Pachube is a way to store, share and discover real-time sensor, energy and environment data from objects, devices and buildings.

Pachube’s Usmane Haque spoke at eComm, sharing his vision of the Internet of Things.

One of Haque’s main points is that consumers and citizens need to understand how data is collected and presented, how bias can be built into the procedure. The idea that open data is the same as transparency obfuscates this.

“Opening up data doesn’t give us insight into what data is,” Haque said. “What are the standards of evidence? Simply opening up the data doesn’t result in public questioning how the data is corrected. It’s how it’s categorized that’s important to understand.”

“We need to think about under whose authority was the data collected?” Haque said. “We’re being asked to trust authorities’ interpretation of data. We’re not involved. Visualizations are important, but it’s important to know how to read visualizations. The public needs to understand this.”

“I’m interested in the public being involved with the creation of data,” Haque said.

Pachube wants to make it easy for individuals and small organizations to build apps that bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds.

“I’m trying to encourage an ecosystem of environments,” Haque said.

Haque showed off Pachube’s augmented reality graph of the last 24 hours of a building’s carbon footprint. Ideally, users could point their smartphone at any object and see all its data.

“What I’m trying to express here is the granularity of participation,” Haque said. “Individuals should be able to experiment, developers should be able to prototype, organizations to create and cities to collaborate.”

“Now we’re in this sort of panopticon,” Haque said. “You can’t escape.”

By Mark Alvarez