California: Researchers from Microsoft and Google have developed new tracking software that can
predict future location of a person. The programme called “Far Out” tracks people using a GPS device and learns their routine. It then makes makes predictions about where that person will be in future years. It is capable of reacting to changes in jobs, relationships and moving house.
Adam Sadilek and John Krumm wanted to learn more about ”human mobility”. They based “Far Out” on statistical research. It can make use of GPS data and can also incorporate life changes such as new jobs, marriages and moving house into the calculation. They gave 300 volunteers in Seattle a GPS device and told them to carry it around with them at all times, including going to work, shopping, out with friends and even travelling. They even fitted GPS devices to the buses, cars and other transport used by the volunteers on a daily basis. The duo managed to collect around 150 million location points and 32,000 days worth of GPS data through this experiment. They then fed the data into their Far Out computer programme to predict the ”long-term human mobilty” of each subject. The software was able to offer predictions, and could also automatically discover when someone changed their usual routine, adapting accordingly.