Thursday, 24 April 2014

Facebook buys Moves in personal activity data move

Depending on your point of view, Facebook's acquisition of Moves either underlines the wider importance of the personal tracking market, or blows more air up the rear of an already over inflated bubble.

The company behind Moves is Helsinki-based Protogeo, and according to general concensus, the deal wasn't measured in the billions of an Oculus Rift, Instagram or WhatsApp.

Perhaps what's most interesting is that Moves isn't a hardware solution. To that extent, it's just another iOS/Android app, which uses motion and location data to generate a daily report, including Foursquare-style check-ins.

Indeed, it actively sells itself on being better than hardware gadgets like Fitbit, FuelBand (it doesn't handle sleep, though) or dedicated sports apps like Runkeeper, which is odd, because it only works if you take your phone with you everywhere you go; something we're likely do in terms of commute and general leisure activity but often not in terms of dedicated sports activity, although you can manually enter gym sessions etc.

As for the reason for the Facebook deal, it's hard to tell.

Protogeo says it will be business as usual; notably stating we have no plans to "commingle data with Facebook".

But you have to expect Moves-type functionality to make its way into Facebook, while further extending that software platform into Facebook-branded hardware could be a logical next, next step.

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