I am pleased and proud to announce, after 2 years of development, that the Measure the Future project is entering the next stage of its development, and is now officially in public Beta.
This means several things:
We have worked very hard to identify a ton of bugs from our Alpha version. In the time since our Alpha, we’ve completely changed our hardware (from the Intel Edison platform to the Raspberry Pi 3) which meant porting all of our code over, re-writing installers, and more. The new hardware is faster, has more space for data storage, and is overall just enormously more powerful than our Alpha sensor hardware was. I’m very proud of the work that went into the Beta hardware units, and can’t wait to get them into production.
Our desire to always be open in our processes, code, and ethos means that our Beta is public. This release marks the first publicly available build, install, and configuration instructions for the project. If you or your library wants to play around with, or even implement our tool to better understand space usage in your library, you are welcome to do so. Also, all the code we have written for the project is available, and if you would like to contribute, you may do so via Github.
We will be continuing our work with our Alpha partners (Meridian Public Library, SUNY-Potsdam, and the New York Public Library) to move them to our Beta sensors. Measure the Future is also adding additional locations for installs with a new round of 4 Beta partner libraries. These additional locations (announcement soon on who those are) will give us even more feedback and will work with us to determine the best way to present this new type of library usage data. We will be answering the questions that our Beta partners want answered, so if you have questions you want our help with, please let us know. We have room for a couple more libraries in our Beta testing, and would love to work with you.
The big development goal for our Beta period is the move from local visualization of activity and attention in library spaces to a cloud-based portal that will allow for much richer visualizations. We are dedicated to making this move from local-to-cloud as privacy-focused and security-aware as possible, and so we will be taking great care in how we move forward.
We are extremely excited to be continuing devleopment of Measure the Future, and look forward to building this tool for librarians, by librarians.