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Alohar Mobile Aims to Be “Smarter Than Siri,” Says CEO & Founder Sam Liang

One of the most fascinating app demonstrations displayed during this morning’s Innovative App Demo series was from Alohar Mobile, a US-based developer that aims to create a “Persistent Ambient Sensing” platform.  Sam Liang, Co-Founder and CEO of Alohar Mobile admitted that their creation was not fully developed, yet he gave us a number of ideas about what the finished product will look like.

As Mr. Liang explained, the issue that many often ran into with traditional applications was that the mobile phone was not “personalized.” The capabilities of these apps were severely limited and “pretty dumb,” according to his assessment.

Alohar Mobile now aims to change this by moving “over Siri” and building applications that “just understand you automatically.”  While other platforms such as FourSquare rely on user data to pinpoint locations, Alohar’s technology will go beyond this, said Sam.

If you are going to a meeting for instance, the phone could check traffic for you 2 hours in advance to detect any potential traffic hiccups. Moreover, for developers, phones could sense that they have been coding for a long time and remind them to get up, Mr. Liang explained.

He then gave a demonstration of the technology showing where he had been in Silicon Valley during Black Friday in 2011. It showed a map that tracked his trajectory, the amount of time spent at each location – including 80 minutes checking out a ping pong table in Wal-Mart – as well as his speed, direction, and whether he was walking or not. He showed that in the past six months near his home in San Francisco, he had been to 404 places, and the demo application, PlaceMe, collected all of the locations in searchable list format.

With this data, he said, the application would be able to more directly predict user’s locations automatically. For instance, upon entering a shop, the phone would immediately send the user a list of coupons.

This type of technology should prove to change dramatically the way that data is collected and utilized. It will be interesting to hear how Alohar’s applications develop in the coming years.

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