RUMPEL, a ground-breaking hyperdata web browser that makes it simpler for people to access and use online data about themselves, is being rolled out to the public this month.
RUMPEL gives users the ability to browse their very own private and secure 'personal data wardrobe' - called a HAT (Hub-of-all-Things) - which collates data about them held on the internet (eg on social media, calendars and their own smartphones, with the possibility of also including shopping, financial and other personal data) and allows them to control, combine and share it in whatever way they wish.
Developed at WMG, University of Warwick, with Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding, internet users can now try out RUMPEL when they get their own HAT. You can sign up to get a HAT and use RUMPEL at the HAT Foundation website.
The first of its kind, this new browser makes it easy to visualise, understand and organise all kinds of personal data, much of which has been hard to access in the past. Plans are under way to include automated and personalised suggestions, prompts and reminders based on users' needs, habits and lifestyles - for example, prioritising news-feed items based on your interests, or helping to inform decisions about what concert or movie to see taking into account where exactly you are and what you have enjoyed previously.
RUMPEL's development has been part of the overall Hub-of-All-Things (HAT) initiative, a £1.2 million Research Councils UK digital economy project, involving six UK universities - Warwick, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Surrey and the University of the West of England - plus a host of industry partners and advisors including Dyson, Arup and GlaxoSmithKline.
Professor Irene Ng of WMG, University of Warwick, who has led RUMPEL's development, says: It's time for people to claim their data from the internet. The aim of RUMPEL is to empower users and enable them to be served by the ocean of data about them that's stored in all kinds of places online, so that it benefits them and not just the businesses and organisations that harvest it. The strapline 'Your Data, Your Way' reflects our determination to let people lead smarter lives by bringing their digital lives back under their own control.
Professor Ng comments: We want to get thousands of people all over the world to try out RUMPEL and experience for themselves how it can help them make better decisions, save them time and save them money by exchanging their personal data in a privacy-preserving manner. We hope this initial roll-out is just the first step in a process that puts people right at the heart of the internet in future.
Hyperdata is data linked to other data held in other locations.
A web browser is a software application that enables users to find, interact with and display data on the World Wide Web. To date, the most popular browsers used around the world have included Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox.
The funding for the research is led by the UKRI Digital Economy Theme, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.
By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.
We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via UK Research and Innovation.
WMG, University of Warwick
WMG was established by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting-edge research and effective knowledge transfer. WMG is a world-leading research and education group and an academic department of the University of Warwick.
WMG has pioneered an international model for working with industry, commerce and public sectors and holds a unique position between academia and industry. The Group's strength is to provide companies with the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by understanding a company's strategy and working in partnership with them to create, through multidisciplinary research, ground-breaking products, processes and services. Every year WMG provides education training to over 1,500 postgraduates, in the UK and through centres in China, India, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia. Students benefit from its first-hand understanding of the issues facing modern industry. All tutors are highly qualified with a background in business or industry.
Reference: PN 42-16
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