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Disney and Carnegie Mellon is redefining Big Data with EM-Sense.

We’ve all grown up hear­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing the “Mag­ic of Dis­ney”, but what does that real­ly mean?

Well thanks to their lat­est mag­ic com­pa­nies will know every­thing and we mean every­thing about you, like what you’re hold­ing in your hands at this very moment. No cam­eras, drones, or stalk­ers required, basi­cal­ly just a smart­watch with some cool soft­ware. It’s called EM-Sense, devel­oped by sci­en­tists at Dis­ney Research and Carnegie Mel­lon University.

So the ques­tion you should be ask­ing your­self right now is “What the heck is Dis­ney up to”?

It seems like they are get­ting involved in every pos­si­ble piece of tech­nol­o­gy, small, large, sim­ple to super com­plex. But why?

Not too long ago we wrote about their aug­ment­ed real­i­ty col­or­ing tech and their appli­ca­tion of Li-Fi. Now they appear to be mov­ing into stranger realms.

A research paper was recent­ly pre­sent­ed at a user inter­face soft­ware and tech­nol­o­gy sym­po­sium and it basi­cal­ly explained our bod­ies con­duct elec­tro-mag­net­ic sig­nals and this con­duc­tion can be eas­i­ly mea­sured. It also turns out that objects pro­duce dis­tinc­tive EM sig­nals as well. By using the body as an anten­na and soft­ware to fil­ter the sig­nals, EM-Sense has shown it is pos­si­ble to dis­crim­i­nate reli­ably among things as sim­i­lar as drills and dremels, and to iden­ti­fy large struc­tur­al fea­tures such as doors as well as a wide array of com­mon devices.

So by just wear­ing a sim­ple watch, they can tell pret­ty much every­thing that you are phys­i­cal­ly engag­ing with. By mea­sur­ing elec­tro-mag­net­ic (EM) sig­nals con­duct­ed through the body and inter­pret­ed in real time, EM-Sense can quan­ti­fy the world. This is big­ger than Big Data, no more sift­ing through huge vol­umes of data to cre­ate a pic­ture of your activities.

Imag­ine if your watch fig­ures out that you drink out of a cof­fee mug every morn­ing. Don’t be sur­prised if you receive an ear­ly morn­ing email on your watch from Dunkin Donuts offer­ing a spe­cial dis­count on a new cof­fee blend they have avail­able. Or pic­ture this, as the bat­tery dies on your elec­tric drill, you receive a mes­sage from Home Depot offer­ing a super long last­ing drill bat­tery. By sens­ing your engage­ment with the world, adver­tis­ers will soon be send­ing you very rel­e­vant and time­ly ads.

The mind blow­ing part about this is that the tech is made with an off-the-shelf soft­ware defined receiv­er. So it can be added to any exist­ing elec­tron­ic device. This tech­nol­o­gy holds great poten­tial to bring new lay­ers of func­tion­al­i­ty to any­thing. It could mean that your com­put­er unlocks the moment your watch-wield­ing wrist is plonked onto its track­pad, or your ket­tle begins to boil the moment you shut off your alarm clock in the morning.

The appli­ca­tions are unlim­it­ed, and yes, you will lit­er­al­ly become an open book to the world.  You should real­ly con­sid­er find­ing a job at Dis­ney, they are obvi­ous­ly deeply involved in mak­ing the Inter­net of Things a fast approach­ing event. At this rate, not only will com­pa­nies know what every­one is doing, but so will every­body, every­where, no more secrets.

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