Andy Rubin gave the world the Android mobile operating system, and now he wants to give you a free dashboard camera.
But there’s a catch – in exchange for your free dashcam, Rubin will get all the data it records.
What’s the idea behind this quid pro quo?
All that dashcam data could allow Rubin and his company, Playground Global, to create the world’s first real-time map.
According to Wired, which last week ran a long profile of Rubin exploring his vision for artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, Rubin didn’t want to reveal too many details about his plans, but:
When pressed, he says he is in fact working on a dashcam, which he plans to give away in exchange for its data – potentially allowing Playground to build a real-time visual map of the world.
As The Verge reports, a system of dashcams feeding real-time data could be used to create something like a live version of Google Street View, including real-time traffic – that would be pretty handy.
Rubin, who co-founded Android and then sold it to Google for an estimated $50 million, left Google in 2014 to launch Playground, a venture capitalist fund and start-up incubator that’s raised over $300 million.
He has big dreams for a future of smart devices connected to the cloud, using algorithms with deep-learning capabilities to sense and act on data “on their own.”
This vision, which Rubin himself described in a blog post earlier this month, includes home security systems that turn off automatically when you get home, and thermostats that adjust the temperature based on where you are.
We have devices that can do those things already, but they require an app or “some other human trigger,” Rubin says.
A future of AI-powered devices that know what to do – without a human telling them what to do – is going to require lots and lots of data fed to the cloud:
Getting the rest of the way will require hundreds of millions of data points – more data than humans at keyboards can possibly provide. The various devices you interact with daily will free the cloud from its “brain in a jar” jail and allow it to interact with us in our environment – our homes, cars and offices. And it will give those devices, in turn, more purpose.
Rubin believes all these smart devices will create a force for the good of humanity, telling Wired:
I don’t believe in Skynet or any of that stuff. I believe, in general, that technology is used for good.
But to get there, he needs your data.
Free dashcam, anyone?
Image of dashcam courtesy of Shutterstock.com.
16 comments on “Android inventor wants to give out free dashcams… in exchange for your data”
Every story talks about it but know where to request to get one? So how do you get it to help him out?
Where do I get my DashCam??
I’m in; but how do I get started?!
I’m in, this is a cool idea but where do you get one.
Provided the data does not include audio or video recording of the interior of the vehicle, I’m definitely in.
or speed 😉
The NSA will make sure they acquire their copies of the captured video, for your protection of course. Auto insurance companies and health insurance companies would probably be interested in acquiring it to justify increasing rates. Advertisers would be interested in using it to present more manipulative advertisements.
This also reminds me of apps that people can install on a spouse’s phone to track them for evidence of cheating. Put a similar app on the dashcam and have it send occasional copies of its GPS coordinates to a server for evidence of cheating.
What could go wrong?
How do i get one?
Just say NO!
I agree with you James, there are lots of ways this “could” go bad. But the same is true of every new idea using cloud-based data compiling. Importantly, there are lots of examples of this new “Big Data” tech that is at worst benign and at best literally life-saving. Anyone who has ever been in an automobile accident will immediately see the benefit of having a recording of the event — perhaps the days of the frustratingly annoying “no-fault” accident are over?
Can I get more han one? One for in front, one for in the back window. Maybe a few more for the front side windows!?
This letter is to inform you that we (local police dept) have been provided of your driving history for the last 2 months. You exceeded the speed limit 43 separate times, rolled through 6 stop signs and passed a bicycle in a no passing zone. You’re court date is set for ##/##, have $17,320 with you, your drivers license has be revoked, and it is very likely you will be spending hours performing community service. If you have children you may want to ensure they have a home while you spend the weekend or more in jail.
And Andy says thank you for participating in the free service.
Cool, I’ll take a couple, one for the car, and one for the motorbike.
Free device in exchange for information? Does not sound bad at all!