This move was originally reported as an acquisition, but in fact the team behind Behavio was just hired by Google to do… well something. Details are a bit sketchy right now. What we do know is that Behavio received a$350,000 grant when they won a Knight News challenge last year. Behavio created Funf, a word I don't recommend saying out loud in polite company. Funf is an open source framework that allows developers to take advantage of the technology that Behavio created. Essentially this technology is capable of recording and analyzing the myriad pieces of data that our smart phones are recording at any given moment. Nearby networks and devices, speed, location, noise levels and many other pieces of data are all recorded and then some type of sophisticated algorithm can analyze that information and look for anything out of the ordinary. Behavio's website did confirm that they will continue to support Funf.
Yeah, this is sounds a little creepy, but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves just yet since this announcement doesn't mean that Google is going to start spying on all of us. The idea behind this technology was that it might be able to predict that someone is sick before they start showing symptoms. I am sure that developers using Funf and the team at Google will have some very creative ways of using this type of technology, but we will have to wait and see. It could be that Google made these hires simply because there were a bunch of talented engineers at this company and Google wanted all of them. Lets also not forget that Google is in the business of serving relevant ads to people based on pulling lots of tiny bits of information together to form a conclusion about what that user might be interested in. I wouldn't be surprised if Google saw some brilliance in the programming behind Behavio and decided that it was time to assimilate.
Either way, today is probably a great day for anyone who was working at Behavio, and it will be interesting to see what Google does with this technology. Most of us will just have to wait and see what happens, except for everyone at Behavio, they probably already know.