Let’s say for a minute that you’re the armchair sporting type. As you sit in front of the TV watching (insert favourite sports team here) take on (arch enemy) you whip out your iPhone to see a graph telling you the chances of your team holding their 2 point lead for the last ten minutes.
The block representing your team’s odds of success grows steadily as time ticks away only to suddenly collapse as Arch Enemy scores in the dying minutes – and then rebound dramatically as Your Team hit back immediately.
That’s the idea behind Belfast-based Match Media – who are currently developing a ‘percentage and prediction engine’ (PPE) that uses 3rd party betting information to provide a real-time visual representation of the likely outcome of an event.
And provided the raw data is there, it can truly be any event – from sports to politics to reality TV.
But what’s important here is not how Match Media’s PPE is applied (the idea could easily work as an iPhone app, digital TV overlay or branded player on a website and they’ve already had interest from a variety of sporting brands) but rather what it says about the future of data and how we use it.
The Next Web?
In many cases, there is far more data available than we know what to do with or can realistically digest. The development of innovative uses for this data, and for how we interact with it, will certainly be one of the growth industries of the next decade.
Indeed, no less than Tim Berners-Lee sees elements of this in the next iteration of the internet. He’s currently building a web for open, linked data designed to unlock existing information and reframe the way we use it together. (For more info, check out his recent TED talk.)
The data that Match Media relies on is there and it’s available – what they’re doing is making that data useful, consumable and enjoyable. We can see the same concept of mashed, hacked and reconstituted data in everything from the latest Twitter app to The Guardian’s new data store platform.
What data could you help put to better use?