Vitagium

Location: work / Software / Vitagium

Vision and authorship: Daniel Apostolov

Summary

Vitagium is the working title for an open, secure and extensible software platform aiming to ultimately integrate all aspects of a person's day-to-day life experience and future planning and to streamline relevant information gathered from sensors into a highly personalized, structured and pro-active user interaction utilizing all available info-sources and device endpoints (PCs, tablets, phones, wearable electronics, IoT devices, public service providers (healthcare, finance/banking, social platforms including google) etc.). The goal of the platform is to provide a complete and extremely comprehensible dynamic real-time picture of a peron's life-resources of interest, extended by a detailed analyzable history and a flexible, easy to use planner, thus introducing a game-like experience into the daily life, contributing to personal time optimization, greatly reducing the complexity of personal resource management and administration and allowing for a continous visionary process throught the inevitable interruptions and distractions caused by the daily occupation and life events.

Glossary

  • Endpoint device - any electronic device that is capable of either providing information to the platform core (info-sources) or interacting with the end user (front-end devices); examples for info-sources include sensors providing events for changes in the bank account balance, smart wrist-bands measuring pulse and BP, blood sugar monitors, smart pacemakers, smart refrigerators capable of reporting internal temperature, smart car software reporting the current fuel level, sensors collecting info about current location and travel history from google maps; front-end devices would be any electronic device capable of delivering either rich UI or notifications to the end user, like PCs, smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs, voice assitants etc.
  • Sensor - sensor denotes every endpoint device or piece of software installed on an endpoint device that is capable in communicating with the platform core over the OSFP (Open Sensor Feed Protocol (working title)).
  • Love Live Mark (working title) - a universally recognizable emblem that marks every device that is compatible with the platform.

Key Points

  • Hybrid licensing: open+proprietary source - the platform core is proprietary; open source licensing is used where applicable (protocols, standards, extensions); we aim for total adoption with possibly every connected person on Earth and in orbit (and soon on the Moon and on Mars) using the platform, and we want perssonal and corporate contibutions to the platform, so we need to be as open as possible; we aim for impeccable quality and user experience, so we need to keep critical parts of the platform proprietary, including the UX design.
  • Free platform, paid extensions - remove any obstacles that may hinder adoption; collect money from business partners and niche solutions; let people record their basic functioning for free - daily weight, sleep hours, expenses etc. Ask for money for live bank account monitoring, shopping receipt OCR, plane ticket automated search, complex analysis and predictions etc.
  • Eco-system of contributers - an extension marketplace allows contributors to monetize on their work; create a well-funded eco-system of contributers; programmes for collaboration and development effort distribution among partners and the community.
  • Open sensor standard - it is expected that the variety of sensors would be enormous and the licensing of sensors will vary from free open source to premium proprietary, so it's key to provide a robust, well documented and open standard for communication (or reuse/extend/fork existing standards if there are good ones).
  • Challenge the current understanding for personalization, innovate! - to be able to be on everybody's wrist, in everybody's pockt and on everybody's screen, we need to find ultimate balance between customizability and ease of use; either because of privacy concerns, because of their professional background or simply by preference, users will widely differ in what they find as a convenient way to be notified and presented with information; new adopters on the other hand will require a simple onboarding process with a customizable learning curve; gamification (topic needs elaboration) is the key to adapt the adoption process to personal needs and preferences.
  • Security and privacy - the platform will operate with swathes of sensitive personal (and at some point coporate) information, which means that the security and privacy must be kept central to the platform with both implementation and marketing; security and privacy breaches are completely inacceptable, and measures must be taken proactively and preemptively, on both technical and administrative levels (the platform must be run as an airspace company or a nuclear powerplant); zones with different security concerns must be built into the system and AI must automate end enforce security zoning for the provided data; encrypted storage, password strength, vpn, multi-factor authentication must be enforced where applicable; distributed storage and blockchain might be utilized to acheive better privacy, anonymity if desireable and data governance independence.
  • High availability - strive for 100% availability of X% of the service (as opposed to 100% of the service x% of the time); regional servers, local caching, degraded mode (when resources are limited, such as slow CPU, now disk space, slow/unstable connectivity), offline mode.
  • Blending of historical-, realtime-data and planning - ML for better historical data utilization, correlation and predictions; lightning-fast apps optimized with high-latency, low-bandwidth networks and low-profile endpoint devices for maintaining accurate and instant snapshots of now; fully customizable dashboards with predefined templates for realtime monitoring; configurable notifications and alerts targetable at every personal device available; graph-based visual tools for planning, concept relationship management and prediction/speculation simulations (use PoE skill graph and other gaming consepts as a basis).
  • Integration with all possible sources of manualy selected/authored media - seamless integration with endpoint devices allowing for authoring content (camera, mic, notepad) and collecting and organizing media (links, quotes, images, audio and video clips etc.) from any source imaginable, with the ability to associate any media item with every object in the platform; sample use cases - 1. the platform records a CC transaction in the grocery store; the end user is invited to take a picture of the reciept, which is automatically attached to the transaction; the receipt is scanned, OCRed and every product is automatically categorized and stored along with date/time of purchase, store address and price; the end user is able then to take a photo of each purchased product and attach it to every line from the repeipt; 2. the end user has a dream to change residence; they create a new goal and start looking around for a new location; whenever they see a beautiful house they take a photo, which is attached to the goal along with metadata like time, GPS location, audio clip with a personal comment; at some point the ennd user sees their dream home in a movie; they take a picture of the movie scene, either as a screenshot if available, or via a device's camera, enter the title and select the movie from a suggestion list provided by imdb.com; or alternatively, if using a media player or a smart tv, all the information is automatically retrieved and attached to the goal.
  • High degree of gamification - "Keep it simple, allow for total customization, assist!" - introduce the basics, ask for personal/professsional background and preferences (developers, accountants and musicions will most likely appreciate different ways of collecting and organizing information), highlight advanced features as the user advances in their understanding of the product, keep their customized environment in the cloud (effectively saving their training progress), provide hints and disguised missions (disguised - because the experience, however gamified, should be kept life-like and familiar to the end user, avoiding infantilization).
  • Smart workload distribution - as a part of the core engine and framework of the platform all platform software running on endpoint devices constantly prioritizes the available resources - CPU performance, local disk storage, available RAM, network connectivity, remote server performance - and moves workloads and data between the local device, possibly intermediate devices (workload buffers) and the cloud servers.
  • Make it recognizable - to be able to reach every person on the planet the platform must be automatically recognizable; it's emblem (the Love Live Mark) must be established as a universal symbol alongside wifi and blutooth.
  • Open for automation (TECH HINTS) - protocol-centric scheming; from-grounds-on command-based design is mandatory for every part of the platform; commands are exposed over protocols, basic protocols are CLI (GNU based console invoking of commands) and REST, open for implementing further protocols as needed; commands are also accessible programmatically within platform apps and through library dependencies; detailed and precise API documentation and a community discussion platform (reddit, dedicated forum, sth else) are essencial for the adoption of the platform automation by contributing partners and enthusiasts; schemaless database, schemaful communication protocols, in/out schema is expressed in command manifests; command manifests define protocols. The GNU CLI is essential for easy sharing of hands-on knowledge in social media (take linux forms as an example).

