Author: Xiao Ma
Alpha HAT is here!
This Alpha release of the HAT is yet to contain all of the features that we have planned for the final version; this also means that it may still contain bugs and could crash. So we are counting on you, our early adopters and development community, to give us constructive feedback and help make the HAT better. But the good news is that this version will include a (very) basic version of our Hyperdata Browser for your HAT data.
If this is the first time that you’ve heard of the HAT, please visit our website http://hubofallthings.com where you can find more information including our vision and design of the HAT ecosystem via our briefing papers. In summary, the HAT consists of a database schema, a data logic layer and APIs within a trust framework that enables individuals to self-service (contain, transform, bundle and exchange all types of personal data) their personal data to reveal their contextualised insights and share the right information (quality and quantity) with the right people, in the right situations, for the right purposes, and to gain the benefits.
So what’s new in the Alpha HAT? In this Alpha release (Nov 2015) of the HAT, we have included:
- A basic HyperData Browser for the Alpha HAT [Our team fondly calls it Mr Clunky – it is of course the first hyperdata browser in the world so it would necessarily have to be the worst! ;)]
- Bundling of contextualised data
- Data Debit support for both contextualised and contextless data bundles
- Core API documentation
- Inbound data services including:
- Scripts for deploying HATs locally and in a Docker container
- API testing (core HAT codebase coverage 80%+)
The Alpha HAT is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This means that you can use, copy and redistribute the Alpha HAT in any medium or format, as long as it is in its original form (without remix, transform, or build upon) and your work is not for commercial purposes. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
If you are interested in the commercial license of the HAT, it will soon be available as part of membership with the HAT ecosystem which will give HAT Platform Service Providers (HPPs) and HAT Application Providers (HAPs) the ability to interoperate globally and tap into HAT Data Exchange (HATDeX) services such as certification, compliance and aggregate metadata services (to show favourite bundles, collections etc.). Read this blogpost for more about the HATDeX.
If you simply just want a HAT and don’t want to get your hands dirty with too much tech muddling, you can sign up to receive a commercial HAT when this is launched. This will be available to individuals and organisations on a freemium basis, along with some initial applications provided by our HAT Platform Providers (HPPs), the first two of which are Enable iD in the UK and Europe, and Noggin Pte Ltd in Singapore.
If you are from the development community and want to gain a better understanding of the HAT-based personal data ecosystem and have a play with the HAT, please:
- Download the latest version of HAT
- Read our technical documentation
- Join our discussion forum
The HAT is still evolving rapidly, and everyone is very welcome to contribute! More features are coming in the Beta release of the HAT in April, and we are currently working on the following:
- Data Schema documentation
- An improved hyperdata browser (see pre-release information on RUMPEL – coming soon!)
- Pre-defined contextualised bundle cases
- HAT-to-HAT direct and private data sharing
- SSL encryption of communications (client and server verification)
- More inbound data services to acquire your own data into your HAT including –
- and if you have something else to suggest, do drop us a note in the forum
Thank you to all again for joining us on this adventurous and exciting social movement to regain control of our personal data, and happy playing with the Alpha HAT!
Sign Up for your Alpha HAT
As part of the Alpha HAT release, we are making HAT available to 50 early adopters. However, to get your Alpha HAT, you will need to opt into the HARRIET research, which manages the Alpha HAT system. This means that your data is not private as the research team will need to test and make sure things are not broken etc. (this is the ALPHA version after all!) and therefore they will be able to see your data. If this makes you uncomfortable, so wait for the Beta version that will be launching globally in April! You can sign up here to be a Beta HAT user.
Please also note that we only have 50 HATs available at the moment, and we will combine your signup time and your digital activeness (calculated from the survey) to determine if you qualify to get the Alpha HAT.
Playing with the Pre-Alpha HAT
Thank you to all HAT followers for joining us on this adventurous and exciting journey to regain control of our data from disparate datasets sitting in various sectors, to bring it into the Hub of All Things: The HAT.
Our vision with the HAT is to add value to our personal data by truly personalising it via re-bundling according to how we use our data to make decisions, so that our data can become the basic unit of exchange in a multi-sided market platform for personal data. And by enabling us all to do so, we hope the HAT will become the basis for new economic and business models in the era of the IoT (Internet of Things).
In Oct 2015, we are one step closer to the HAT vision, as we release the HAT technical briefing paper and the pre-Alpha HAT to the development community, to understand better the HAT-based personal data ecosystem and have a play with the HAT. (Visit github.com/Hub-of-all-Things/HAT2.0 for further details and to download the pre-Alpha HAT)
In brief, the HAT consists of a database schema, a data logic layer and APIs within a trust framework that enables individuals to self-service (contain, transform, bundle and exchange all types of personal data) their personal data to reveal their contextualised insights and share the right information (quality and quantity) with the right people, in the right situations, for the right purposes and to gain the benefits.
In this pre-Alpha HAT, we have the following:
1. The full relational database schema for contextualising an individual’s data in a way that it makes sense to the data owner
2. APIs for writing inbound data plugs to import the individual’s data into their HAT APIs for contextualising incoming data into the 5 categories of:
- People (yourself and the people you interact with);
- Things (what you use or interact with, especially those IoT devices);
- Events (what happens to you or what you do in time);
- Locations (where is the stuff around you is happening);
- Organisations (what organisations or institutions these activities relate to)
3. APIs to tag (when applicable) these entities and each of their properties with Types and Units of Measurement
4. Data-bundling APIs for selecting what data can be shared with other users and organisations (without contextualisation, contextualised bundle will be available in HAT alpha release)
5. Direct Data Debit implementation to allow others to request access to the data bundles, to grant or withdraw access to data debits and to access linked data when approved.
