The next big buzzword in Quantified Self is out, and it didn’t come from Quantified Selfers. “Quantified Community” is the term real estate moguls are using when they refer to the newest high-end real estate projects in New York City. Real estate companies would like to quantify everything they can about the individuals within a space, as well as environmental parameters of that space. The goal is to present investors and renters/buyers with a complete documentation of the space and its inhabitants to help them reach a decision.
The Hudson Yards real estate project on Manhattan’s West Wide is the proving grounds for this new concept. They want to measure everything from air quality sensors in the environment, to individual step counters and quantifiers on the individual’s smartphones, all opt-out of course. Even quantifying individuals who are not participating seems to be within the scope. A suggestion to use Google Glass has been made, which will surely prompt an outrage, perhaps “Community of Glass-holes” will be trending soon.
The resulting data will be used not only for marketing purposes, but also to improve city planning in the immediate future. Even reducing the energy footprint of these communities appears possible with accurate usage data. Users are expected to want to contribute their data since their participation will have a positive impact on their daily environment. As always, success of the project will live and die with the willingness of the user to share. And that depends on how well they understand data analytics, how much they they trust the entity collecting data, and how well they understand what it will, and will not, be used for.