Have you ever wondered what happens with the personal data that you put online? I know I did. But the first thing you’ll often think about are the short term consequences. What if I’m going for a job interview, and they find some old party pictures? What if my son’s classmates will find something about me which would make him feel embarrassed? But have you ever wondered what our personal data could mean for the generations to come, and how they can interact with it?
Almost everyday I put some personal data online. Data that will basically be out there forever and which is accessible to everybody. Looking at it from this perspective, the Internet can be seen as an interactive collaborative diary. This includes my (future) kids, and their kids, and theirs. Never has there been so much personal data available in a centralized place as today, and it’s getting growing every second.
Shouldn’t we ask questions such as: How can new generations interact with all this personal data of previous generations in a meaningful manner? Data that often has the potential to evoke emotions amongst it’s viewers, depending on the relationship they have with it. How would we want to interact with it, and how can we make it a rich experience?
Etoy.Corporation is the first company I came across which does something with this data. Something more than just offering it in a centralized place. Their ongoing project called ‘Mission eternity sarcophagus‘ collects this data and makes it accessible in a cargo container of which all sides (including the floor and the ceiling) have been covered with LED screens. Once in the container you can interact with the data using your own phone or browser-enabled device.
With the data they aim to resemble one merged personality. Therefore the data itself is displayed in a very pixelated manner. By doing this, the potentially strong emotional impact this type of data could have is diminished. However, it’s an interesting project when you look at the characteristics of the data they use, how it is experienced, and how you can interact with it.
Here is one video of it. A video which reveals a bit more of the way users interact with it can be found here.