That in itself may seem only incremental. And on its own it is. However, the update points to where Narrato is heading. For one, it’s the first tie-in to add Quantified Self data to Narrato, so that your Moves activity shows up in Narrato’s Life Stream tab. But, zooming out further, it’s a sign of what the startup is building: an intermediary between different data types in a bid to become the “Evernote for the rest of your life”, says co-founder Ramy Khuffash.
“It’s your ‘personal cloud’ that you can populate with virtually any type of data. For example, you can import Tweets, Foursquare checkins, any social data, or more advanced things like health-related data,” he says.
So, in the case of Moves, an app that uses a smartphone’s sensors to automatically and privately record your activities, “health-related” data includes things like where you went, how you got there, how long you stayed there, how many steps you took, and other physical activity. These are exactly the kind of jumping off points that could inspire a subsequent journal entry of their own — Narrato is purposely designed that way with two main views: journal entries and Life Stream — but it’s what’s going on under the hood that makes the startup a potentially noteworthy platform play.
“The platform is incredibly flexible, and will eventually be open to third-party developers who will be able to build with data types that we haven’t even thought of yet,” says Khuffash. “The way our platform manages data, it can ingest and make sense of virtually any type of data, and it’s structured in a way that means third-party developers could collaborate around different data types”.
As an example, Khuffash cites the different formats for activity between Moves, Nike+ and Fitbit. “They all represent essentially the same stuff but in vastly different formats,” he says. “The power of our platform is that once that data is put into it, it can then represent/translate it into a common format that all developers can use and agree on.”
That’s a draw for developers, no doubt. But for end users, the potential payoff of something like Narrato is the way “journal”-type or Life Stream data can sit side-by-side. “We’re creating more data than ever, but all of that data is spread across the Web in disparate silos,” notes Khuffash. “We believe that when your data is in one place that you control, it’s much more useful for you. This is especially true in the Quantified Self space, where your sleep data could be in one place, and your activity data could be in another. Each data set is useful and serves a purpose, but so much more is possible when that data is in one place.”
Narrato is usually priced at $3.99, which includes the first year’s subscription. However, to celebrate the Moves milestone, the app is being given away for free for one day only.