What if your data, now mined by others, would be in your own hands instead?

I recently read a statistic that we spend 34 years of our lives behind devices. Whether accurate or not, we all recognize that we spend an awful lot of time on our mobile phone. We easily get pulled into many directions using our device. It makes you wonder if there is a better way. Can we make our automation more automatic? Can we interact less with our devices for mundane things, leaving time for more the more meaningful?

A Memri “pod”, or Personal Online Datastore, is where you can store your digital information in a private manner. You have complete control over access to your pod. Your pod is also where you can enable machine learning algorithms to extract knowledge from you data. This knowledge is used to make life easier and more enjoyable, and have it return the value it represents to you. The Memri browser mobile app provides a user interface that you can control to maximize the usefulness of your data and its resulting knowledge. The CVU language (c-view or Cascading Views) is an easy to use language that combines the best parts of HTML and CSS in one language, and is designed to give users control over how they view and interact with their own information.

First we have to understand why our devices are so full of distractions, and why they are so addicting. In a word, advertising. The amount of profit going to websites, apps, and ad agencies is directly correlated with the amount of time you spend looking at your device (and thus their ads). The more they know about you, the more these ads can be targeted, further increasing profits. Privacy is a direct impediment to their bottom line, addiction a revenue source.

We also use screens because our data is housed in silos (different clouds) that restrict your access to that data. Usually you can only use an app or website to view your data in their silo. Your information cannot be linked between silos, however. The disturbing thing is that Big Tech does link data about you across many of these silos. They build deep insights about you to sell you more things and influence you in other ways.

This is a toxic dynamic that our society has yet to find a good antidote for. With Memri we are working to provide the foundation of a healthier digital ecosystem. It starts with restoring privacy. What has long been considered an important human right in our physical lives must be extended to include our digital lives.

By using a Memri pod, you bring the knowledge insights of Big Tech into your own domain, prevent them from tracking your data, and most importantly you gain in time, attention, and interaction to spend with loved ones, passions, and nature.

The Memri browser

The Memri browser — the software we are developing — is a data browser that acts as an interface with which you can sort, search, and navigate through your data.

The Memri browser works like a web browser. Like browser tabs the Memri browser has sessions, and like web pages, the Memri browser displays views.

All your data is stored on your Memri pod, or Personal Online Datastore. This is an (open source) server that you can run in your home or in a cloud you choose. Only you can access the data on your pod as it is private by design, using the latest security technology. We will dive into pod security in another article.

Memri makes navigating through your data easy because it is aware of the connections between the pieces of knowledge (or memris) of your data. Your Memri pod runs small programs (or indexers) that extract knowledge from your data and store them as memris in the database that only you control.

For instance it can detect that your brother is in a picture and make a connection between the picture and the knowledge it has about your brother. That way you can easily find the picture, not only when you search for pictures of your brother, but also when you more generally search for pictures with all your siblings. Another example is connecting a receipt with a product you bought. You can now easily find the receipt, and do things like view a chart of all expenses of that type of product.

We sometimes call the Memri browser a data browser or a semantic browser because it uses the connections between data elements to help you interpret the meaning ("semantics") behind the data. While browsing, it is easy to ask Memri to suggest ways to navigate to new perspectives on related information. For instance when looking at a picture of a friend at a soccer game, you can easily jump to photos with that friend at a time when you went swimming together.

Now that you have your bearings, let's dive in and start taking a look at the CVU language that puts control of the user interface into your hands.