Thingful wants to crawl the internet of things, but is this the right model?


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In the early days of the web people “surfed the internet from walled gardens of content often assembled by their ISP. Then outside portals such as Yahoo started building indexes of sites that one might go to if you were interested in certain topics. These indexes were a step up, but they still required someone to submit a site or add a site manually to the index. Then today’s search engines that could crawl the web and bring back the content available without manual effort came about and made more content available and the web more useful.

Thingful wants to do that for the internet of things, so I spoke with Usman Haque, a co-founder and CEO of Thingful about his vision for the site and his hopes for using the assortment of available connected devices already online to help share data between interested people. For example, an air quality monitor can provide data for public health professionals tracking asthma rates, but it might also be useful for a doctor or a reporter trying to understand community health and trends.

Haque and I discuss how to connect people, devices and causes in a way that you might not often hear in a world where even the internet of things is quantified mostly as a market opportunity. Kevin and I also discuss how I turned off my television if I take fewer than 9,000 steps the day before using IFTTT, WeMo and Withings. It’s not just things, but Jawbone and other trackers trying to create deeper connections between the self and our stuff. Update: On Tuesday Fitbit (see disclosure) said it now has an IFTTT channel, and I expect to see more Fitbit integrations coming soon.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Usman Haque, the founder and CEO and Thingful

  • A few days connecting me and my house with Withings
  • Jawbone wants to be yet another home for all your data. How will it make money?
  • Does your sensor need a provenance? The answer is yes.
  • The idea behind Thingful and how one can crawl the internet of things
  • What is HyperCat and will it help us search the internet of things?

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Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media.