymous?

Many of us are aware that this happens on the Web today, with systems such as Hitwise. It doesn’t stop us using the Internet, but how do we feel about this when it comes to talking about the “real world?”

With the recent increase in the usage of sensor networks, the same level of automated data collection that is available to the online world is making its way offline. There are far reaching implications of sensing the offline world and the aim of our talk is to lay out both the advantages and the disadvantages of this analysis. With reference to Path Intelligence’s experience in providing automated measuring offline, we will discuss the sensitivities of dealing in the “real world” and call for more awareness of the issues that surround such data collection.

Photo of Sharon Biggar

Sharon Biggar

Social Point

Sharon is the Head of Analytics at Social Point, one of the world’s leading developers of games for mobile with a fan base of more than 50 million active monthly players across the world. As Head of Analytics Sharon’s role involves providing the necessary Big Data architecture required to process 1 billion events per day, creating predictive analytics to customize the player experience and building text analytics to ensure that Social Point listens to and responds to the ideas of its players.
Prior to joining Social Point Sharon was co-founder and CEO at Path Intelligence. Path Intelligence is a retail analytics firm that uses proprietary mobile location technology to understand and predict the way that shoppers behave inside shopping malls. The firm detects over 30 million shoppers per week and is installed in 16 countries across the globe. Sharon and her co-founders have been recognized for their innovation and technology leadership through various awards and Path Intelligence has been featured regularly in the media including on the BBC, CNN and The Economist.

Sharon has an MBA degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, an MA in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Toby Oliver

Path Intelligence

Toby Oliver is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Path Intelligence. Toby has extensive experience in start-up firms and in developing and commercializing technology. At Path Intelligence he not only leads the firm but as the inventor of the technology is also responsible for its continued position at the frontier of mobile phone technology development. Toby has a passion for not only developing new technologies but also for seeing them through to successful commercial implementation. Prior to Path Intelligence, Toby worked in the investment community analyzing, recommending and conducting due diligence on technology start-up proposals for private investors. During the dot com boom, in particular, Toby’s deep technical expertise were in demand by investors who were seeking to understand new technologies and to evaluate the capabilities of the management teams that were suggesting them. Toby began his career at Thomson Thorn Missiles as a software engineer, before moving on to IBM Research labs and finally JP Morgan where he worked on a technology start-up proposition which was eventually spun out from JP Morgan. Toby has a BEng(Hons) from the Special Engineering Programme, he is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the IET.

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Bobby Vadnais
03/12/2009 4:16pm PDT


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