Motion Data & What You Can Do With It

Anupama Nair
Sep 28 · 3 min read
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Data is the new oil they say. And are we leveraging all the data we could possibly get?

Yes & No. We’re giving away precious personal data to companies that we don’t even know about, without even thinking, every single day through our various escapades on the internet. And when it comes to the iceberg of data, this is just the tip.

An avenue of data that is seldom pursued is what we fondly call “Motion Data”.

So What is Motion Data?

Motion Data is data that is generally derived from sensors like the gyroscopes, accelerometers & the magnetometers that are commonly found in your mobile & wearable devices.

Motion Data is most used within smart watches to track activity & movement.
However, there exists a paradigmn that is yet unexplored.

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Motion Data Analysis

Imagine a company where millions of workers come in every single day to work on repetitive tasks that involve heavy labour. Would there be a way for us to accurately determine which tasks take the longest & where the bottlenecks exist? Could we pin-point the bottlenecks are resolve the issues that come with it? Where would we get the data necessary for this.

Well if you didn’t know the answer to that from the premise I’ve set for this blog, let me reiterate. It’s motion data analysis.

Let me paint you a pitcure. Imagine everyone at the factory wearing a small, light device around their wrists ( something like a watch but smaller ). This band can accurately track every task that the worker is on, the time it takes, the number of times the task is repeated & so much more. All that data gets fed into an easily readable dashboard where admins can identify breakpoints, bottlenecks & much more without having to know a single thing about motion data or how to process it.

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Is this possible? Yes! It has already been done. In an on-going project, Vicara has developed & tested bands that track & analyse productivity of employees in factories / service centres. The devices were tested out at the facilities of one of India’s leading automotive manufacturers.

Similarly, the firmware stack could be flashed onto even the smallest consumer devices. What then? Identify the number of times the device is picked up, if it’s placed on tables or kept inside pockets, if it is dropped often, it the users tend to fidget or fiddle with it & so much more. This data can then be used to remodel & re-do the design or user interface of the device itself. After all, User Experience is the key to a successful business.

And finally, there’s that one that everyone knows about. Shoes or bands that track motion & return fitness data. All you need is to place a tiny device right into your shoe or sew it on into the sole of the shoe. Then a little machine learning magic & a custom UI bring you a whole new fitness experience.

With simplified motion data, we can reimagine the way we work & interact with objects around us.

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