I don’t know about you, but when I first watched the film “Minority Report” and saw targeted billboard advertisements adapt to Tom Cruise’s character as his retinas were scanned, it sent chills down my spine. We all know we are being watched as we move about, both physically and online. Smarter organization and capture of information, combined with advancing event correlation technology and analytics, are helping governments and businesses better respond and take positive, preventative actions.
We are just beginning to feel the impact of Web analytics and digital forensics. But also in addition to leaving our digital footprints and shadows on systems, other media, such as video, are playing an increasing role in contributing to the vast pot of data being systematically harnessed. However, beyond mere sensor and image captures, the true test of how all this information is put to use is in analytics.
While certain aspects of “Minority Report” ‘s pre-crime lab are still science fiction, there are other eerily accurate portrayals of what government and business can do today and will be able to achieve in the very near future. The Department of Homeland Security and the Massachusetts Port Authority are testing out a high definition video imaging surveillance system that allows for specific people and images to be tagged and tracked. Once in this form, information such as this can be identified and analyzed in combination with other resources and contribute to greater collective intelligence.
The use of smart objects with identity and geo-location capabilities along with RFID tagging, scanners, mobile phones, and GPS systems are becoming much more common place. From maintaining fire hydrants to monitoring parked and moving vehicles, local governments are bridging deeper into the physical world for information to analyze. And as for the private sector, “Minority Report” like billboards have indeed become somewhat of a reality, such as those rolled out by Cooper Mini a while ago.
Humans and other carbon life forms are part of the ever-increasing pool of identifiable physical entities. Do you know who is tracking and analyzing you right now?
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art