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We are all so predictable…

June 9, 2010

Mobile phones show human movement is predictable 93% of the time!

We are far more predictable than we realise. Most of us seem to have a regular schedule on a daily basis,  and that regularity makes us very predictable.

Every time you use your mobile phone your phone company records your location and it appears in your phone bill.  They need to know where you were and whom you called.  Researchers can access this information (without names, numbers etc.) and use it to understand human behaviour.

Researchers are able to extract  a measure that they call predictability – that is, they were able to measure how often people deviate from their normal pattern.  And that allowed them to  calculate for each individual their predictability.

Researchers don’t find a significant difference between the weekend and week patterns. Even if they don’t go to work people’s predictability is just as high during the weekend as it is during the week.

It appeared that women show slightly more predictability than men.  Regarding age, there are not big differences in that respect.

It seems to be something innate to how we are and how we like to behave – over the weekend or during the week, young or old, female or male – we all display a very high degree of predictability: does that mean we are really boring too?

(Read full article :http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/02/cell-phones-show-human-movement-predictable-93-of-the-time.ars)

Applied predictability: technology in the home

Technology is now available for the home, based on this predictability measure. A system of wireless sensors installed in the home can detect deviations from normal patterns of movement. Carers or family can be alerted when these deviations occur. For example if there is no movement due perhaps to a fall, the sensors will signal  through a LAN (local area network). These sensors are not cameras. They detect and signal changes from normal movement patterns and privacy is ensured.

The intention is to increase independence and quality of life with the use of  sophisticated technology.


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