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Lund University, Lund, Sweden September 14th, 2011


Innovation in Mind 2011





I became attracted to a different type of narrative (or story telling). The inherent stories in things that are made and used, built and constructed. In other words, design. To me, design is like a type of meta-story that is both tangible and ephemeral at the same time.

‘In Holland, there are two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. The other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. For instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable...while ontwerpe means engineering.’ - Gert Dumbar of Studio Dumbar answers the question “What is Design?”

information underload


What’s Missing?
•It’s estimated that 30% of the the web is image data. •Additionally, a huge majority is video. Neither are easily indexed or
parseable by modern search engines. Nor are images in Apps or on private servers.

•Globally, there are 1/3 trillion unindexed images between Facebook
and MMS alone.

•These massive troves of image data from social networks like Facebook
or Twitter aren’t available to be indexed by search engines.

Although people send more textual data in terms of quantity, visual data (image and video) may be shared less but in regards to costs is more expensive to transmit and store. People also consume more information faster using images and video than text. Thus, the opportunity to innovate in areas of visual data technologies has potential to not only save money, but reach more people.

As the mobile web and number of networked devices grows, the number of images available to traditional search methods decreases exponentially.

visual data


Investigators calculate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. By comparison, an Ethernet can transmit information between computers at speeds of 10 to 100 million bits per second. - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2006

Libya Crisis Map deployed with UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Currently actionable visual data (interactive maps, data visualizations, excel charts, websites etc.) is generated from digital data stores. The goal of metaLayer is to turn this problem on it’s head, to generate data stores from images. When the objects contained within photos or video become sortable, it will be possible to crawl the web in new dimensions.

networked imagery


Networked Imagery - the linking of objects in images to relevant targets. For example, the related wikipedia page, news articles, realtime conversations, search results etc.

feature tagging


tree palm tree green

sky blue

mirror car door white car chevrolet yellow wheel old car silver bumper hub cap cone flat audi orange grey paint black ring concrete tire gravel reflection

Once it becomes possible to parse and search static media (images), it becomes possible to do the same for moving objects (video). Then, it becomes possible to do it in realtime, with real world objects.

internet of things

iot aims to contextualize and organize the world’s things.

“Clowns, Chairs, and Dutch Foreign Affairs: Interview with Gert Dumbar” - "Between 30 and 40 percent of all files on the Web are images" - Ellacoya Networks - “Penn researchers calculate how much the eye tells the brain” - Big Photo Report 2010 - 2011- Ushahidi’s Libya Crisis Map with OCHA - Websites and images -,,,, http://,,,


Jon Gosier @jongos


metaLayer Inc. @metaLayerHQ

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