Hong Hopeful About Smartphone Sensor Data Project

March 29, 2016

Sensor data from smartphones has the potential to provide new insight into healthcare, transportation, urban planning and the social sciences. It also greatly contributes to a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. Obtaining such mobile data, however, is both costly and time-consuming.  

A recent New York Times article discussed CrowdSignals — a new initiative that aims to collect, label and pay for mobile sensor data, and then create a marketplace for that data. In the initiative's most recent study, 30-50 participants shared their smartphones' sensor data, which experts can then access for their research. Last Tuesday, the organization held a crowdfunding campaign to solicit contributions from university and corporate researchers to support the initiative.

HCII Associate Professor Jason Hong told the New York Times that he believes navigating the privacy issues involved with collecting sensor data will be difficult, but he remains hopeful about the project.

"If it works, we’ll have larger, richer data sets for researchers in universities and corporations."

Read more about CrowdSignals’ pilot project in the New York Times.

Story by Aisha Rashid (DC 2019)