Sense360 is now coming out of stealth, launching a new software development kit (SDK) that will allow iPhone app developers to easily access data from the various sensors on the phone.
The Culver City, California-based company’s SDK will allow app developers to access data from the phone’s GPS chip, barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and ambient light sensor. For instance, data from several of the sensors might tell an app that the user is walking (accelerometer) into a Starbucks (GPS) on the top floor of a high-rise office building (barometer) during daylight hours (ambient light sensor).
In most cases, Sense360 doesn’t deliver the raw data from the sensors to the app, but rather interprets the data and delivers it in a meaningful and actionable form. Sense360 also takes care to avoid sending personally identifiable information to developers, CEO Eli Portnoy explained to VentureBeat.
“Instead of having to even think about the sensors — let alone figure out which ones to use — an app developer just tells us what events they want to detect, like when someone is driving to an airport at least 100 miles from home,” Portnoy said.
“We do all of the hard work around figuring out which sensors to use, when to use them, and how to interpret the data, while conserving privacy and battery life,” he said. “And when we see a user trigger that event, we let the app know in real time.”
One of Sense360’s customers, Wallaby Financial, uses the sensor information to detect when app users enter a store in which a specific rewards card can be recommended.
“Sense360 allows us to focus on the consumer experience and our core competencies, without needing to understand or worry about the gyroscope, accelerometer, and the other sensor technology that is needed to get the accuracy we require,” Wallaby CEO Matthew Goldman said in a statement.
Sense360 announced its first round of funding in January. The $2.75 million round was led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Founder Collective, Qualcomm Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures, Double M Capital, and Telenav.
Portnoy said the money would be used to continue building the team of engineers and data scientists charged with creating meaning from the often messy data collected from smartphone sensors.
Portnoy sold his last company, Thinknear (a location-based advertising tech company) to Telenav for $22.5 million in 2012.