Finding the Middle Point

Many aspects of the platform raise contradicting requirements:

  • Security, privacy, anonymity vs Performance and responsiveness - Security, privacy, anonymity add computational, networking and structural overhead penalizing performance and responsiveness
  • Security, privacy, anonymity vs Usability - Security, privacy, anonymity add complexity to the business workflows, rendering them less usable
  • Openness vs Excellence - the more liberal the product design and development, the lower the usability excellence; openness is a must for upreme interoperability with endpoint devices
  • Free vs Paid - free means quick and massive adoption; paid means there is cash to sustain and grow the business
  • Simple vs Customizable - simple for adoption, for simpler users and Apple fans; customizable for full integration, sofisticated users and customization freaks
  • Centralized vs Distributed Development - centralized means the core values are protected and tightly followed; distributed means parthers and community are allowed to contribute and adsjust the steering within acceptable bounds
  • Could vs Local Computing and Storage - cloud computing and storage put load on the communication channels; local computing and storage put load on the end devices
  • Game-like vs Conservative - younger adopers are more likely to appreciate game-like experience, with reality augmentation, missions, conversational UI, socialization; old-school adopters are expected to prefer more traditional ways like spread-sheets, monthly reports, complex charts etc.

There are basically two strategies to address these and any other contradictions: to pick and hardcode the best guess for the optimal middle point or to implement adaptable software that uses user preference, user behavior analysis or automated monitoring to dynamicallly shift the middle point between several predefined implementations per task per user. A hybrid solution is suggested hereby - every recognized contradiction is implemented from day zero with the prospect of shifting the focus but initially only one middlepoint/bordercase is implemented as a proof of concept and alternative implementations are added on demand.

Challenges

  • The scale of the business is similar to Google, Facebook etc. Lots of people and capital are going to be involved. Maintaining focus and keeping the original spirit of the idea alive present themselves as a challenge.

Step by Step

The sope of this document is limitless. The document lays out the vision for a globally adopted service integrated with local and multinational private and government businesses and entities. The success of such a vision largely depends on smart planning, deep research, smooth growth, creating a healthy and inspirational environment, identifying and maintainin the right balance between authocracy and democracy in platform ownership, development and management, attracting the right people and securing the right amount of money each step of the way.

Further Thinking

The well-designed core of the platform combined with the well-documented development and management standards and practices will be used as a universal starting point for developing massive distributed online platforms with reduced cost. For this feature to be useful, from a certain timepoint on it must be made available to a wide range of enterpreneureships and enterpreneures.

Resources