We Are All Living in Personal Information Overload!
The average person now has hundreds of thousands of files on their computer, tens of thousands of emails on their mail client, thousands of new text messages, hundreds of social network friends, and dozens of Apps to keep track of. And in 2 years all of that will double!
The Engine Website and App is Going to Solve the Problem, by Making our Data Work for Us, Instead of the Other Way Around
Engine can fix the problem by linking together your docs, apps, emails, and texts and then ranking which ones are actually important (relevant) to you right at that moment.
Say you wanted to plan a soccer game Saturday and you are looking for players. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could instantly know everyone you have ever emailed / texted about soccer + every single friend who ever mentioned playing soccer on their social network. That would make filling out the teams pretty easy compared to calling around for 45 minutes and asking who is interested.
Or when you are working on algebra homework, you will see the email from your professor, the word document with your assignment, which of your friends are math majors in case you need help, and times for math tutoring at the local university.
Solving information overload will mean Communicating Easier, Working Smarter, and Having Access to Everything Instantly.
To achieve this we plan to link together the following sources of personal information as part of the Engine Alpha.
What Happens When You Don't Have Engine : )
Alpha Data Sources:
Social: Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter
Email: Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Apple Mail, Outlook, Hotmail, iOS Devices
Phone: SMS, GPS, Contacts, ICal, and Google Calendar
Docs: Google Docs and Evernote
Apps: Instragram, You Tube Watch List, Four Square Locations
Browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
After being inspired by Tim Berners Lee's TED talks on "Linked Data" in 2009 and 2010 Grant and I started imagining all the cool things we could do with Linked Data. It occurred to us that what we really wanted was a Linked Data Engine to translate all our data into a Linked Data format and in doing so, return power over that data to individual users.
The Vision for Engine is Born:
Grant and I also realized that while public data and the Linked Open Data Cloud was bringing together was pretty awesome, the really cool stuff would only be possible when individual users access their personal data in the same kind of way.
And this is when in 2011 the vision for Engine was born. And we began figuring out how to build an App that converts user emails, docs, apps and mobile info into Linked Data and then we will be able to query that Linked Data using natural language and get back the most relevant stuff from all of our programs in just one step.
On a Mission:
So that's the mission we are on, the Engine website and application will allow users to automate their digital lives. Once the users data is linked together the vision of the company is to automate everyday tasks like homework, scheduling your social life, and just about anything people do manually with a computer today. Part of how this will be done with with a personalized A.I. that will be born out of the DNA from your data. We call the A.I. / algorithm "Engine". The longer term goal being to develop everyone a personal A.I. that knows everything you know and that can help you with just about anything you ask it to.
Platforms Engine will be on; the App Store and the Android Marketplace:
Our users will be smart phone owners with access to either the App Store via Apple or the Android Marketplace via an Android powered phone. Currently there are over 500 Million OS and Android devices world wide, with that number experiencing explosive growth expected to exceed 1 Billion users by the end of 2012. Virtually all of these people already have an email account and a social network. All these users have a use for the Engine App and website.
How Engine will Scale:
Freemium is the best way to describe our plan for providing Engine to everyone. In essence Engine will be offered completely free to non-commercial users. When the premium version is developed, it will be offered on a subscription basis to commercial level users who need much more powerful capabilities, for instance linking tons of files together or managing multiple accounts. Well known examples of this freemium approach working are Gmail, LinkedIn and Drop Box.
The Engine Team:
Grant Haywood is the Co-Founder and programming lead and is responsible for managing the day to day activities of the software development team. As lead programmer Grant is responsible to keep the alpha version of the software on track with its milestones during 2012 and to deliver a final working demonstration of the technology.
David A. Johnston as Co-Founder and Entrepreneurial lead is in charge of finding great team members and advisors for the project. David also works to develop the vision for the user Interface and functionality of the App.
Brandon Selway is an experienced website and software developer who has worked both in the U.S. and internationally for the likes of Transparency International. Brandon brings an in depth knowledge of the skills it takes to program a web project from the concept stage all the way to operational software. Brandon is working to develop the database that will function as the heart of the Engine alpha App.
Background on "Linked Data":
Tim Berners-Lee 2009 TED Talk on "Linked Data".
Time Berners-Lee 2010 TED Talk on the year Linked Data went World Wide
More Information on Engine:
Blog / Tumblr: www.LDEngine.Tumblr.com
Google +: Page for Engine
Facebook Page: Engine FB Page
Angel Investor Page: http://angel.co/Engine
Engine White Paper: http://ldengine.tumblr.com/post/23256457634/white-paper