A new smartphone app, ambitiously titled The Human Face of Big Data, launched today at separate events in Singapore, London and New York. Currently available for Android (with an iOS version set to launch later this week), the free app seeks to “measure the world” by asking users to answer a set of 50 questions about themselves and their beliefs, and then allowing them to see how their answers compare with those of other users in real time. The questions range from the simple — “Are you male or female?” — to the complex — “What do you think will happen to you when you die?” As of today, the app had been downloaded over 100,000 times by smartphone owners from all over the world.
What’s the Big Idea?
Rick Smolan, an award-winning photographer who may be best known for his A Day In The Life Of book series, is the person behind the project, which also allows users to locate “data doppelgangers,” people whose non-demographic answers most closely match their own. The app will collect data until late November, after which the complete data set will be donated for additional analysis.
Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon can take off at a moment’s notice and escape from pursuers into space. And can land on almost any patch of ground. Why can’t we do that in 2012? The problem is the puny power of the chemical rocket.