We also included a demonstrator authentication implementation to grant correct accessibility to API clients based on their assigned privileges credentials (username and password). While you are playing with the pre-Alpha HAT, we will be busy getting the APIs in shape, including making the Data-bundling API to support contextualised data, advanced grouping of such data and to ensure compliance with the HAT Code of Practice (CoP).
The pre-Alpha HAT is written in Scala (2.11.6) and sits on the following technology stack:
• PostgreSQL relational database (version 9.4)
• Spray REST/HTTP toolkit (version 1.3.3)
• Akka (version 2.3.9)
• Slick as the database access layer (version 2.1)
With this pre-Alpha HAT you would be able to connect to any data source (that offers open API) to the HAT, transforming them into HAT schema and contextualising them. We hope that you will use the pre-Alpha HAT to build middle wares to connect other data sources to the HAT, hyper data browsers to enable users to view and understand their previous desperate data, and analytical services to reveal patterns of how people re-bundle their personal data in their living context.
The pre-Alpha HAT is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This means that you can use, copy and redistribute the pre-Alpha HAT in any medium or format, as long as it is in its original form (without remix, transform, or build upon) and your work is not for commercial purposes. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
If you are interested in the commercial license of the HAT, it will soon be available as part of membership with the HATecosystem which will give HAT Platform Service Providers (HPPs) and HAT Application Providers (HAPs) the ability to interoperate globally and tap into HAT Data Exchange (HATDeX) services such as certification, compliance and aggregate metadata services (to show favourite bundles, collections etc.). Read this blogpost for more about the HATDeX.
If you simply just want a HAT and don’t want to get hands dirty with too much tech muddling, come Nov 2015 we will be able to offer you the Alpha HAT. This will be available to individuals and organisations on a freemium basis, along with some initial applications provided by our HAT Platform Providers (HPPs), the first two of which are Enable iD in the UK and Europe, and Noggin Pte Ltd in Singapore.
HARRIET Wearing the HAT
We live in an increasingly connected world, where much of our lives is being captured digitally as data; our transactions, our interactions, our movements. And as more things become connected through the Internet-of-Things (IoT), even more data is being generated. This is known as big data. But who owns or uses our consumers’ data?
Even as I write this, most of our personal data is still owned by firms, whether it is your shopping list (supermarkets), your energy usage (energy providers), or your search data (search engines). Various companies do claim that consumers own their data; however it is in a passive mode, meaning that we have to download our own data. And we probably wouldn’t know how to make use of such data as it is structured to facilitate companies’ use. Also, we probably can quite easily find that companies can make use of our data in x number of ways in their terms and conditions.
The HAT Concept
So the HAT (Hub-of-All-Things) project is setting out to do something very different – to provide a digital vault for our personal data. The HAT gives individuals an opportunity to create a repository of our own data, generated and owned by us. Through the Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, HAT will collect even more data than companies may have, such as our consumption data which companies don’t yet enjoy the same visibility as they do with purchase data. Such detailed personal data is both a digital asset to the individual, and a potential commodity for trade.
However, there is the assumption that human cognition isn’t able to take on the massive amount of information that could be generated from such smart objects. Indeed, very little is known about how people interact with data and how much of the data which we generate can actually inform our day-to-day decision-making. We also do not know whether the data we generate can change our consumption habits and behaviour. Finally, we are uncertain about whether and to what extent the data that we produce, influences other decision-makers around us.
WMG has secured funding from the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Digital Economy Theme to partner with the Birmingham City Council to create the HARRIET (HAT Resource Integration and Enabling Tool) project. This will equip homes with technology and software to create a HAT that can assist individuals to better understand their household behaviour and make “smarter” money-saving and time-saving decisions based on the data they then share on how they act as consumers within their homes. The HARRIET project offers a new approach to answering these questions by observing actual household behaviour and developing a personal resource planning system to support decisions made by individuals, ie.a smart “me”.
HARRIET presents a number of differences from existing IoT/Big Data related research. While traditional research views the customer, who either accepts or rejects the product/service developed by businesses, to be outside the supply system, HARRIET offers a new perspective in which the customer is also viewed as an inside component of the supply system. This means that the customer, through his/her behaviour, becomes an inherent component of the supply system, and thereby transforms this system into a collaborative exchange system.
In addition, HARRIET considers a person (customer) to be in the centre. The main focus of this project is to understand how smart” things interact with human behaviour, and possibly how this behaviour can be informed by the new data from “smart” things to catalyse the appearance of a more informed “smart” consumer with more informed “smart” decisions. The transformation of industry-oriented vertical data to personally-oriented horizontal data could generate new innovations that can potentially “nudge” individuals towards healthier, happier and more effective living. In a way, HARRIET will be a proof of concept that customers could be “nudge” into making “smarter” consumption decisions which would optimise business-customer interactions and create more value for each household.
Personal Data Economy – Further Thoughts
HARRIET is our investigation on personal data economy in a living lab based on households. There are other living labs to facilitate investigation in data-driven economy from other aspects. For example, Fraunhofer IIS established “smart shops” as a “service factory” in the JOSEPHS project in Germany; Alibaba has invested US$692 million in physical shops in China to test the O2O business models, using big data from IoT and smartphones to provide personalised services to consumers.
However, this is still being driven by firms from the firms’ perspective. It could be called a “personalised data economy”, but it is still not the real “personal data economy” for individuals. That’s why the HAT and HARRIET are dedicated to investigating this IoT and big data enabled multi-sided market from OUR point of view, to internalise resources around us to make our lives better.
Note: This blogpost originally appeared on the BIG Blog